I stand outside the Lapland Embassy on Belgravia’s Chesham Place, shivering culturally in my D&G brogues. A homeless man approaches me for some change. I kneel, and pass him a copy of the latest SAVAGE. “Here,” I gently fold his hands over the glossy cover. “Turn to page 24 for a biting review of Ken Loach’s latest pessimistic northern discharge. The man just doesn’t understand aesthetics does he?” The vagrant shuffles off, clutching his new bible. “So like us,” I whisper to myself, “so like us.” I disinfect my hands and lips with the same bleach SAVAGE uses on the editorial team and ring the front doorbell.
I’m shown inside with such brusqueness that I barely have enough time to summarise Brave New World to the doorperson, and before I know it I’m in front of the man himself – Santa Claus. He sips delicately from a bottle of Coca Cola. I begin by moistening my finger with my vial of Hemingway’s saliva and turning the page of my Moleskine notebook, “I realise you’re a busy man so we won’t mince words-”
“-but we might mince pie!” Claus roars with festive laughter, interrupting my carefully phrased opening salvo. I cough once, dismissively. My parents didn’t pay for seven years of private schooling for me to be interrupted by a man who wasn’t even born in this country. I move on and begin to quiz Claus on whether he believes, as I do, that the commercialisation of Christmas is more of a symptom than a cause of suburban disenfranchisement.
“Oh, let’s not bother with such trivial things. Come, my boy, tell me this: what do you want for Christmas?” Claus’s booming baritone once again barrels over me. It’s almost as if the man has never been interviewed by an Arts and Culture Journal, let alone a Premier Arts and Culture Journal. I roll my pen between my fingers, wondering whether, if I throw it very hard, it might pierce the old man between the eyes.
“Mr. Claus, I would appreciate if you could focused on the task at hand. I’m a busy man, and I have three hundred thousand posters in my bag that I need to put up over other people’s posters before nightfall, or no-one will know about our Celebration of Free Speech event.”
“Come, come, young man. There are more important things in life than your magazine, surely.” Claus chuckles merrily to himself. It will be his last chuckle. My fist tightens around my pen.
William, reporter for SAVAGE
This article appeared in CG Issue 55