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Friday, 6 November 2015

Reasons why Fran is anti-Santa at the moment

I posted a 'letter to Santa' on a writers' blog today and the readers there seem to have enjoyed it. So I thought I'd inflict it on you, too. Followers who've been around for a while will know of my long history of communications with Santa. This is yet another addition to the saga.



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


11 comments:

  1. When you churn out a post of this caliber, Fran, how can you possibly expect to receive comments? Your reading public is cowed by your brilliance. More proof that Santa is definitely falling down on the job.

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    1. Oo er. That's very kind. Too kind, indeed. I do need the comments though, otherwise I descend into The Slough of Despond and throw my laptop at the wall.

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  2. I don't recall ever getting what I asked Santa for either. I think I gave up the year I was five and got a walking talking doll and a pram instead of a chain driven tricycle like my sister got. I'd asked for books and colouring pencils.

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    1. I feel the pain in your comment! A chain driven tricycle sounds so much more exciting than a doll and pram. I would have felt the same.

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  3. Be afraid, Santa. Be very afraid.

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    1. I really wish I had that much power!

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  4. The old geezer really is difficult. I feel for you and your unpublished manuscript. The least he could do is toss a freelance proposal for an article in the Atlantic Journal down your chimney.

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    1. I don't think Santa's going to put anything down my chimney for years to come.

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  5. Could you bribe Santa with mince pies and brandy ?

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    1. Well, I can try, but it's whether they're around long enough for Santa to enjoy them .... if someone else should get there first ... ahem!

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  6. He's rubbish, that Santa. Maybe you need an angel, like in the theatre. Or failing that, one of the ones with wings and stuff.

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