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Home > Media

A Few Bad Santas

24 December 2005

On Saturday afternoon in Auckland, New Zealand, 50 drunken men all dressed as Santa Claus went on a tasteless bastard rampage through the centre of town, leaving pools of urine, broken bottles, bleeding security guards and severely shaken shop assistants in their wake. 'It's just a pack of clowns,' said
Auckland's Senior Sergeant, a rather confused Matt Rogers. It wasn't clowns. It was Santas.

'We started getting phone calls from the public at 5.15pm,' Rogers continued. 'They were at Britomart, behaving loutishly, just being silly.' The event, dubbed Santarchy - but nothing to do with the original Santarchy, a 12-year-old brigade of benevolent prankster Santas out of California - was organised by Alex Dyer. On Sunday evening Dyer appeared on a Radio New Zealand panel show to defend himself against charges of cretinism.

Firstly, he was keen to point out that the term 'organiser' was very much a nominal one. All he actually did was arrange for a few people to dress up as Santa and 'meet at 2 o'clock - we'll sit in a park, and have a laugh and drink some beers'. After which, insists Dyer, they sang carols, posed for photos and gave out presents to children. That's all very well, Alex, but what about the theft and the assaults and the streets running hot with steaming Santa piss? 'People obviously want to dwell on the bad stuff,' he said. 'I'm pretty sure [it] didn't even happen.' That's as well as maybe, but the articles that peeled off around the world over the weekend were pretty sure it did happen, and they were understandably sickened. But then they were also sure that the event was a protest against the commercialisation of Christmas, which it wasn't. On the contrary, Dyer actually really enjoys the commercialisation of Christmas. It's his favourite part.

Out favourite part of the radio show was the contribution of one John from Blenheim who was absolutely fuming. 'It just seems to me,' he said, 'that when people put on that Santa suit, they represent something that has a great meaning and significance to millions of people all over the world... I cannot tolerate public drunkenness and stealing in the name of Santa, because Santa Claus is a symbol of the ability of the human spirit to overcome all the bad things that happen to us throughout the rest of the year.' Hear hear. Thou absolutely shalt not take Santa's name in vain. Suitably cowed, Dyer apologised to John from Blenheim. 'Don't apologise to me,' John snapped, 'apologise to the rest of the country and to the world and to the kids who believed in Santa Claus.'

In his defence, Dyer maintained that the entire shenanigans was just a bit of fun meant to bring a little Christmas cheer to the town, and he was sorry for the few bad eggs that went a bit mental and destroyed Christmas for so very many previously innocent children. If they actually did.

In the final analysis, despite the actual damage that was done, it's unlikely that any damage was done. Sure, a few kids might have been forced to grow up and smell the cold reality of Santalessness a tad early, but most of the little morons will continue to believe. They'll just be absolutely terrified the next time their parents expect them to climb into the lap of a man they now know to be an abusive incontinent alcoholic.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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