It's a few days before Christmas and Santa Claus has been very busy. He's working hard at his studio in the North Pole to get gifts ready for all the children of the world. His reindeer have been working out at the gym to get used to flying again instead of treading snow.
The elves have spent most of the year converting their paper files to online and they have taken pride in how they have been able to come up with just the right gifts for the children of the world without getting into on line privacy issues.
So it's fitting that I'm able to interview Santa by Skype of course, since I wasn't able to get a flight to the North Pole.
Art: Santa, thanks for taking these precious moments to speak to the Islander. I know it's your busiest time of the year. First off, how are you feeling? Last year at this time you had a bad case of the flu and had to rouse yourself to make the trip.
Santa: Thanks for asking. This year I've paced myself better and despite indigestion in June, a cataract in July, athlete's foot in August, laryngitis in September, a stiff neck in October and dry mouth in November I'm in pretty good shape for a two-thousand year old icon.
Art: That's my next question. You've been doing this for thousands of years. Do you ever get tired of it or wish you were doing something else Christmas Eve?
Santa: First of all, who else could do this job? It's mine to lose. God selected me because He knew I had the staying power. Can you imagine anyone else but Santa Claus delivering toys and gifts to the children of the world? Who could do it? George Washington? Julius Caesar? Napoleon Bonaparte? They'd want to retire after a hundred years. There's only one Santa Claus and I do it because it's my God given right. And I simply love and adore children.
Art: We live in such a modern world. Isn't there a faster way you could get gifts to kids without using reindeer and a sled?
Santa: Ever try booking a flight on United Airlines this time of year? Or relying on a space station? I'll take my loyal reindeer and our sled over any modern means of transportation, including bullet trains and flights to Mars. Each year I set records for the number of new homes I visit and the time it takes. During the past two thousand years I've seen the human race grow larger exponentially and the numbers of chimneys increase. My elves keep all the records and set up our itinerary. I am thankful to the elves for their service, loyalty and command of Microsoft Windows.
Art: We are now in the year 2013, the 21st Century. Is there anything different about this year than other years?
Santa: Yes. This has been a very violent year on earth, more so than in recent years. The world is changing. That's why the gifts I bring to children will continue to make a difference in what's missing in this world peace and love. I'm using all my powers to make children happy so that they grow up with hope, trust and responsibility. Without Santa Claus, the world would be even more violent than it is.
Art: Then why couldn't you change the pattern and scatter gifts to children throughout the year?
Santa: My job is to provide Christmas joy. And it is the job of parents to extend this joy throughout the year. Parents learn from me. They replace me until the next Christmas comes along. This is the lesson I have bestowed on mankind for thousands of years which is that it is better to give than to receive. But at Christmas Santa Claus reigns supreme. I live to bring joy to billions of families throughout the world. And believe me; I'm ready to do this job for the next two thousand years. Tell your Islander readers that I'll be ready for them.
I must get back to my job now. Deadlines, you know.
Art: Santa, thanks for talking to me today. And don't forget the choo choo train I want for Christmas.
Santa: Ho, ho, ho.