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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Naughty and nice in paradise

En route to Stockholm, I stopped off at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California to attend the 21 January wedding of DP, one of my college roommates. Nothing like a little oceanside SoCal in January. A bit chilly in Montreal, but balmy like anything in Long Beach. Very civilized.

A number of people have pointed out to me that Long Beach seems a bit out of the way if one is headed from Montréal to Stockholm.

Big red arrows and snide remarks are always welcome chez moi.

I'm a firm believer that one ought to attend weddings if at all possible. These days it often seems as though there's a certain tendency toward the serial rather than the faithful when it comes to matrimony, but weddings remain singular occasions. Absent the excuse of a bona fide hospital visit or act of God, you really ought to attend--especially to honor anyone you actually refer to as a "good friend."

As expected, the wedding was wonderful in that way that weddings are.

I always cry at weddings. For once, I'm being completely serious.

The bride was radiant, the groom entirely contented, and the Santas authentically bearded. (Wait for double-take... wait for it.) Yes, you read right. Santas. Beared ones. Two doors down we had a meeting of...

Amalgamated? You mean there used to be more than one of these clubs?

The Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas--AORBS to those in the know--in sunny Southern California, gettin' their groove on. Believe it, Grasshopper. There's way more than just one Santa, and they evidently like to get together and let it all hang out.

All beards verified as real. No horsepucky.

I don't know about you, but I've always wondered how Santa knows about the whole naughty and nice thing. Not so much how he knows what you've been doing, but how he knows the difference between good behavior and bad behavior. Turns out the Santa Man gets his street cred on naughty from occasionally crossing over to the dark side.

Man, that's an awesome Santa costume you've--hey, wait a second. Are you smoking?!? What kind of a Santa outfit are you people running here, anyways? And where's Rudolph?

In spite--or perhaps because--of the fact that it was in all ways utterly surreal, the Santa convention provided several hours of entertainment for me and my friend MM.

Not having a beard proved only a minor obstacle to Mrs. Claus becoming a member.

L.A. definitely "keeps it real." Oh, yeah. Even M, one of the realest people I know, could hardly contain herself.

You know you've left Kansas when they ask you for ID and you show them your beard.

Oh, and you probably didn't know--in fact, I'm willing to bet $100 that you didn't know--that Santas sing the blues just like, um, everyone else. What do real bearded Santas not do?

Too bad there's no such thing as "singing the reds..."

Real bearded Santas don't make their own outfits, for one. (Though I suspect they do grow their own beards.) If you're interested in getting into the club, you simply must visit the only site "for the Professional..."

I keep telling people that if you look long enough, you can find anything on the internet. Anything.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Great post and great pictures. But even these pics don't do the real thing justice... Although, I guess it kinda makes sense. If you're Santa and you've been working hard all winter to get toys to millions of kids around the world, where would YOU go for vacation? Southern California, of course!