The results are in: Santa's doing a good job

Art Buchwald

December 26, 1990|By Art Buchwald

THE ABC, NBC and CBS polls on Santa Claus have just come out, and they indicate that his popularity has not diminished. Here are some of the results:

Eighty-five percent of all the people thought that Santa Claus was doing a good job.

Ten percent disagreed.

Five percent had no opinion because they hadn't read the papers.

Do you believe Santa Claus could do a better job with the recession than, let's say, Alan Greenspan?

The majority did not blame Santa Claus for the recession, but 40 percent felt that if Santa Claus was in charge of the Federal Reserve Bank he'd make sure that the money got to where it was supposed to go.

How many people blamed Christmas for the recession?

Nearly 100 percent of all retailers affected by the holiday season disaster said that they would have been better off without Christmas this year.

In order to economize on the high costs, it has been suggested that Santa drop at least four reindeer from the sled. What do you think?

Forty-five percent felt that this might impede deliveries.

Forty percent said that it was OK to drop more.

Fifteen percent suggested that instead of cuts, Santa should charge a delivery fee to pay for the cost of getting the packages to the correct chimneys.

One question that seemed to split the country was whether there should be a mandatory age for Santa Claus' retirement.

Fifty percent answered that Santa should quit at 65 to give a younger person from the Harvard Business School an opportunity to take the position.

Forty-five percent said that Santa should stay as long as he wants to.

Five percent felt that he is too fat and should start jogging daily if he wants to stay in the Christmas business.

Do you approve or disapprove of Santa Claus's staff?

Thirty-five percent approved and 45 percent disapproved. Some remarks were "Every time Santa says 'Ho, Ho, Ho,' someone in the North Pole announces that he misspoke." "Santa's elves never return telephone calls."

More people think of Santa Claus as having a good effect on children rather than a bad one.

When asked, "If you had the choice of having an Iraqi volleyball team, the KGB string quartet or Santa Claus over to dinner, which one would you choose?" more than 72 percent chose the bearded guy in the red hat.

When faced with the question, "What did they like the least about Santa?" the majority replied, "He didn't warn us about the savings & loan scandals." A further query about what Santa had to do with the scandals brought the response, "Every savings and loan manager that lost his bank said at the height of the boom, 'I am Santa Claus and I would like to help you.' "

Santa Claus was asked about the poll, and he said, "I don't believe in surveys. If you do right by the people, they will follow you. I'm not saying that this is the greatest Christmas I've ever had, nor am I saying that it's the worst. But I know from my own experience that more people had a good time this year than had a bad time. The only trouble is that there was more talk about everyone having a bad time than a good time, and that's why most polls are for the birds."

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