News director’s note: Last week, Santa Claus appeared on NPV’s Norby and Joe Morning Show for his annual State of Christmas Delivery interview. Below is the transcription.
NPV: So Santa, how’s it going so far?
SC: Ho ho ho, Norby, it’s going swell so far. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m not just saying that. Things are really going smoothly. There’s snow in the air, no major breakdowns at the plant and there seems to be a fair amount of leftover Christmas spirit….maybe latent is the word I’m looking for. Yes, latent Christmas spirit.
NPV: You mentioned no breakdowns at the plant. That’s good to hear.
SC: You’re telling me. I think the past 18 years I’ve been doing this there has always been something. When we tried computers for the first time in the ’90s and half our gifts were mislabeled…oh goodness that was a scramble when we found that out. And that fire three years ago that just about wiped out our entire inventory. Thank goodness that was in October, so we had time to recover.
And now with the mass influx of online shopping, we have to have a more stable list of contractors for those toys coming in from offsite for the big day. I mean, we just don’t have the technological capacity up here for some of the new do-dads so we had to go that route. It’s been a grind to get to this point but things really look good this year. I’m excited.
NPV: What has it been like to have both the in-house factory on hand and now to have the shipping and delivery wing?
SC: I won’t lie, boys. It’s been pretty rugged. I mean, we have prided ourselves for centuries on making everything — everything — for kids around the world. But we just can’t get enough staff to handle the technology. Let alone the skilled labor to handle it. I mean, you don’t see anybody asking for jacks or hammers and tacks anymore. At least not the kids. And we passed the day a long time ago when kids were asking for whips. I mean, seriously, Norby, have your kids ever asked for whips? I know YOU have. And I know you had an interesting Christmas afterward.
NPV: That’s the best adjective you could come up with?
NPV: How has the online wishing going?
SC: Huge. Just huge. Given how email and social media has been trending the last few years, we knew we were onto something. We just had no idea how big it would be. And it’s one of those things that has been great for kids, their parents and for us, too. I mean, my phone is going crazy — it’s been buzzing nonstop since I got here — but it’s so easy to bundle the gift requests, get them into a spreadsheet, break them down the way. And for mapping or load ratios, it really can’t be beat.
NPV: You gave us a behind-the-scenes look at Launch Day last year. Pretty fricking amazing.
SC: Yeah, I’ve been wanting to do that for a while. And you guys do so much for the North Pole region that it made sense for us to have you in first.
NPV: You know, what had me interested was your choice in launch music.
SC: Oh, you mean “Don’t Stop Believing?” Ho Ho Ho! Well, I know it’s Journey and it really has nothing to do with the holidays, but I think it just fits. It’s fun, it’s peppy, heck it’s a good ’80s song. It’s good for getting everybody feeling good for the big night.
NPV: Speaking of music, what’s in your iPod this year?
SC: Oh, well, a lot of the old standards. You know, Andy Williams, Burl Ives, Mariah Carey. They all have done some great work with the classics, you know, spiritual or not. You know me –I have a pretty hard time getting into some of the more modern, less spiritual stuff. A lot of the new stuff is so watered down these days. It’s not just about the gatherings or the presents, but most of the “holiday” songs these days focus on that and that’s it. Like they were afraid the actual meaning of the holiday would be offensive to somebody.
NPV: Tell is something in your iPod nobody would expect to hear.
SC: Well, one of my elves was blasting this hard rock band out of Texas —
NPV: ZZ Top?
SC: Ho Ho Ho, goodness no. I mean, I look like I could be in the band….no, I’m too fat…no, but anyways, he said he was jamming to this band called King’s X. He played me this song called Goldilox. Pretty good rock and roll, let me tell you.
NPV: You mentioned the Christmas spirit.
SC: Yeah, and I think it’s OK so far. It’s so hard to tell if people really understand the true meaning of the holiday, you know? I’ll gladly tell you I’m not it. That’s Jesus, and I think people — even those who believe — lose sight of that with all the parties and family gatherings and gift getting and everything. It’s pretty easy to zero in on the fact that the people on your list get what they want for Christmas or the “hey-look-what-I’m-giving-you-aren’t-I-great” stuff. There’s a much deeper reason, a much bigger reason, and it’s disappointing people need the reminder. But I think Christmas spirit is just fine this year.
But no. I am not the true reason for Christmas, although I must say I do enjoy the side benefits.
NPV: Some good cookies along the way?
SC: Oh, outstanding. There are some outstanding bakers around the world. Although I will say sometimes some of the treats are not suitable for Santa.
NPV: Food allergies?
SC: No, Joe. Pot brownies. I tell you, do not make Santa pot brownies. It happens every year. Somebody thinks it’s funny to see if Santa gets the munchies and raids a 7-11 at 3 in the morning. It’s not funny. There are tons of toys to deliver and Santa and his elves have to be of utmost mental clarity to get everything delivered where it needs to go. And if Santa’s loopy, well, who knows what could go wrong?
NPV: Ohhhhhh my. Santa’s acid trip?
SC: No, boys, but it’s out there. A lot. In some neighborhoods, it’s like every other house where something is laced or spiked or something. You just smile, say, “Ho Ho Ho,” and go on to the next house.
NPV: What do you make of that Santa’s frosting now making its way around the world?
SC: Oh, it’s just sickening. To have you name attached to a drug that just warps your brain and your behavior like that. It makes my heart sick. It’s bad enough that stuff is out there in the first place, but having your name attached to it like it’s a good thing…
NPV: What about Rudolph and Dasher? There have been rumors of a rivalry between those two now for years.
SC: Now don’t get me started, boys. They are just like brothers. Sure, sometimes Rudy’s nose is shoved into a toilet and sometimes I see a drawing of Dasher’s head mounted on a wall, but they love other. They are ready to go for the 24th.
NPV: We’re almost out of time, but where the post-holiday vacation this year?
SC: Oh, after we thaw out the Mrs. and I are headed to a tour of the Caribbean. She wants to see the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands this time. It’s a long time away, but we could use it this time.
NPV: So are we on the nice list this year?
SC: Well, Joe, I think you’re safe. Norby, well, that summer bikini party that you threw…I don’t know, man.