Good evening, Netizens...
As many of you who have read The Used Kharma Lot for years and years know, each Christmas I publish a collection of fables, tales and stories about this most precious, magical season of the year online for everyone to enjoy. This year is no exception. Over the next few days, I will publish a few more stories, culminating, on Christmas Eve with the story of the Christ Child as written in the Holy Bible.
From our house to yours, may you have a Merry, Merry Christmas.
Santa Claus arrested and charged under terrorism laws!
by Dave Laird
Copyright 2001 (Dave Laird)
Anonymous Press (SPOKANE, WA) December 15, 2001
Statement to the news media from the FBI:
A person purporting to be Santa Claus has been arrested by the Spokane Police Department's Anti-Terrorist Squad and is incarcerated in the Spokane City-Council Jail. At a press conference held yesterday, Chief of Police Terry Mumbles made public the rumors that for days had been leaked to the news media.
"We have a person in custody who is *purporting* to be one S. Claus of the North Pole. He was arrested at Northtown Mall early yesterday morning, subsequent to a complaint made by Northtown Mall Management that he had landed a herd of reindeer towing a sleigh atop the mall without official permission. When he was unable to produce picture identification, he was detained subsequent to the anti-terrorism law recently ratified unanimously by President Bush and the United States Congress."
"He is being treated as a person of interest for the following reasons:
1. He has a beard, appears to be unemployed, and has no identification on his person We have to assume the worst about such people after the events of September 11.
2. He purports that he has no known source of income and the particulars of his place of residence is certainly under investigation since he has repeatedly claimed he is retired, independently wealthy and lives at the North Pole year round. We have been unable to validate *any* of these assertions.
3.At the time of his arrest, he appeared to have a huge sack filled with toys of a wide variety and nature, for which he had no receipts nor proofs of purchase. Contrary to the rumors which were initially being circulated throughout the media that the fifty pound gunny sack full of toys could not be emptied, the sack possesses no such intrinsic magical powers. Officers were able, after a time, to empty the bag of all its toys and material items and the bag and twenty-two and one-half tons of toys have been booked into the evidence room at the City of Spokane's Police Department.
4. After further investigation, it has been learned that none of the eight reindeer with S. Claus at the time of his arrest have either exotic pet licenses, as required by Spokane County Ordinances, nor do they appear to have had their rabies vaccinations. The eight reindeer have been placed into protective custody by Spokanimal. Once again, contrary to rumors being wildly circulated by members of Spokane's alternative news media, there are no plans to feed the reindeer to the giant cats at Cat Tales.
5. As of this morning, there have been statements issued by the North American Air Defense Command, commonly called NORAD, relating to this gentleman's arrest. According to the NORAD report, incredibly enough, NORAD was tracking S. Claus by radar from the time he entered American airspace, and it does appear his flight, by whatever means, originated somewhere outside the United States. Therefore, because there is credible evidence he is an illegal immigrant, the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization have issued a hold on Claus, pending the outcome of the INS determination process.
6. The FBI are, at present, actively investigating S. Claus' background to determine if he has any known links to terrorist organizations anywhere around the world. According to Agent Gear of the FBI Elite Anti-Terrorist unit, most terrorists carefully disguise their involvement with terrorist groups, and will go to any means to disguise their presence in America.
That is all I have for you at this time, and I will take no questions.
ASSOCIATED PRESS (Spokane, Washington) December 18, 2001
Police in the Pacific Northwest are attempting to cope today with what authorities suggest are as many as half a million children from around the world who have arrived in Spokane in the previous 24 hours after two Northtown Mall security officials arrested what they insist is a fake Santa Claus.
"They keep coming, by plane, oxcart, car and by train," Chief Terry Mumbles admitted ruefully early this morning. "Although we do not, at this time, have any accurate numbers, every motel, hotel and spare room in Spokane is filled. Still, despite the fact there is no more room in town, children and their parents continue to arrive in unprecedented numbers."
"This obviously is related to the man who purports to be Santa Claus we currently are holding in the City-County jail. The FBI is investigating to see whether any of these people and children have any relationship to known underground terrorist activities."
REUTERS PRESS INTERNATIONAL (Spokane, Washington) December 17, 2001
World-reknown lawyer Garry Spence arrived in Spokane by private jet early this morning after promising the children of the world that, "I will see to it that Santa Claus is released from jail immediately, and sent on his way."
Upon his arrival in Spokane, Spence went on to comment, "Every child in the world, like those generations that went before them, deserves to have their dreams of Santa Claus at Christmas. From everything I have heard and read, it does appear that the person they have jailed in this town is Santa Claus. No stone will go unturned, no effort left wanting or ignored, in my ongoing efforts to free this man who is guilty of nothing more than wanting to spread the true Joy of Christmas around the world."
Spence was finally allowed by federal and city employees to meet briefly with his client, while outside on the streets, a crowd estimated at 400,000 people, predominately children, waited patiently in the falling snow.
ASSOCIATED PRESS EXCLUSIVE (Spokane, Washington) December 19, 2001
It took the combined forces of two former Presidents of the United States, the Governors of half a dozen states and attorney Garry Spence, but the reclusive gentleman known around the world as Santa Claus will be released from the Spokane City-County Jail sometime later on today. According to Chief of Police Terry Mumbles, although the federal and state investigations regarding Santa's background will continue, after some of the most prestigious leaders in America offered to post his bond, Santa Claus is slated to be released later on today.
