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A few years ago, I took our two dogs to a local pet super-store and had their photograph taken with Santa Claus. When my wife received the framed picture as a Christmas present, she loved it.
I had spent an extra $6.00 for two pairs of optional cloth antlers to put on the dogs’ heads, so they looked like reindeer. The photographer had to work fast once I got those things on, because my dogs didn't like them and started shaking them off immediately. In a matter of seconds, the antlers were hanging from their necks. Instead of looking like reindeer, they looked more like little cows with mutant udders.
Speaking of going to see Santa Claus, there are some things I don't understand about the shopping-mall Santas. Do little children ever ask, “Is that really Santa?” And what do you answer? Do you just say “Yes”, and live with the little white lie? If you tell them it is the real Santa, you better not shop at another mall the same day, or you’ll have to explain how there are now two Santas.
Of course, we all know the shopping mall Santas are actually part of an overt plan to sell photographs. So, here's a new twist.
Some year, one of the malls could get a huge advantage on the others in the area by skipping Santa and instead offering an Elvis tribute artist (can't call them Elvis impersonators anymore). Sure, it's a far-out idea, but it has some merit. For one thing, the mall would certainly get a lot of good buzz in the local press.
Also, there’s a wonderful supply of trained men out there who qualify for the job. These guys, already making a nice living as Elvis, can do impersonations of him at least as believable as those you get from the temp-worker Santas.
It could also save the mall a lot of money, because they wouldn’t need an elaborate North Pole Village. All it would require is an old Cadillac convertible, sitting on a low stage with a seasonal backdrop behind it.
Once every half-hour, 'Elvis' would play a Karaoke CD on a jambox and sing along with some Elvis Christmas songs. “Santa Claus is Back in Town,” his great blues-rocker, would be perfect. “Blue Christmas” would work nicely, too. Naturally, these performances would draw a crowd.
Then those pretty helpers would assist parent and child to get into the front seat of the convertible with 'Elvis'. He would warm up the youngster with some happy chatter, and then show how to use an old CB radio to talk to Santa back at the North Pole (where he should be).
After the child tells Santa what he wants for Christmas, it's time for the photograph. A camera, mounted about eight feet high in front of and to one side of the car, takes a wide shot that includes everyone in the front seat, surrounded by all that chrome and glass. It could be as much a treat for Mom as for the children.
In fact, if the guy is a close look-alike, I would gladly pay the price for a picture of Elvis and me — two pals cruising around in a Caddy… I wonder if I can bring my dogs?
Merry Christmas and a hunk-a, hunk-a burning love to everyone.
Phil Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister