Good Talk: Mr. Claus

We met up with the big man just in time for the big day

Jimbo Lawry, NATV Program Director

Do your Elves make minimum wage? Do they have any health benefits?

I pay my elves just above minimum wage… truth be told. A little extra for those little folks seems to go a long way. Health benefits? I, uh, I mean yes and no. More no. So, no.

What’s the weirdest gift request you’ve ever received?

A cheese tie. Not real cheese, mind you, but a tie made to look like swiss cheese. I mean, it takes a real someone to wear that sorta thing. Took my best elf a week to craft it.

Have you ever gone down a chimney while it was on?


Have the Elves ever tried to unionize?

I’ve heard talk, sure.  Water cooler kinda talk. A few of ‘em hosted a pigroast last year, wore some jackets they made up — Local 434. Hasn’t happened yet, but every few years, yeah, I hear talk.

Do the Elves have summer jobs?

No, they can’t work a full year. They’re kinda like teachers in that way.  

Do reindeer fly or levitate?


Are there any long-term health risks to Rudolph’s nose that you are aware of?

Not that I’m aware of. Like I said last year — he’s my one headlight, so I’m not much interested in having it cured, whatever it may be. I don’t know if it’s genetics, some kind of genome outlier, but I love that fella’s deoxyribonucleic acid.  

Where do you acquire all of the coal for bad kids, seeing as it is a reasonably limited resource?

It’s sometimes faux coal. Well, it’s all the time faux coal anymore. Dustless, lighter weight, not so cost-prohibitive.  

Any plans for retirement?

I don’t see it happening soon, but I plan for a few things.  Turks and Caicos, Greece, Milwaukee… y’know, someplace nice. Truth be told, I’d have a hard time giving up the fame. I mean, I work night shift once a year. That’s it. Once. And I get this kind of recognition?!? Hard to leave that sorta thing. Only second-semester seniors work less than I do.

What was Mrs. Claus’ maiden name?


Many parents don’t believe that you exist, so where do they think the presents come from?

There are 723,457 parents who don’t believe I exist. Most believe the presents come from a local or state representative… or an old family friend.

What immunizations are required to protect reindeer as they travel around the world?

I’ve gone pretty herbal in the last 30 or 40 years. Herbal remedies. I was a bit ahead of my time in that way. I get junk mail from pharmaceutical companies like you wouldn’t believe.   

Has there been a good child in Detroit?

Not in some time. There was a kid, Kipp, he was good. He might likely be the last good kid who hails from that region. Other than that… no other comes to mind.

Second-hand smoking has been known to be dangerous for reindeer. Have you made efforts recently to break your pipe smoking habit?

I can’t begin to get into all of that with you. If you have a pretty good headwind, you’re gonna find that most of that smoke is operating as exhaust in a sense. The reindeer don’t complain.

What are your feelings on the corporate takeover of Christmas in recent years?

I’d like the shops and stores to begin displaying the holiday around the end of August, but right now, the best I can get is early November. Of course, we have the Christmas in July takeover, but that is something that is still fairly fringe. If I had my druthers, we’d be late August.  My father always said, “You gotta make money, to make money.” Qui benefacit animae, baby.

How did you acquire such a strong monopoly on the December holiday season?

When I started, I wanted April. I lobbied pretty hard for April being that nothing much happens in that month. Wanted it to be the 15th. Then, the IRS submitted a request a day or two ahead of us, so we thought we’d just anchor the holiday in December.  

How is your relationship with the Grinch?

He’s not real. The thinking that you think he’s real is troubling to me.  

Is your surveillance of naughty & nice kids at all connected to Securly systems?

It is. Plain and simple. It is. Why? Simple, again. You want the best. You want your system to run in the very best technological way possible — so Securly was the obvious choice. My ties with Securly run deep; I just signed on for another 7 years in contract. It gives Mrs. Claus such a sense of relief, I’ll tell ya. I like, too, the idea of signing in several times over in order to feel that blanket of calm and digital contentment. I’m Securly all the way.