Ho ho ho ! It's almost Christmas, we're just about to throw presents at each other, hoping that the boxes under the tree contain exactly what each of us was hoping for. Here at FML Towers, we've got quite a few gifts to give each other, mainly STIs, and we still have a childlike wonder in our eyes whenever Christmas is mentioned. We go crazy for decorations, flashing lights and big balls. Our offices look like someone covered them in glue and used them to ram-raid a mall. For us, it's a time to spread some joy and goodwill, and ingest large amounts of rich foods and poor-quality booze. To help us get into the spirit of things, not that we really need it, we got the most famous face of Christmas (when that Jesus guy isn't available), the actual Santa Claus to pop in and talk to us about the FMLs that we've received over the years. Stuff that hasn't been very nice about him and his life's work. Weird thing though, when speaking in English, Santa has a slight Turkish accent.
Aren't kids wonderful? OK, maybe not all of them, some can be right little twits. But you have to admit that the whole magic of Christmas can mainly be found in their eyes, and the way they look at shiny objects. A bit like cats, without the killings of innocent woodland creatures. There's only a few adults who buy into the whole Christmas spirit thing; you can probably count them using Django Reinhart's fingers, and it's a real shame. Then again, if kids are leaving the Christmas festivities at more and more younger ages, it's not necessarily anyone's fault. So Santa, what's this all about?
Today, my 8-year-old daughter was throwing a tantrum, and I said "Keep this up and I'll tell Santa to take your presents back." She told me I don't even know Santa, at which point I accidentally blurted that I'm "Santa". FML
"That's so sad, my friend. I can't really say that I blame the guy, it's tough raising kids. Especially kids that they didn't really want. I'll let you onto a little secret: I know each and every case on my route. It's gotten easier the years with the use of satellites and the whole global positioning system. My brand image and B2C strategy requires a lot of preparation, and most of my research is customer satisfaction survey-based. I have my sources, but I can't go into detail due to conflicts with the competition. Yes, I do have competition, but I stay at the top of my game thanks to tireless work. Anyway, this FML is pretty common. The guy is arguing with an 8-year-old. He's a grown man. What's his beef with life? I know. But I won't say anything, except… he drives a big truck. You know what I'm saying?"
Hmmm, yeah. Big trucks compensate for... Yeah. What about the letters? Do you get them all? Do they really work?
Today, my son told me the Christmas letter he wrote to Santa was a joke and he didn't want the stuff he asked for. I already bought everything. FML
"I often get asked this amusing question. Kids write to me in droves. All the time. Not just at Christmas. It's all year round, it's amazing. I can feel them, scribbling away, I don't even need to read their letters. My ISP is based on faith. These kids want to believe, just like the guy in that TV show, what was it? The X-Files, that's it. Anyway, this kid here is using a quick win process that his parents have totally bought, hook, line and sinker. He needs to know whether his parents actually know him, and what he really wants. It's quite clever. I applaud his use of parental reporting, parents need to be on the ball with their kids; get them what they need, not what they think they should need! I'll be keeping an eye on this family, but they do tend to listen to some very bad jazz records and fight about tofu steaks, so they're a bit lost. The kid should be alright, he's already smarter than his folks."
Let's get back to the awful things people sometimes write about you:
Today, I saw Santa. He gave me the finger. FML
"Nice, very nice… I always get represented as a fat bastard, or I'm portrayed by some out of work actors who spend their spare time smoking doobies and drinking fortified wine. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but do it on your own time. They make me out to be this bumbling buffoon. If I told you I ran the Spartan Race in 2013 incognito, you'd be amazed, right? Ho ho ho ! I guess I'm like that giant guy in the adverts, the one selling corn, I'm… reassuring. Oh, and I'd like to point out that the whole story about Coca Cola turning me from a green and white character into a red and white character is an urban myth. I dress myself, for myself. And besides, my red and white garb was mentioned in a poem long before Coca Cola did their hatchet job on me. Mother Christmas helps me out with product branding and decorating my sleigh, but the way I dress comes from a market study I did a while back, using a few focus groups and a double-blind scientific study of the likes and dislikes of 1500 people of all walks of life. The results were pretty convincing. The warmth of the red, added to the purity of the white scored high with high-income families, but was also the perfect mix for low-income neighbourhoods with regard to brand awareness and satisfaction. Maybe they were all commies at the time, who knows? Anyway, I digress. What was the question?"
I can't remember, the Eggnog has mashed my synapses. Let's move on to another FML where you're being badly misrepresented. Check this out:
Today, I took my younger sister to see Santa for a photo. Santa insisted that I was in the photo too. I wasn't sure why he made such a big deal about it until he groped me while the photo was being taken. FML
"See now, this is exactly why kids start to doubt my existence. Stuff like this goes on, and then I get it in the neck figuratively because some ding-dong with a hard on, pardon my French, has to go and spoil Christmas. Kids aren't idiots, they can sense when things aren't going well. This poor girl was felt up by some twit dressed as me, and the younger sister has now since moved on to hard drugs and prostitution. That's not true, I just wanted to wake you up from your Eggnog-induced stupor. She's actually fine, but stopped believing in Christmas that very same year. It's sad. My brand is being tainted by twits. My existence is bit like Jesus or the other guy I won't mention because I'm not insane. People can believe in me if they want, and if they stop, well, that's up to them. They made me, I exist as long as they have that belief. But I do exist. I'm sitting here in your office in a very snazzy Sergio Tacchini tracksuit and a pair of Doc Martens. How real can I be, son? I give and I give and I expect nothing in return. In that sense, I'm better than Jesus. Especially at soccer."
Bon, on va vite changer de sujet, ça devient touchy. Niveau boulot, c'est comment ? Flux tendu, ou plutôt détendu ? Les enfants se posent également la question :
Today, I found out that if you whistle Christmas carols while shitting in a public bathroom, a little boy might just look under the stall to see if Santa is pooping. FML
"That's hilarious! That wasn't actually me, though. I would've burst out laughing. Children are very curious about life and stuff, that's what I love about them. They're not afraid to say, "I don't know" when asked a question. Adults forget that it's OK to not know something. People think I'm this mysterious, supernatural being, but I'm not, you know. I'm really not. I work all year round. I have to work hard to keep myself in the blue, and not flag behind. There's one day a year when I'm all the rage, but the rest of the year I do other stuff. In summer, I sell cold drinks on the beaches in New Jersey. In Autumn, I'm in England doing stand-up comedy. Sometimes I'll make clogs for the tourists in Holland. I also play soccer, and I always make sure that I sit when I'm peeing at friends' houses. I'm pretty down to Earth. I watch a lot of TV, too. My favourite shows are M*A*S*H* and Happy Days. Yeah, we mainly get reruns in our house."
OK, Jersey Shore. Besides the cans and everything else, where does the money come from? Some of this stuff is expensive:
Today, I woke up to my kids shaking me, saying, "Get up, Santa was here!" I got up to find my TV, computer and MacBook Air all gone. FML
"See, sonny boy, people think all this is free. Call me a liar if you want, but my work is a carefully planned-out business model, which was rigorously tested and brainstormed during many sessions between me, the elves and a bunch of business angels. No, I can't tell you who they are for privacy reasons. Just know that none of this is taken from your income tax. I'm not a government official, or even an employee. It's all freelance work. It's not magic either. I'm not Penn or Teller. I don't have Claudia Schiffer in the back of my limo. Hey, don't print that, Mother Xmas is going to beat the crap out of me."
Today, I accidentally knocked over a mall Santa on his way to meet some children. I've never had that many hate-filled eyes on me at once. FML
"Damn, got some Eggnog on my tracksuit. What was I saying? This story is sort of nice, because it shows that people do care about my brand, and that the Santa image is still scoring high with the general population, on an emotional level at least. In this case, even though it wasn't actually me… I tell a lie. Sometimes, I like to take on my own persona in malls around the world, usually in the bigger chain malls because those people are damned easy to fool… just kidding, guys! Anyway… I sign up for jobs when I've got a weekend break and I'll do the whole 'Take a photo with the fat dude' ritual, and people love it. It keeps me in touch with why I do what I do. Of course, sometimes I get to meet people who I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire, the sort who get their kids guns for Christmas, you know what I mean? I tend to avoid being cynical about people. It's the only way forward, really. An old guy giving out presents to children is more and more seen as a pervert paedophile than a nice person. I have to be colour-coded so parents don't freak out. If I was in my civvies, dressed like I am today, some crazy parent would be batting me over the head with a handbag. Even though I'm trying to be nice… The world hasn't gone crazy, it's not our fault, it's just that we listen to the wrong people. Media outlets cranking up the fear. Listen to your hearts, guys. If we stop doing that, that'll be biggest FML of all. Anyway, it's Christmas, and I'm happy to be able to join forces with the aforementioned FML team to wish you all a happy one. And who knows, maybe we'll bump into each other on the 24th, during the night! I've been told to say that you should all tell me in the comments what you would like for Christmas, the present(s) that would make you happy. I'll try my best, within reason of course!"
(as long as it doesn't have Minions on it, I HATE those fuckers)
Well well well, we couldn't put it any better. Thanks Santa for dropping in to see us here at FML Towers, and Merry Christmas everyone! Tell us all about your Christmas present wishes, your Christmasses, whatever you feel is relevant. We're here for you all Christmas long!
Santa is illustrated by Bénédicte, from Bloutouf