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December 02, 1962 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-12-02

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Senate Committee Probes Activities of Santa




(EDITOR'S NOTE: The Daily's city
editor and his alter ego have an un-
canny knack for finding St. Nick
in political trouble. This year isno
Special To The Daily
Christmas Eve, even in this, the
remotest of all settlements in the
Great State of Michigan.
And it is here that seven mem-
bers of the Senate have collected
themselves, in the dead of night,
in an attempt to either expose or
uphold that elusive figment of
Christmas-Santa Claus.
With the help of the Air Force,
they captured him, as he crossed
Lake Superior toward the Ameri-
can border, and he now stands
trial before the Senate Committee
c.Legislative Oversight, facing
charges of violating the Sherman,
Clayton, McCarran, and Smith
Faces Inquiry
They are arrayed now about a
long table. The plump little man
in the red suit sits facing them.
Straight ahead of him is the
chairman, Sen. Bartholomew Jus-
tice of Kentucky, a medium fellow
with a pleasing smile and a force-
ful manner, who speaks with a
slow drawl but thinks with a quick
wit. Next there is Sen. Alexander
Courage of Mississippi, a vener-
able old gentleman whose reac-
tions have dulled but whose per-
ceptions have not. . s
Then there is Sen. Constance
Charity of Vermont, a matronly
little lady with a kind heart be-
neath her cold exterior. At the
end, we find Sen. Omar Wisdom
of Colorado, a ponderous old
gentleman whose oratory, though
long and flowery, has never ceas-
ed to entrance the Senate.
The minority members, who, at
the insistence of the White House,
have instigated these proceedings,
include Sen. Randolpho Bandido
of New Mexico, a tall, swarthy
character, with a reputation for
political chicanery, Sen. J. Wil-
liam Ruthless of Arkansas, a pow-
erful but inept legislator who has
often misadvised the administra-
tion on policy matters, and Sen.
Edward M. Midas of Massachu-
setts, who, at 30, is the youngest
member of the Senate (a fact no
doubt dependent upon his also
being a brother of the President).
Justice Triumphs
"I really must protest, gentle-
men," Santa implored, as two col-
onels forcibly seated him and
withdrew. "My schedule is heavier
than ever this year. Whatever this
is, can't it wait until dawn?"
Young Sen. Midas sneered,
"What is your game, old, man?"
he inquired. "This 'Spirit of
Christmas' nonsense...
Sen. Justice cut him off. "I
shall conduct these proceedings at
least, Senator," he told Midas.
"Accord me that respect whether
you feel it or not." The young
New Englander subsided, fuming.
"Mr. Claus," began the Kentuck-
ian. "May I call you that?"
"Whatever you wish," murmured
the red-suited fellow.
Illegal Operations
"Very well, then. Mr. Claus, cer-
tain members of the Senate have
requested this investigation of your
activities on the grounds that you
may be engaging in such illegal
activities as to put you in viola-
tion of various federal acts and
legislation. To put it more simply,
sir, you have been informally ac-
cused of-well-."
"Smuggling." blurted Sen. Ruth-
less. "And there's no doubt about
Sei. Charity gasped, and Sen.
Justice rapped his gavel. "That

