Dec. 15, 2002: A Letter To Santa Claus

Dear Santa, I am a little tardy sending my list to you but, frankly, I thought the American Civil Liberties Union would have run you off the planet by now, being that you are a white male associated with a religious celebration. How the ACLU has allowed you to operate all these years is truly amazing. Maybe they leave you alone because you are old and fat. Even dauntless civil libertarians won’t mess with us old, fat guys.

I know you are busy, so I will come right to the point. First, I would like a gold star for our new governor, Sonny Perdue. He beat a political machine that everyone, including me, thought impossible to beat. He is going to be a good governor.

Please send all Republicans in Georgia an ample supply of liniment for the tendonitis they are suffering as a result of patting themselves on the back for Perdue’s victory. I haven’t the heart to tell them that their man wasn’t elected just because he was a Republican. What happened was that rank-and-file Georgians grew tired of being jerked around by a bunch of power-mad Democrats and found Perdue an attractive enough alternative. Had charisma-challenged Guy Millner run again, the GOP would have lost again. I also forgot to tell my Republican friends that if they start acting like the Democrats did, we’ll kick them out, too.

Speaking of Republicans, Santa, would you please deliver a crowbar to Trent Lott, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader from Mississippi, so that he can pry his foot out of his mouth? Lott touched off a furor at South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party. Referring to Thurmond’s run for president in 1948 on the Dixiecrat ticket, Lott said, “We voted for him. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years.” Lott has provided great ammunition for the media, the professional tut-tutters and especially the Democrats, who seem to have had no problem with their spiritual leader Jesse Jackson referring to New York as “Hymietown,” but are hyperventilating over Lott’s gaffe. Even if the Senator meant it, he shouldn’t have said it. Only Jackson and Ted Turner are allowed to insult people publicly.

I would like a joke book and a whoopee cushion left under the tree of all the proponents of old state flag. What an uptight bunch. I can’t believe that the state flag is as big an issue as they claim it to be, given all the other problems in our state. But a close reading of my mail says they are convinced that if the old flag isn’t raise again, civilization as we know it may come to a screeching halt. I have even suffered the ignominy of being lectured on the virtues of the old Georgia state flag by a Connecticut Yankee, of all people. I can only assume his great-granddaddy sneaked through the lines and fought beside my great-granddaddy in the War of Northern Aggression. If so, he must think that qualifies him as an expert on all things Southern.

Please give my favorite college mascot, Uga VI, an all-expenses-paid week in the honeymoon suite at the University of Georgia vet school and a good-looking female English bulldog to share it with. Throw in an ample supply of dog food, while you are at it. Nobody is more deserving than Uga VI. He has had a great year.

It may be too late to do any good, but send Hootie Johnson, the chairman of Augusta National, a how-to manual on public relations. Johnson has allowed himself to be totally out-maneuvered by a woman no one had ever heard of until he made her famous with his outbursts.

Finally, Santa, instead of the usual supply of garish neckties and cheap perfume, would you give the rest of us a little Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men? We could sure use some. After all, isn’t that what the Christmas season is really all about? I don’t think even that bunch of scrooges down at the ACLU could argue with that.