But he forgot to check it twice, so he probably missed a few names.

A Green Lake reporter has raised eyebrows as well as ire by obtaining a copy of Santa Claus’s legendary list of 1999’s naughty people. While this reporter will go nameless (I don’t like to give free press to my competitors, for crying out loud!), his actions have sparked a great deal of controversy, excitement and panic among Christmasgoers dying to know which list they fall on.

The reporter claims he got a hold of the list through a source close to the Tooth Fairy. Through this source he was able to pull strings and connect with some disgruntled elves, who consider Santa’s expectations for children be good all year too high. (Another source related to the investigation says that the Justice Department may try to prove Santa’s operation is a monopoly early next year) They grabbed a copy of Santa’s lists, but the U.S. Postal Service lost the “nice” list in transit, leaving the reporter with the “naughty” list.

The North Pole has issued very little official response. Spokes-elf Twinkle said that “anyone can say they have the naughty list and try to make a buck off Christmas.” Other sources say, however, that Santa has ordered a full review of security procedures at his toyshop.

But the burning question on everyone’s mind is, of course: who’s been naughty? I was only allowed to ask about three names for free, as my rival is currently setting up a website (www.coal-watch.org) where people can check their names for a $500 fee (the fee will go up to $1000 in the last 2 hours before Santa’s ride). My first choice was President Bill Clinton, who was on there for misrepresentation of the truth. “Honesty’s pretty important to the big red guy,” said the reporter.

“Moreso than adultery?” I replied.

“I guess so. Santa doesn’t really know anything about marriage anyway. How could he, when his wife doesn’t even have a first name?”

My second choice was the Three Tenors, though the reporter forced me to pick only one. I then learned that Luciano Pavarotti had not been naughty at all in 1999.

“Some say Pavarotti actually is Santa Claus,” I said.

“Not anymore they don’t,” answered my list-stealing colleague. “He lost a lot of weight this year, and so his belly doesn’t shake like a bowl full of jelly. Now it’s like a half-full bowl, and that’s on a good day.”

My third choice was, of course, myself. As he scanned the list for my name I reflected on what I’d done in the past year: using the top rung of my ladder as a step; playing on or around the dumpster at the office; secretly replacing my friends’ coffee with Folgers crystals, and then again replacing them with sawdust… but I never got my answer.

As he neared the end of the list, the reporter-turned-entrepreneur turned ashen-faced. “Oh my God,” he said, “I’M ON HERE!!!”

“For what?”


Hmph. Serves him right.

Then again, maybe all those $500 and $1000 charges to his website will cheer him up.

Bah Humbug.

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