Santas Behaving Badly

By Camden Swita December 8, 2008 Published in the December 2008 issue of Seattle Met

SANTA’S DIFFERENT LATELY. He used to shimmy down chimneys with a wriggle of his nose and drink Coca-Cola, but lately that nose has been looking awfully red and, well, that Coca-Cola’s definitely got a little extra somethin’ in it.
As near as anyone can tell, things started to turn south a decade ago. In a recent interview, under the alias Marco Mazzoni of Fremont, Santa began to unravel the sad, sad tale: The year was 1997 and, from the sound of it, Santa got involved with the wrong crowd. He took a trip down to LA with 13 friends in a “highly customized schoolbus called the Cyberbuzz” and participated in his first Santarchy, an annual event that’s since spread holiday sneer across the country and into the Northwest.
You may have already shielded your children’s eyes from the spectacle: Dozens of drunken Santa imposters parading around Seattle in December, giving kids mutant toys, clogging escalators in respectable businesses, and pub-crawling. “We’re not out there to hurt anybody or cause problems,” Santa Marco explained in a pitiful attempt to justify his actions. “It’s about creative mayhem.”
But nothing can excuse Santa’s behavior while attending—this time under the alias Rafe -Wadleigh of Tacoma—private parties for cash, not cookies. “Witty Santa hits on all the ladies quite a lot,” the raffish gnome confessed. “The goal is to make all the ladies feel special, make the guys laugh, and maybe get a few Santa’s Little Helpers, if you know what I mean.” Mrs. Claus was unavailable for comment.

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