Talkie settles down for a natter with Waxworld's very own Father Christmas.

Name: Santa Claus Santa Claus Mk4
Occupation: International Courier
Qualifications: Full beard, rosy cheeks, enormous sack
Distinguishing Marks: See above
General Rimmer's Notes: A rotten soldier who needs licking into shape. Insists on gift-wrapping each bullet individually before firing (the only way I could convince him to shoot the enemy was to look at it as super-express present delivery). Good for morale - at least if you like sitting on someone's knee and telling them what you want for Christmas - but unlikely to be promoted thanks to his unwillingness to drive a tank unless it's led by a reindeer with a German name and a nasal headlamp.

Happy Christmas Santa, would you like some toast?

Well ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas to you, young toaster. What's that you say, some toast?

Yes, would you like some toast? Or how about a crumpet?

Well, in all honesty I'd prefer a lovely mince pie and a glass of sherry.

Santa Claus

Um... toasted mince pie?

Why not.

Ah - sorry, we've run out. 'Tis the season and all that...

Absolutely. Why don't you ask me a question instead.

Very well - I imagine that, back when Waxworld was an operating theme park, this was a busy time of year for you.

Oh yes. Contrary to popular opinion, there are more than 12 days of Christmas. The season actually begins in February.

You mean 'ends'...

No, no. Back in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, devious marketing departments worked a yearly plan to bring the Christmas shopping season forward another few days. By the twenty-third century, you'd be seeing tinsel and angels up everywhere from just after Valentine's Day.

Plus it's not just the lovely patrons of Waxworld. Delightful though the families were - with their screaming children, moaning parents, incontinent grandmothers and half-eaten lollies that stick to your beard - my work actually lasts all year.

Really? How's that?

Oh Toaster, where do you think all those delightful toys come from?


Certainly not! For most of the year I am hard at work at the North Pole, supervising the elves.

Are you sure about that?

Certainly. It's just so sad that the cold up there affects my memory so badly. I'm told I have a most unfortunate condition where drops in temperature cause a form of amnesia. Most distressing.

Here's what I do recall. I know the Waxworld staff used to come and get me at some point in January, I remember being packed into a wooden transport vessel...and then I remember arriving back on Waxworld in the same vessel ready to entertain the children over another festive period.

Santa Claus

Of course, the manager was kind enough to fill me in on that year's work - whether the elves had hit their targets, that the reindeers had kept in training. But it would be so lovely to remember all that hard work. What are you laughing at?

Me? Oh, nothing. I'm just...very merry. He he. So, you think you're the actual, real Santa Claus?

Well now, if I wasn't it would be a bit ridiculous of me to dress up like this now, wouldn't it?

I guess so.

And who else has a wonderfully bushy beard like mine?

Brian Blessed?

Apart from him.

No, no, I see your point. Yes, the only other possible explanation would be if you were an artificially created waxdroid, designed to play a mythical character in one area of a giant theme park.

Well exactly.

I suppose it's a bit of a change of pace now, preparing to fight the forces of evil with a machine gun?

Not at all. I remember Mrs Claus once said to me -

There's a Mrs Claus?

But of course! She lost an eye during the storming of Horror World - the Mummy got her - but she bounced right back. Tough woman Mrs Claus. Impressive knees.


Her motto was always 'Death or glory', and I think that's what my job is all about. Sure, right now it's being put to use mowing down hoards of the most evil people in history - Nazis, Klan members, movie studio executives - but it's very much the philosophy of everything we do.

Even the gift-giving?

Especially the gift-giving!

Sorry, I'm not seeing how 'Death or glory' applies...

Well, you find me any other phrase that's gonna convince me to get my huge backside down billions of chimneys universe-wide in one night.

'Universe' wide?

Santa Claus

It's a bigger job now than ever. Back in the Seventeenth century, it was so much easier. Smaller towns, lower population - of course, the black death was keeping up the infant mortality rate, so that helped - but these days, we have kiddies living on moons around Jupiter, Saturn...I even hear some mug bought a place on Pluto, and that doesn't even have a breathable atmosphere!

I suppose that would add a few miles to the journey.

It's all such an effort. It helps that technology has improved - my 'naughty or nice' list has become so much more manageable since I got my iPod.

Look, I'm sorry, I have to do this. Can I tell you something?

Certainly. But do hurry, I've got the sleigh on a meter.

No you haven't.

Excuse me?

Well, with the best will in the wax-world, you're not the real Santa Claus, you're a waxdroid of him.

Well, what of it? Doesn't mean I don't have a beautiful sleigh and a team of magical reindeer.

Yes it does. That's exactly what it means.

Yes, okay...

You, sir, are a theme park attraction. Let me assure you that the real Santa Claus does not, as far as we know, accept money for posing with children, nor does he go back to the factory once a month for a tune up.

You can be very cruel, Toaster. That hurt me deeply. Nevertheless, I will think over what you have said. Perhaps I am only a Santa simulation. Perhaps I have been deluding myself all this time. You had to be cruel to be kind.


Anyway, forgive and forget - that's what the elves always say.

Thank you, Santa. One final question - would you like some toast?