I heard one of my favorite stories from This American Life last weekend:
Act Three. Santa Fight Club.
A tale of two Santas. There’s Tim Conaghan, a full-time professional Santa with a big belly and a real flowing white beard. And there’s Santa Nick – he too has a belly and real white beard. But the story of Santa Tim and Santa Nick is not like most uplifting Christmas parables. Instead, it’s about two men, very much alike, who came to lead rival factions in a bitter Santa civil war, and came themselves to be arch enemies. Josh Bearman reports on the political schism that’s overtaken the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. (27 minutes)
This is a great listen. The reporter expressed some surprise that there was animosity from jolly St. Nicks. But then again these are men who divide the world into two camps – naught and nice.
It seems to me this Santa smackdown started when the AORBS got a fancy web site with bulletin boards.
Damn Internet ruins everything.
Not exactly. Obviously there’s some serious alpha male behavior going on here. But it’s a lovely cautionary tale for anyone who has an idea for community.
Building a community for Santa Clauses isn’t a bad idea. A bunch of like-minded men who have a specialized job and interest. I’m upset I didn’t think of it.
Even though you have a great idea for a community, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be all holiday spirit. You never know what you’re going to get. It could be the greatest gift to mankind. Or a place for Scrooges to hang out.