ACW

ACW

Friday, 6 November 2015

When even Santa doesn't deliver .... by Fran Hill

Dear Santa

I'll get straight to the point. No good going through all that peace and goodwill to all men stuff when what I really want to do is make a complaint. 

Do you remember last year I asked you for a publishing contract? No, don’t pretend. You can’t possibly have forgotten, because I wrote a long, long plea, with all the reasons why I deserve one, in green highlighter pen and letters an inch high. The man at the Post Office wasn’t happy that I’d tried to shoehorn forty-seven pages into a ‘large letter’ envelope and in the end we had to parcel them all up in a Jiffy bag the size of a North American prairie. I hope your elves managed to carry it in and didn’t get back trouble like they did the year I sent you that list of George–Clooney-and-Johnny-Depp-related Christmas gifts I wanted. The Clooney tea towel you eventually delivered wasn't even on the list, by the way. A poor show. 

A helpful juxtaposition of lion to Jiffy bag to demonstrate just how big the parcel was 


And what did I get last year in response to my letter asking for a publishing contract? A box of strawberry creams - I don't even like soft centres - and a new ironing board cover. 

I'd also enclosed with the publishing-contract request letter a cheque for £100 which wasn’t a bribe, as you insinuated in your pointed reply. Do you realise that the world’s children would grieve to know you could be so sarcastic?  No, it was a charitable donation so that you could provide some deprived children with better toys. Little Tommy next door to me, for example, is one of seven and his family has little to spare. One year, you sent him a second-hand scooter and a jigsaw with three pieces missing. It’s for children like Tommy I sent you the donation and it hurt to have you misinterpret my motivations. I weep for children like him.

If you’re looking for ideas, though, I’d suggest for Tommy something to keep him quiet. He yells through the wall and I can’t concentrate on my Sudoku. Perhaps a gag? Or a few pounds of Thornton’s toffee, the kind you have to break up with a hammer. 

So, back to the publishing contract. I’m 53 now, Santa, and I can’t think of one year when you’ve sent me exactly what I asked for. You tried to point out that in 1981 I got the Build-Your-Own-Greek-God-of-a-Husband kit I requested but, to be fair, as soon as I’d built it, I realised that a cardboard cut-out of a Greek god doesn’t show off the six-pack the way a proper statue does. Fortunately in 1982 I married my husband and although he’s a bit short on Greek god features, at least he’s in 3D. And can load a dishwasher.

As I was saying: the publishing contract. Santa, I just can’t see why you’re finding this so hard. All it needs is a phone call from Penguin saying, ‘I’ve just read your blog post. You are the next Victoria Wood. Have you written a novel? Yes? Let me give you a twenty thousand pound advance.’

I’m beginning to think my infant children were right when I made them sit on your lap in the grotto at John Lewis and they screamed like banshees at the sight of you. I’m feeling some of that same disillusionment myself.

Yours very unhappily unpublished,

Fran I’ll-be-writing-again-if-I’m-not-satisfied Hill

(To see some of Santa's responses to Fran's letters over the years, look here )




Fran Hill is a writer and teacher living in Warwickshire. Her new website is here, she blogs regularly here and her first book 'Being Miss', a comedy about a day in a teacher's life, is available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback from her blog site

21 comments:

  1. You had me weeping into my tea. Brilliantly ant post.Thank you

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. I'm especially glad to have cheered you up as I know you're having a rough time of it. x

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  2. You don't half make me giggle! No wonder Santa doesn't have time to get round to me...

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    1. Next time I write, I'll mention you. He's such a cheapskate.

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  3. Bless you, Fran. You are a joy and a delight! Brightened my morning beautifully!

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Loved this, Fran. If I were Santa, I'd give you that contract...

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    1. Thanks, Fiona! Perhaps you could mention me the next time you write to him with your Christmas list ... a recommendation is always good!

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  6. Dear Fran,

    Ho Ho Ho and a VERY merry Christmas to you! (No sarcasm intended). I always try to stay merry. Never let the buggers get you down, I say.

    I’ve often found that when one wishes to make a complaint, a measure of goodwill is always essential. Have you ever contacted a call centre to resolve something? British Gas? Your mobile phone company? Bank? Try seasoning your conversation with 30 spoons of sugar if you want anything done.

    Do I remember last year when you asked for a publishing contract? How could I forget? Our four best elves that carried your ‘Jiffy bag the size of a North American Prairie’ are all an inch shorter - thanks to shouldering your weighty request. However, your long, long plea was extremely effective and certainly got a response here. The elves voted your 47 page rant as the Best Toilet Paper for 2015!

    Regarding your complaint of the Clooney tea towel that you received from us last year - that gift was personally chosen by the elves, after they all blew their frosted noses with it. Yes, the snot of elves is translucent. And as for the strawberry creams with the soft centre, they were made by an elf who, after reading your post for WELL over four decades, finally cracked, opened up his veins and used his own claret to make clotted creams for you. We did have a good laugh though, after you mistook them for ‘Strawberry’.

    Oh and by the way, your cheque for £100 bounced. Not enough funds in the account, apparently? That’s writing for you, I guess.

    As I am sure you are aware, for data protection purposes we are unable to discuss the case of your neighbour, Little Tommy. We suggest that you buy a few pressies for him yourself, and label them, ‘Love Santa’. We know that there are millions of deluded people who do that. And yet, did I ever once sue for deformation of character?

    And back to your request for a publishing contract... We did forward a photocopy of your 47 page diatribe. So far, no reply. You know those buggers can take months to get back to you, and in your case, well... we won’t go there.

    Yes, in 1981, we did send you the Build-Your-Own-Greek-God-of-a-Husband kit, in the hope that you would give up your fanciful and unrealistic expectations of an athletic and well formed, Greek lover. Knowing you as we do, we sent your request ‘upstairs’ and ‘The Man at the Top’ sent you your 3D dishwasher loader. It was the very least that you deserved.

    As for the accusation that your children sat on my lap in the grotto at John Lewis, that obviously wasn’t me. Do you really think that I could be in so many grottos at the same time? And due to the lewd practices of a few fake Santas, I don’t get involved anymore. That kind of thing gets me a bad name!

    Sincerely,

    Santa Claus

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    1. Ha ha! I love the fact that you took time to write this! Very good!

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  7. Amazing post, Fran, and equally amazing reply, Si.

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  8. Great post,Fran. I needed cheering up today, and u dun it gal!

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    1. Thanks! Glad to be of help in the cheering-up.

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  9. Brilliant! You and Santa clearly have a very special relationship. I would never dare to write to him in so familiar a way ;) Fab post with much needed giggles...

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    1. It's easy - you just imagine he's a headmaster you're thoroughly sick of and the words come easily ....

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  10. Loved it - and Si's reply. I don't think I'll go down the Santa route to find a publisher. Now where is my Writers' and Artists' Yearbook?

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