"Everyone can go home, now," Mumbles gruffly stated to CNN early this morning, as he was confronted leaving his house for his office. "It's going to take us several hours, but we have half the day shift right now attempting to put all the toys back in Santa's bag, and round up those frisky reindeer. It will take some time, but we'll be glad to put Santa on his way. Do you folks realize that *every* parking slot in downtown is filled with Winnebago Motor Homes from out of town? Half the businesses downtown have closed their doors because of the crowds standing around in the middle of the streets. This is an economic disaster, I'm telling you."
"Now let me go. I've got to get to my office and reassure people."
Santa's on his way
Filed by Dave Laird
The Used Kharma Lot/Community Comment
It is nearly midnight, but I've been told that shortly the *real* Santa Claus, the elderly gentleman who, until now, has been incarcerated in the Spokane City-County Jail, is due to arrive here. This cold, isolated place in North Spokane which I have been told I must *not* mention by name, for fear it would draw the overwhelming crowds from outside the jail that have all but paralyzed life in downtown Spokane for nearly a week.
It is bitter cold, although the stars overhead are spectacular in the frigid night air.
A tractor trailer sits idling nearby, and according to its driver, contains the eight tiny reindeer which were rescued from Cat Tales earlier this afternoon by four members of Spokanimal Care. The truck driver, however, is having none of it, wisely staying inside the warm cab of the truck while the rest of us are stamping our feet, rubbing our hands briskly together, in an attempt to ward off the angry cold.
Like most things of this nature, in retrospect, it happened so quickly we hardly had time to spit. A cadre of squad cars carrying a small band of luminaries, including Chief Mumbles, the Governor of Washington State and several state legislators, arrives and discharges their precious cargoes. The last person to emerge from the back seat of one of the squad cars, the obvious man of the hour, is Santa Claus and his mysterious bag of toys.
Quickly striding to the rear of the truck, and opening the squeaky hasp on the back door of the trailer, he called to his reindeer by name huddled inside. Tenatively, their tiny hooves clacking noisily on the wooden ramp, they emerge, and without making a sound, take their places in front of the sleigh which had arrived in the parking lot only moments before. Santa went to the sleigh and carefully laying out the harness, then went up and down the line of patiently-waiting reindeer, fastening them into place in the harness with its silver bells jingling softly in the darkness, without so much as saying hardly a word.
"What am I missing?" Santa suddenly asks, standing before the harnessed reindeer, peering this way and that. "Ah, that's it!" he suddenly cried aloud, and waving his hand in mid-air, suddenly the leader reindeer's nose began glowing softly. While those of us standing there with our mouths hanging open, Rudolph's nose began to glow brighter and brighter until it lit the entire parking lot.
Quickly mounting the sleigh, and with a salute to everyone standing nearby, he quickly called each reindeer by name, and crying loudly, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" the sleigh being towed by eight tiny reindeer swept up off the tarmac. Higher than eagles they soared, and as he wheeled off into the frigid night sky, we heard him exclaim once more, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Ho! Ho! Ho!"
Ryrie Rock Military Compound about eight miles underground
NORAD National Headquarters
Silver Springs, Maryland
Two bored air traffic controllers are sitting at their terminals, drinking lukewarm coffee and watching their radar screens. It is nearly time for them to go off-shift, and it's been a quiet, tranquil night.
"What is that?"
"What are you looking at?"
"There's an unidentified object, no squawk, no ID, accompanied by two F-14's. He just popped up a minute ago, and is proceeding across our airspace near the submarine bases in western Washington State."
"Oh, *HIM*! We scrambled two fighter jets out of Galena about an hour ago when he first appeared on the radar near Fairchild Air Force Base. If you believe this, it's supposed to be a man in a sleigh being towed by eight reindeer. Word from on high, though, is to give him unlimited authority. The jets have been told to keep their distance, but give him a full military escort. I gather he has quite a bit of clout upstairs."
"Who is HE?"
"A guy name of Santa Claus is all I know. Made quite a flap in Spokane, Washington a few days ago on the evening news, I hear."
"Santa Claus? *THE* Santa Claus?"
"What, you know this guy?"
"No, but my kids talk about him all the time. Waitaminute. He just went off-scope. Any idea of what the hell he's doing?"
"According to one of the fighter jockeys, he's been going from house to house, never staying more than a few minutes. He doesn't seem to stop at every house, either. Don't worry. He'll be back on your scope in a few minutes. There should be a flying gas station arriving on post in awhile to give the fighters a sip of gas, so you might keep an eye out for them, too."
"Hey, I'm monitoring a call from a commercial jet, United 157 Heavy out of Seattle. Says he just saw a man in the sleigh flying over Seattle. Should I tell him what's going on?"
"Nah. Tell him to file a UFO form, and we'll file it with the rest of 'em."
It isn't even Christmas Eve yet, but I have it on good report that Santa is out there, beginning his annual trip around the globe a little bit later than usual this year after a forced layover in Spokane, Washington, but nonetheless delivering toys and magic to good little boys and girls who, it seems, still believe in the mystery of Christmas.
Dave (who's been good all year, and yes, I believe in magic)