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Vanstone: More cajoling than carolling in Santa’s workshop



#Vanstone #cajoling #carolling #Santas #workshop

Regina Chief-Put up sports activities editor Rob Vanstone conducts his annual holiday-season interview with Santa Claus, who’s unusually reluctant.

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NORTH POLE — Santa Claus isn’t coming to city.

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“I’m taking a vet day,” he explains to start our annual holiday-season interview.

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“However don’t fear — I’ll nonetheless get the psychological reps.”

Ordinarily, Santa’s sleigh would elevate off on Christmas Eve, when a whirlwind world-wide tour would start.

Not this yr.

“You must perceive,” explains Santa, a greybeard from each perspective. “I’m 1,750 years outdated, so I’ve been round almost so long as Joe Biden.

“The grind has taken its toll. I don’t get round like I used to, so it’s time for some load administration. And I don’t must inform you what a ache it’s if you fly wherever lately.”

I can solely concur. In spite of everything, attempt flying from Regina to Winnipeg — by way of Calgary! — and picture the intricacies when the last word vacation spot is the North Pole!

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And now, having lastly reached Santa’s workshop, I uncover that the entire gig is off. I imply, come on!

“Cease complaining,” he says. “I’ve given you an unique — and it’s a biggie. It’s the ONE present that anybody will obtain from me this yr.

“Now, please, go away me alone.”

B-b-b-b-but … I got here all this (sniffle) approach for (sniffle) an interview (honk).

Out of the blue, relievedly, there’s proof of jolly ol’ Saint Nick. He smiles, albeit just a bit, and acquiesces.

“5 minutes,” he says. “I’ll provide you with 5 minutes.”


LEADER-POST: Forgive my incredulity, however you’re required to work solely sooner or later per yr — and now you’re taking that sooner or later off?! How is that this even remotely justifiable?

SANTA CLAUS: OK, right here’s the deal. I’m taking all the warmth for this one, however the actual drawback is the reindeer. The way in which issues have gone these days, I can really relate to Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo. There was an entire lack of assist in entrance of me. I’ve had all types of hassle with Blitzen. The complete group of reindeer has seen its finest days. They’ll’t do the heavy lifting anymore. If we had been to journey tomorrow, there can be a number of thousand luggage of presents — each British prime minister feels entitled to a gift, so this has change into unmanageable — and never almost sufficient elevate. Too many sacks!

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L-P: So it’s a labour concern?

SANTA: Completely, so there’s one other scoop for you. There’s one thing incorrect with Rudolph, and he’s so beloved that I don’t need his status to endure. Keep in mind when his pink nostril used to glow? These days are gone. We’ve tried all the things to pump some enthusiasm again into him, however we merely can’t discover a spark. Plus, I’ve simply had sufficient. My backup can deal with it. I’m finished.

L-P: However, er, you don’t have a backup.

SANTA: Not my fault. Blame the overall supervisor for that one. Shoddy recruiting!

L-P: Is there a work-around if the reindeer merely aren’t as much as the duty?

SANTA: I’ve requested a few of my finest folks for recommendation. My journey guide informed me that it prices $8,000 simply to take a chartered flight from Regina to North Battleford. No affordable individual would ever pay such an outrageous fare! And that’s simply Regina to North Battleford and again! I’ve to make it around the globe in a single evening, setting foot in all 197 international locations. I imply, not even Justin Trudeau travels that a lot.

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L-P: You’re off by two. The precise quantity is 195 international locations.

SANTA: Nope. Don’t neglect the nations of Saskatchewan and Alberta. I’m informed that this sovereignty factor is actual.

L-P: DING! (Roving reporter checks textual content messages.)

SANTA: Flip off your telephone! How discourteous! Haven’t you ever heard of Silent Night time?

L-P: Aha! Now I’ve bought a scoop for YOU! One in every of your elves simply texted me, sharing the view that you’re a fairly detached boss — one who has been heard to utter ‘I don’t care.’ And the way about this little nugget? ‘Positive, Santa did give every of us a $500 bonus, however that didn’t placate anybody. The working situations are deplorable — Elon Musk must be concerned on this, by some means — and there isn’t any mechanism for protest. The union drive failed to realize any traction and there isn’t any semblance of an opposition. I imply, there’s one Santa Claus, interval. The place else do you flip? And we’re all just about trapped up right here, on this out-of-the-way area. He shut down the bus service, so there’s nowhere else to go.’ Feedback?

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SANTA: Not a syllable. I believe we’re finished right here. I’ve bought an excessive amount of to do to place up with this nonsense.

L-P: You’ve actually bought nothing to do! You aren’t travelling this yr, bear in mind.

SANTA: Ummm …

L-P: Actually, what good wouldn’t it do to remain the place you’re? The Roughriders and Edmonton Elks, for instance, demonstrated in 2022 that there’s little, if any, benefit to be derived from being at dwelling.

SANTA: Nicely, now that you simply put it that approach …

L-P: And consider the kids. Consider the British prime ministers. Consider your legacy. Do you need to be remembered just like the 2022 Roughriders? Will this be a tearful story of one more 300-pounder who didn’t come via? It’s your job, your responsibility, to ship! Should you don’t do it, who will? You’re Santa Claus!

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SANTA: However I’ve bought to land in so many alternative locations in a matter of some hours.

L-P: Not not like a Russell Westbrook leap shot — and he makes $47 million a yr!

SANTA: OK, you’ve offered me. However I’ve left this far too lengthy and I haven’t devoted sufficient consideration to making sure that there’s a enough provide of stocking-stuffers.

L-P: I’ve a last-minute resolution — the Nation All-Stars! Simply cobble collectively a couple of billion CDs and drop them off, one after the other.

SANTA: You’ve solved all these issues briefly order. You’ve saved Christmas! Actually, I’m unsure what I might do with out you …

L-P: Why, thanks!

SANTA: … however I couldn’t be extra excited to search out out. Away we go! Ho ho ho!

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The sports activities world is ever-changing, as are the instances. Complement your regular weight-reduction plan of sports activities protection by subscribing to the Regina Chief-Put up’s 306 Sports activities Repair e-newsletter. Every week, sports activities editor Rob Vanstone will present further commentary on the Roughriders, Pats and different groups/sports activities of curiosity, together with a peek backstage. Click here to subscribe.

Take a look at our sports section for the newest information and evaluation. Look after a wager? Head to our sports betting section for information and odds.

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