will do sir," he chastised the Sen- New Mexico means," he explained
ator from Arkansas. smoothly. "is that we have no
"We are not here to do you ill, proof that, should there really be
Mr. Claus," he continued. "Rather a real Santa Claus, this man is
we should like to ascertain the he." ;
true status of your situation. Your /. "I do not mean that," Bandidoz
cooperation should clear this up sputtered. "You know damn well
right quickly." I-x-- -~",,-
Santa nodded, without raising Shut up!" Sen. Ruthless hissed.
his head. d w u iA flicker of a smile touched the
Sen. Bandido opened the in- lips of Sen. Justice: his Kentucky
quiry. "It is my understanding mndwas hard at work. "How are
Sthat annually at this time you,; you at going up chimnies, Ruth- .
cross illegally into the United +? less," he asked slyly.
States, carrying an undisclosed The Arkansan was taken aback.
and undeclared amount of mer- "What ever do you mean?"
chandise not legally belonging in "Just what I said. Can you rise<
the United States. Is this true?" up a chimney?"<
Yes? No? Don't Be Silly
"Well, I- Santa began, grop- "Why, of course not," said Sen.1
ing. Ruthless indignantly. "Even the
"A simple yes-or-no answer will best chimney-sweep needs special]
be quite sufficient, old man," Sen. yequipment to putter around that
Bandido snapped.I way." R
"I've always done it this way," - But Sen. Ruthless was uneasy.
Santa murmured. "For years and \ Sen. Justice had caught him un-
5 waware.
years." "e, etat ra
s Tat doesn't answer my ques----"ew knw ht h rel
"Tat en' ans ed "y ques-Santa Claus can rise up a chimney,
tin"Sn adiopesd D don't we?" asked Sen. Charity
you declare these goods in the4 .dn'weed
accepted manner or do you not?" sweetly.
"Well, no, but-.". ~ "Oh rubbish," shouted Sen. Mi-
"Wel, no, bu t d the' Newdas. "That's just another silly
"Ah, ha!" gloated the New nursery story. Alice also fell down
DepressionMa rabbit hole. I suppose you be-,
Depressionm bottht udl osics lieve that too?"
"And do you admit to flooding and as him about at bund stics e Wisdom rumbled softly,
the American market," Sen. Midas *Sen. g'st Cased
chimed in, "with this merchan- "I goan last years stocking "Didn't you-once?"
dise, depressing the price of Amer Test case
ican goods, so that American firms Sen. Wisdom interrupted him. into a maudlin and sloppy tear my khis co mittee ob ect to
cann compete with you?" -"Sant," he said. "May I call you session. Wenare hear to investi- ness?" Sen. Justice inquired.
"But, young man, I always-." that?" gate a menace to American secur- "I h hme? e.Bn
"There's no 'always' to It, Mr. "You, sir, may call me that," the ity, not to deal in sentimentality dido crowed. "How insane you can
Claus. Do you or do you not en- old man responded. and fairy tales." be, Justice! Go ahead and have
gage In unfair competitive prac- "Santa," rumbled the Senior Sen. Bandido, a bachelor and your fun with the old man." He
tices by distributing your mer- Senator from Colorado, "what to an only child, continued, "Yes, it strode over to the hearth and
chandise for free, in violation of you is more precious than any- is quite nonsense, this Santa Claus stoked the fire, murmuring to
countless fair trade acts? Answer thing else on earth?" business. Santa Claus is nothing himself, "Certainly misjudged Jus-
me: yes or no!" Santa's face wreathed in smiles but a figment of Madison Avenue. tice. On our side all along. This
Well, if you put it that way, and he drew himself up. "The We see him everywhere at Christ- should show that fakin' old man."
Santa said, in a tired voice, "I happiness of a child on Christmas mas. In stores, on the sidewalks, Sen. Midas caught Bandido's
guess I'll have to answer yes." morning," he said. "I have no in display windows, everywhere. spirit. "Yes, by all means. Let's
Ruthless Questioning other remuneration than that." He's nothing but a bunch of BURN the Santa Claus myth once
Sen. Ruthless took up the probe. "And would you say," Sen. Char- drunks who were lucky enough to and for all." He laughed evilly.
"And do you admit monopolizing ity inquired softly, "that a child's get a job ringing a bell for a week But Sen. Ruthless was appre-
your labor market in the produc- happiness overcomes all the dog- or two." hensive. "Now, I don't think we
tion of your goods? Have your ma about markets and prices and Sen. Courage glared at the New should do anything hasty-," he
workers any alternative employ- laws?" Mexican. "You do youahself proud, began.
ment than your shop?" Madison Avenue suh." he snapped. "How little you Lots of Laughs
"Well no, but-." "Oh, Mr. Chairman," Sen. Midas stand foah! How very little indeed. Sen. Bandido laughed at him.
"Ah, ha!" Senators Midas and cut in. "I respectfully request that suh!" "Where's your sense of humor,
Ruthless chorused, turning trium- the lady from Vermont not be But Sen. Ruthless attempted to Ruthless?" he jeered. "This should
phantly to Sen. Justice. allowed to degenerate this inquiry recoup. "What my colleague from be excellent!"
Bandido said, "It is clear that,
regardless of what kind of im-
munity this man feels he has, he
is an undesireable alien. I have '
in my possession a John Doe war- -
Wisdom, Courage No
' Now just a minute," rumbled There Is N
Sen. Wisdom. And Sen. Courage , . 4iher.I.N :.*te *
put in: "Ah don't recawl havin o
mah turn yet, suh."
"Tell me, Mr. Claus," Sen. Wis-...ce...ke "
dom began. "How long have you PW
been carrying on these activities?"'
For the first time Santa raised
his head. "A long, long time," he
said. r.
"Befoh ouah great nation wasB
liberated, would you say, suh?" in- To Spend Christmas Vacation
quired Sen. Courage.40
"Long before that," Santa re- (for your bike, that is)
Profit Margin
"And what personal gain do you
receive from your activities," ask- -et that Old W reck
ed Sen. Charity, speaking for the
first time.
"None, none at all," the old man Back on the Streets or. Next Year.
replied wearily. "At least nothing *r
"But you would say that you do
benef itin some way?" Sen. Midas
Spressed, catching upon the old a~
man's qualification.
Santa smiled wanly. "Yes, I do
benefit. Yes indeed I do." BEAVER'S BIKE
"Admits he benefits from con-
shotatSen.Jutie . - 605 Church Street NO 5-6607
"Seems ear-ut," Sen. Ban-
dido began. "I move-."

