November 22, 2005 by Colin
There’s a shop in my building’s retail mall, they jumped on the Christmas bandwagon last week. Garlands, wreaths, Chicken Little advent calendars. You know – things that keep in the Christian spirit and encourage a lighter pocketbook.
There were probably two triggers for the store reno: the seasonal promo package arrived from head office, and the building’s landlord had already decorated the common areas of the mall by November 2nd.
Chatting to the manager, I pointed out one of the most irritating promotions in the store (other than the muzak): a four foot statue of Jolly Old Saint Nick, red suit and all. At his feet is a red button: you press it, and he starts to sing Tinpan Alley Christmas classics, all the while dancing some sort of demonic and robotic Chubby Checker twist.
The statue, I believe, was programmed and choreographed by Harold Wormser, the youngest of the Tri-Lams from “Revenge of the Nerds.”
“I bet you’ll take the batteries out of THAT in a week,” I said.
“Actually, we only turn it on during peak hours … To set the spirit, you know …” she replied.
And thus a compromise was struck, a compromise that allowed a velvet jacketed, left-footed crooner to work his seasonal magic … without fear of violent retribution from the store’s employees.