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Santa on the Bay


We stood in line with the kids last night for over an hour-and-a-half to see Santa. We reminded Ann and Andy that last year they had declared that Santa wasn’t real and that they didn’t want to go to the mall to see him. This was different, Annie insisted, because here in St. Petersburg Santa and his sleigh were stretched out and brilliantly lit on the park along the waterfront. So, we took them. We were the last ones in line “guaranteed” to meet Santa; the others would have to take their chances. The wait was actually quite pleasant in the 75-degree breeze off the bay. Until, that is, we noticed the couple ahead of us, who had two young children. The man, who was quite heavy, had long blonde hair and a beard and was wearing shorts. From the top of his shorts was a plastic tube, which ran down a few feet to a clear plastic bag half filled with urine. The bag swung along for all the world to see as he walked.  (Photo deleted at Julya’s request.) We could only shake our head: Is there not a shred of decency left in the world? Must everything  be hung out in public?

It ended well, however. The kids enjoyed their moments on Santa’s lap. And Andy was amused when one of the attendants, a high school girl, commented that her aunt had two figures just like them, but they were never allowed to play with, or even touch, them. Even more evidence as to how special the two of them were, Andy pointed out.

The place we’re staying, the Gulfside Apartments, is a family affair. The mother runs the place with the help of two of her children. The other five have been showing up with their kids over the past few days. We’ve been invited to join them for Christmas dinner.

I hate to admit this, but on Christmas Day, after the very limited hoo-hah in our little unit, we will be off to see Anchorman II. For some reason, that ridiculous Ron Burgundy has got inside my head.

Merry Christmas.

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