BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, WHERE THE WHOLE TRADITION OF SANTA COMING DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH A BIG RED NOSE ORIGINATED. AND IS KEPT ALIVE BY EVERY MALE UNDER PENALTY OF EXILE.One year, a long time ago, when the consuming nature of the shopping beast was getting the best of me, I decided to switch sides and took a job as a holiday Santa Claus at a ghost mall on the south side of Milwaukee. Forced to change into the fat red guy in the JC Penney's husky boys dressing room and operate the Polaroid photo thingie myself, I gave the whole schpiel, in my best Richard Nixon voice without ever promising the kids anything specific and at the end I would say, "Now I want you to do me a favor. You promise me to do everything you can to stay out of trouble between now and Christmas and I promise you'll get everything you deserve." The kids bought it. The parents however shuddered visibly. As might these folks if the same were to happen to them:WILL DURST'S 1999 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$TFor Bill Gates: Janet Reno in his dreams.For George W Bush Jr: A GED.For John McCain: Negative of that photo of George W dancing naked on a bar.For Hillary Clinton: Negative of a photo of Rudy Giuliani dancing naked on a homeless guy.For Rudy Giuliani: Hillary's long awaited shot on Letterman guest hosted by Ehud Barak.For Gwenyth Paltrow: A lifetime pass to the In-N-Out Burger.For Linda Tripp: A petard to hoist herself on.Will Durst says do not fear.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.