At a hastily called press conference held near the North Pole, Kris Kringle today announced that he would not be visiting The White House this Christmas Eve.
"It’s not that I don’t want to," said Mr. Kringle. "But after last year’s fiasco, I definitely know where I’m not wanted."
Mr. Kringle described how on December 24, 2007, his low-flying, reindeer-driven sleigh was forced down on The White House lawn by two F-16 fighter jets. Apparently his gift-laden sled was picked up on radar resulting in an emergency scramble. After a forced landing, Kringle was immediately taken to CIA Headquarters.
"It was awful," said Kringle. "They kept asking me why I had a beard, why I wore a red jumpsuit and why I had several aliases like Santa Claus, Pere Noel and Father Christmas. They kept showing me pictures of myself handing out gifts to kids and asking me if I was a socialist."
"Father Christmas" (by now dubbed Father Eid by his captors) was then flown to a Middle Eastern country for further interrogation. He was eventually transferred to the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay as a suspected terrorist.
"It was horrible," said Mr. Kringle. "One minute I’m hanging upside down in an underground prison in Syria and the next minute I’m in an open-air cell in Cuba with a prayer mat and a copy of the Koran."
By mid-summer, it was apparent to his captors that Kringle was not a terrorist or an Islamic extremist but rather just a harmless jolly old man who dressed in red and liked to hand out toys and games to children at Christmastime. Released on his own recognizance, St. Nick, as he is also sometimes known, was given airfare back to his home.
"As I indicated at the time," said Mr. Kringle. "I’ve got nothing against Washington. But unless and until things change, I won’t be bringing any gifts to The White House this year."
As luck would have it, change is on the horizon but not soon enough for this year’s reindeer flight.
"I’m given to understand that by next Christmas there’ll be a new family in that house," said Kringle. "And that they have two little girls who apparently don’t mind sitting down with no preconditions to talk with long-bearded gentlemen in funny red clothing. At least that’s the scuttlebutt at the North Pole."