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5:45 a.m. - 2003-10-17

I WONDER IF THIS IS HOW ROSEANNE FELT WHEN TELEVISION TURNED ITS BACK ON HER

Uhhhh...I'm not going to be on TV this morning like I promised yesterday.

It seems that the ... uhhhh ... "newsguy" ... that was supposed to be broadcasting live from our business double-booked himself and will actually be broadcasting live from a city 50 miles from here.

I spent most of yesterday trying to track him down, sending him two emails, leaving three voice mails, and doing the same with the producer of the show.

Finally at 2 p.m., he calls me back.

"Hi David," I said. "I'm just making sure we're still on for tomorrow."

"Huh?" he says in his imitable way.

I explain that we spoke about a month ago and he was supposed to be broadcasting live from our business and I was going to be on TV for the first time in a few years and ratings were going to go through the roof and television critics would be falling all over themselves trying to come up with new adjectives for my television presence and settling for words like "Sparklicious!" and "Fantastically Awesomeble!"

He stuttered a bit and said that his producer booked someone else after he had booked us and that he would call me back.

I resisted calling him a dirty damned liar because I had already spoken to his producer (unbeknownst to him) and the producer said that David books ALL of the guests on the show.

HA!!

Caught you in a lie, you dirty damned liar!!!

So he calls me back a few minutes later and does the right thing. He accepts full responsibility for the screw-up, apologizes profusely and says they're scrambling to find a spot somewhere on their five separate news programs to put us on there somewhere.

He calls me back and they've found a slot.

5:55 a.m.

It's a take it or leave it situation that I had no other alternative but to take.

Sure, I could have went with another TV station and their shows.

But nobody watches their shows.

So I scheduled two of the ladies at work to go to the studio this morning WITHOUT ME AS SANTA and do a 2-3 minute blurb.

They were just on and did great.

But it was kind of funny ... one of the ladies had never been on television before and PROMISED me that she would not say "uhhh" or "ummmm" on television because she HATED people that did that.

I counted her saying it four times.

And giggled each time.


But this doesn't change anything for Saturday ... I'm still playing Santa at a big festival here in town.

I'm a bit apprehensive about this.

Y'see ... from all I've seen about this mythical legend ... he's a jolly, compassionate man.

Whereas I'm a disgruntled cynical bastard.

I've been practicing my "Ho! Ho! Ho!" in the car and shower, but I can't imagine it doing anything more than scaring the shit out of kids.

Luckily for me, the Santa suit that somebody has loaned me comes with directions.

Yep.

Directions on how to be Santa.

I shall share them with you now.

GETTING INTO THE SANTA MOOD

No one ever saw a glum Santa. Wear a smile. Be alert and move with the self-assured ease of a large yet well-coordinated man. Don't be a bump on a log. Santa is no slob. Move about. Talk and act as though you like people, especially children. You really do, you know. Whether the gifts Santa is handing out are candy canes or something much more valuable ... give with gusto! Santa is a cheerful giver, he enjoys giving. There! You're all dressed up and ready to go! You look great! Happy Santaing!

Okay.

I have to smile for more than two hours non-stop.

This means ... someone's getting shot at the end of those two hours.

And here's a news flash for the kids coming to see Santa tomorrow ... Santa IS a slob.

I'll be lucky if these freakin' pants stay up the whole time under Santa's massive girth.

"Talk and act as though you like people".

Huh?

How the hell do you do that?

"Hi! I like you! And that person over there! And that hot blonde mama over there! Someone go tell her to come sit on Santa's lap!"

"Give with gusto!"

I think I'll have some candy canes to give out. Yes, they're cheap pieces of crap. But I have to act like they're the best cheap pieces of crap these kids are ever going to get.

"KIDS!! Check it out!! Here's some of the greatest goddamned Candy Canes your ass will ever lick!! YEAH!!!"

Sorry.

But I get the feeling I'll go down as the world's worst Santa ever.

Naturally, I'll have some photos for you from this wacky excursion on Monday.

Have a good weekend kids.

HAVE A FUCKING CANDY CANE!!!

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