Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa Claus meets Suzi Quatro

English comedian Andrew Watts writes in the Spectator about playing Santa and difficult it is in a large shopping centre in a multi-cultural area when there are two of you, plus elfs:
Father Christmas must never make assumptions: we shouldn’t ask about Mummy or Daddy when a child might have just a Mummy, no Mummy, or two Mummies; likewise, we shouldn’t try to guess the identity of any accompanying adult. ‘There’s no place for prejudice in a grotto situation,’ we are told. ‘Everyone is treated the same.’
And no one gets special treatment either — we are to act just the same if a celebrity visits Father Christmas. My fellow Santa’s top grotto moment was meeting Suzi Quatro; she sat herself on his knee, wriggled, and asked him whether it was true he only came once a year.
And then this:
The shopping centre to which I’m assigned is in north London, and favoured by Jewish women. The busiest time is Friday afternoons, when schools finish early for the Sabbath and boys in yarmulkes visit the grotto. (Everyone visits Santa: women in burkas bring their children too.) They are delighted if I remember to say ‘Shabbat Shalom’: I am a philosemitic Santa.
It is conceivable to be an anti-Semitic Santa: my father grew up near where Sir Oswald Mosley lived, and every year he would, very properly, invite the children from the village to the big house for a Christmas party. Mosley himself would dress as Father Christmas, but — for this was before the Coca-Cola corporation standardised red livery — his fur-trimmed suit was black.
YouTube doesn’t have a clip of Mosley as Santa, sadly, but here is Suzi Quatro in 1973 with “Can the Can”:


Kate said...

I enjoyed this post. A new perspective on Christmas.

Unknown said...

Ahhh, Suzi Quatro. In leathers...................sorry, what were you saying?