Sen. Justice smiled
"Yes, excellent indeed."


Sen. Wisdom stepped over to the
fireplace. "Santa, if you would
be so good to rise up the chim-
ney, I believe that would clear up
this whole matter."
The little old man looked from
one senator to the next. He seemed
rooted to his spot. "Come on, old
man," sneered Sen. Midas. "Let's
see you live up to your name."
Up Chimney
But Santa just stood there. He
seemed afraid to budge, looking
at first one inquisitor and then
Sen. Bandido ran out of pa-
tience. He stepped forward and
jerked the old man over to the
hearth. "Climb in, old man," he
hissed, "or I shall push you in."
Santa blinked a few times, and
then he looked around. His eyes
came to rest on Sen. Wisdom.
"You, sir, have honor," he said.
"I thank you for your wisdom."
And he shook hands with the
senator from Colorado.
He Rose
"And you, my dear, have charity
and a kind heart," he said, ad-
dressing himself. to the lady from
He nodded respectfully also to
Senators Courage and Justice and
then turned laboriously toward the
hearth. With a sigh that seemed
like resignation to the senators

as they watched him, he stepped "How did you know? How did you
slowly into the crackling fire. As know? He looked so normal."
the flames licked at his boots, he Sen. Justice smiled. "Normal,"
stood up straight in the chimney. he mused. "Yes I suppose he did."
Sen. Charity drew in her breath Then he laughed reminiscently.
sharply. Then he was gone. "I remember when a lot of inex-
_ nlinlp thin gs gapmt i nnitp nnr-

Sen. Midas dropped on his hands
and knees before the grate. "What
kind of a trick was that?" he
shouted over his shoulder at Sen.
To His Sleigh
Sen. Ruthless collapsed in a
chair. "I should have known," he
mumbled. "I should have known."
Sen. Bandido stood transfixed,
gazing at the place where the old
man had been. Then on the roof,
a frenzied tapping was heard, fol-
lowed by a swish-and silence. Sen.
Charity smiled inwardly and let
out her breath.
Sen. Wisdom strolled over to the
window. The moon was full and
the sky was clear. He gazed out on
the horizon.
To All Good Night
Sen. Midas stared incredulously
about him, then with a shriek he
stormed out the door, leaving snow
and wind blowing in his wake. Sen.
Bandido silently trailed after his
colleague from Massachusetts.
"Ah believe," Sen. Courage said
at last, "we have taught at least
two of ouh numbah that all that
exists cannot be explained."
Sen. Ruthless pulled himself to-
gether and said to Sen. Wisdom.

PaaU 'e gllts seemed C ULe nor-
mal and real to me-the Easter
Bunny, the Tooth Fairy."
Sen. Charity moved at last.
"Yes," she smiled. "I'd almost for-
gotten that."
"But," babbled Sen. Ruthless,
you admit there is no Santa
Claus, don't you?"
"Do we?" retorted Sen. Justice.
And Sen. Courage added, "In
the laht of tonaht's events, Ah
don't believe we can concede that,
now can we, suh?"
Sen. Wisdom turned slowly from
the window, where he'd been
watching a speck grow fainter on
the horizon. "Concede?" he in-
quired softly, drawing in on a pipe
he had tucked in his teeth. "I
don't think there is anything to
concede at all," he said.
Like a Wreath
And with that he blew out the
smoke. Sen.i Justice watched it, as
it encircled Sen. Wisdom's head
like a wreath. Then he looked at
the senator from Colorado and
said, "I see the old man left his
"Did he?" started Sen. Wisdom.
And then he mellowed. "I guess
he did."

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