"Entertaining fun for the whole family!" --Kitchener-Waterloo Record

 
Avery Saltzman, John Dolan and Siobhan O'Brien in Theatre Orangeville's production of Dear Santa. 2002


 

  Santa Claus and his helpers--including his Chief Of Staff, Algernon Gladstone, his foreman, Bozidar, his housekeeper, Octavia, and his elves--are preparing for another Christmas when a rebellious young girl shows up at the North Pole with a special Christmas wish. In this scene, Santa receives a visit from a sleigh salesman.
   
   
Santa: Come in.
  (Lou Flapdoodle enters.)
Lou:

Santa Claus?

Santa: Yes?
Lou: Well, of course youíre Santa Claus. Youíre sitting there, youíve got the beard, the belly. Who you gonna be? Pippi Longstockings? Come on. Santa, nice to meet you. The name is Louis Flapdoodle. Iím from the National Sleigh Company. (He moves to Santa and shakes his hand.) Your buddy, Al, said I should be here at nine-thirty sharp. Iím not late am I? Because my watch says nine-thirty on the nose. Look at that. (He shows Santa his watch.) Itís a Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer watch. So when I say itís nine-thirty on the nose, I mean it! Anyway, thank you for seeing me this morning Santa. Can I call you Santa? What do you like? Santa, Kris, Nick, Per Noel? Last guy I knew who used that many names was on the run from John Law, but thatís another story. So, whatíll it be? Santa?
Santa: Santa will do just fine.
Lou: Santa it is then. And you can call me Lou. Most folks call me Lucky Lou because Iíve had an uncommon run of good fortune where sleigh sales are concerned. I donít know what it is, but I always manage to close the deal. And theyíre honest deals too, Santa. Yes sir. Iím not a swindler. Iím not a charlatan. Iím not a fraud. Well, you know that. Youíre the guy who knows if weíve been naughty or nice, right? Youíve seen my work. Besides, do you think Iím going to try and cheat Santa Claus? Not on your life. Mama Flapdoodle didnít raise no fool. I mean trying to pull the wool over your eyes would be like trying to sneak a butterball turkey past you. It ainít gonna happen, Babe! Do you mind if I take my coat off Santa, because I work better when Iím unrestricted. Would that be copasetic?
Santa: Of course.
Lou: Thank you. Thank you very much. (He takes his coat off.) There we go. Thatís better. Cold up here. Well, itís the North Pole. Whatís it gonna be? Beach weather? Of course not. You know what itís gonna be? Itís gonna be sleigh weather. Thatís what itís gonna be. And thatís why Iím here, Santa. That, my friend, is why Iím here. Now, I understand from Al that your present sleigh has seen better days, is that right?
Santa: Well, actually I think itís holding up rather well.
Lou: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. And is that good enough for you, Santa? Is a sleigh thatís merely Ďholding up rather wellí, good enough for Father Christmas? I donít think so. No, I think you deserve better than that. I mean, my grandmother is holding up rather well but Iím not about to load her up with toys and drive her around the world. Do you understand what Iím saying, Santa? We cannot have Kris Kringle riding around in a jalopy. I mean, what is this, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Come on. Howís that gonna look? People hear something rattling overhead, they look up, they see your rusted out old sleigh bumping along, backfiring, paint chipping off. I tell you, thatís not my Santa Claus. No sir. (He takes a brochure.) My Santa Claus rides in a brand new, shiny, fully loaded, Rocket Sleigh. (He lays the brochure on the desk.)
Santa: Rocket sleigh?
Lou: Itís the top of the line, Santa. Itís the Cadillac of sleighs. And you deserve nothing but the best. You see what itís got here? Look. Itís got disc brakes, power steering, a sound system like you wouldnít believe, air conditioning--All right, you wonít need that. Weíll take that outóitís got a wide base so you wonít tip over when you land on those slanted roofs. And itís got a keyless entry system.
Santa: Keyless entry system?
Lou: That's right.
Santa: But, it doesn't have any doors.
Lou: Exactly.
Santa: Well, it looks very nice, but..
Lou: And you know what, Santa? I havenít even mentioned the most impressive feature of this sleigh.
Santa: What's that?
Lou: You don't need the reindeer.
Santa: What?!
Lou: Not so much as an antler! This baby is self-powered. Itíll go from zero to mach three in twenty seconds. I mean, you hitch the reindeer to the front of this machine, theyíll be getting a sleigh wedgie!
Santa: Well, Mr. FlapdoodleÖ
Lou: Lou. Call me Lou.
Santa: Well, Lou, I canít have a sleigh with no reindeer. My reindeer wait all year for this trip. The boys and girls love the reindeer. Why, they leave carrots for them every Christmas Eve.
Lou: So, now they can leave a can of transmission fluid. Whatís the difference?
Santa: No, Iím sorry, but if the reindeer canít be involved, then Iím afraid I have no use for it.
Lou: Well, now hold on a second. Hold on. Letís not do something weíre both going to regret here, Santa. I mean if thatís going to be a deal breaker then we can work around it. I mean, who says you have to engage the engine? You donít want to use it, donít use it. Let the reindeer pull the sleigh if thatís what you want. Youíre still going to get a smoother ride, softer landings, and a roomy interior. And hey, unless I miss my guess, a gentleman of your dimensions is going to need plenty of room. You know what Iím sayiní?
Santa: Well, thanks for pointing that out, Lou, but I think Iíll just stick with my old sleigh.
Lou: All right, Santa, listen. Do me a favour. Do me a favour. At least take a test drive. Will you do that for me?
Santa: No, Iím afraid I donít have time.
Lou: Itís parked right outside. The engineís running. Do you hear it?
Santa: No, I don't.
Lou: Of course you donít! Thatís how quiet it is!
Santa: Well, Iím sorry but I have to drop in on choir practice right now.
Lou: No problem. I can wait. Iíll be right here when you get back.
Santa: Well, I donít know how long Iíll be gone.
Lou: Thatís all right. Iíve got no place to be.
Santa: Well, the choir practice could take a while.
Lou: Take all the time you need. Iíll just read a periodical. (He picks up a magazine and sits.)
Santa: Lou, canít you tell that Iím trying to get rid of you?
Lou: I sure can. I hear that every day.
Santa: And yet you insist on staying.
Lou: Unbelievable, isnít it?
   
  Copyright 2002 Norm Foster

 

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