OK – Before you get all worked up, I didn’t physically attack Santa, but I did SLAP him. Let me explain – do you remember the “Pay It Forward” movie with the concept of paying good deeds ‘forward’ to strangers rather than ‘back’ to your friends or family? Well ‘SLAP It Forward’ is based on the same idea.
Social Liability for Actions in Public (SLAP) is based on the idea that although we have the right to act like jerks in public, it cannot be without consequence. The next time you see someone acting like an idiot in public, SLAP ’em! Call them out on it; let them know its not OK to act that way. I know people say you can’t do that now-a-days because you could get shot, but I say the fact that we don’t hold people accountable for their actions is why you could get shot. I’m going to be part of the solution, not part of the problem – I SLAP’ed Santa!
My wife and I were on the way to the doctor’s office, and as we pulled into the parking lot we saw him. Santa – standing on the curb with a sign saying “Kids Dental Group” or something like that (I guess business isn’t so good if Santa has to work a job as a billboard). No – I didn’t SLAP him for having a job, keep reading.
Although I’m not big on the whole Santa idea, he doesn’t offend me as a Christmas icon. I don’t tell my son that Santa is coming to give him presents, but I don’t mind if my son gets excited when he sees Santa at the mall. I would say I’m somewhat neutral on the whole Santa concept, but I am not neutral on what I saw that day. Santa was standing there holding his billboard and SMOKING A CIGARETTE! I’m not kidding, there he was taking a big drag off his cigarette for all the kids to see.
I’m not one of those anti-smoking advocates that believe the government should ban smoking from our lives to keep us safe. I even voted against the smoking bans on the ballot last month, but this is Santa! Like it or not, he is a roll model for a lot of kids. My son copies EVERYTHING I do. If I’m watching TV, so is he. If I’m eating, so is he. If I’m standing one on leg, so is he. What was this Santa thinking?
We parked our car at the doctor’s office and I headed for the curb to SLAP Santa.
“HEY!” I yelled
Startled, this kid in a Santa suit turned in my direction still holding his cigarette in hand.
“ARE YOU SMOKING!?!?” I yelled
“uhh…. ummm… No” He replied
“You’re SANTA!!! Kids are watching you! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING!” I shouted back.
My wife was embarrassed. She believes I should have quiettly gone into the dentist office that hired him and let them know of my complaint. I was overboard. I mean, I’m standing in the street yelling at an 18 year old kid in a Santa suit about a cigarette. On the other hand, if I had going into the Dentist office, what would have happened? The way I see it, they would have
a) done nothing
b) fired him
c) told him there was a complaint and asked him to stop
Option A would have upset me even more. Option B doesn’t help either. Option C is what my wife would have hoped for, but would the kid have learned anything? Or would he just go home to his friends and complain that some idiot ‘told’ on him?
I yelled at him. After my wife’s doctor appointment, I went out and apologized to the guy. I told him that I probably shouldn’t have yelled at him, but that he really shouldn’t smoke while dressed like Santa on the street corner. He actually said he understood why I was upset, and that he agreed with me.
I SLAP’ed Santa and I’m guessing he is better for it. And if not – it made me feel better! :)