Maggie Van Ostrand Column

Deporting Santa

     Associated Press reports the U.S. Department of Immigration apprehended Santa Claus attempting to illegally enter the United States from Mexico. He was caught trying to maneuver his sleigh over a fence recently erected by the Border Patrol.
     When Santa lived up north, his transportation consisted of eight reindeer; however, after his historic move to Mexico, he hired flying burros named Marguerita, Josefina, Maria-Louisa, Esmeralda, Concepcion, Bonita, Carmelita and Lupita, who were already partly over the fence.
     AP reports a ninth burro, Rudolfo con la Nariz de Rojo, accidentally caused Santa’s sleigh to get caught because he forgot to put in his contact lenses and failed to see a fence where there had never been a fence before.
     Santa, a cheerful, chubby, bespectacled fellow, appears annually distributing toys once created in his North Pole workshop, but now made in Mexico. He is ably assisted by dozens of elves and his long-suffering wife, Evangelina Garcia-Claus.
     Santa relocated to Mexico in the 20th Century due to marketing stress from Walmart, always harping for more speed and demanding “newer, better, cheaper.”
     “You just cannot continue at this rate,” said Mrs. Claus.
     “Your blood pressure is already sky high and if you get sick, who will make the toys?” She reminded her absent-minded husband that elves cannot work without direction as their focus was easily disabled by things common at the North Pole: cold toes and runny noses. “Their union rep wants them relocated to a sunny climate and who can say they are wrong?” After contemplating this conversation, Santa vowed to relocate the entire workshop south of the border.
     Deciding upon Mexico was relatively easy, although they had once considered Hawaii. They changed their minds because three elves suffered from an allergy to poi, while not a single elf had an allergy to tequila.
     There were many things to consider in such a move—acquisition of property vast enough to accommodate the woodcarving shop with banding wheels, hammers, screwdrivers, mallets, saws, space for kilns and pottery equipment, a book bindery, printing presses, drafting tables, airbrushes, palettes and paints, embroidery, weaving, and sewing departments with diversified looms, and needlework facilities. Yes, moving south would be an enormous undertaking.
     Happily, realtors found the right building compound on the north shore of Lake Chapala in Axixic. Santa suggested the name be re-spelled Ajijic to get four whimsical dots in a row, and the Mayor was delighted to comply. The villagers promised not disclose the compound’s secret location to the National Enquirer, the New York Times, or the French paparazzi.
     Neither the trusting Santa nor his wife was aware that their activities were being monitored by Immigration. Santa’s phone calls, mail, and movements were carefully noted in Washington’s infamous Stealth Ledger. American authorities had never been suspicious when Santa entered the U.S. from the north but from the south, it was a reindeer of a different color. When a befuddled Santa got stuck on a fence that was never there before, he was summarily detained.
     “But,” cried Santa through the chain link, “Superman doesn’t have a green card or a pilot’s license either and you let him in. Why not me?”
     “You may not enter,” said the head agent, “because you’re not registered with any political party and cannot vote. Leave now, or we’ll dispatch you to Guantanamo for questioning.
     Santa spoke not a word, but went straightaway
     to check all the presents, and get in his sleigh
     And laying a finger aside of his nose
     With a nod to the burros, over the fence he rose

     He sat straight in his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
     And away they all flew like a NASA-made missile
     They heard him exclaim, for he was no longer meek
     “From London to Baghdad and then Ajijic.”

     As his sleigh rose high to the sky way above
     He shouted “The most precious gift is called love.
     No fences, no walls, no problems, no fight
     Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”