Dear Santa

It’s been a while – nearly a year to be precise, since we last communicated. Things haven’t improved at all in these parts – in fact, Christmas over here looks pretty bleak, what with the global financial crisis adding to our woes. You must know that the ‘war’ is far from over in spite of the Defense folk ensuring us that victory is imminent for ever so long now. The coffers are like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and our enlightened government has, in its profound wisdom, added to the chaos by gambling on the price of oil, which sorta looks like we’re going to be screwed even sooner than we thought.

I remember you mentioning the hassle you had with the checkpoints and ‘no fly zone’ last year. Well, nothing has changed, so take care – although the folk in charge of security haven’t had much success with inhibiting small planes from dropping bombs on installations in Colombo, so the risk factor should be minimal. Anyway, we don’t want anything untoward happening to Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, which would really be a major bummer for you – not to mention all the kids who are waiting for their gifts. And speaking of gifts, I remember you had some outrageously weird requests from folk over here last year and couldn’t help wondering what they wanted this year. I’m sure you’ll get a bunch more from the same lot this year, plus a few more from other members of the cabal.

And speaking of cabals, there’s this guy who inveigled his way to being the head honcho of the financial establishment in spite of it being pretty well known that he was up to his eyeballs in scams – and it’s this very same scumbag who is responsible for the petroleum scam, so watch out for his letter. He’s sure to want you to fix things for him and his coterie of thieves – a ‘scab-ral’ is what they are members of, and a gift-voucher for a long period of incarceration is what you should put in his stocking!

The letters you got last year from Basilicus, Wimala, Merv, Ranil, Thon-the-Man and the others obviously brought them nothing they requested, as they are still very much ‘where they were’, in a manner of speaking. You better watch out that they don’t have it in for you this year, as some of them are pretty heavy dudes and have direct connections to the seat of power over here. There’s no telling how they will react to your ignoring their requests last year and since a couple of them could possibly arrange for those anti-aircraft missiles to be aimed your way, should they spot you coming. But then, as I said before, they haven’t had a very good record of shooting things out of the sky, and anyway they’ll probably all be asleep after the carousing on Christmas Eve.

You’ll be glad to hear that, in spite of the dire straits we’re in, many folk are still trying to get into the spirit of Christmas – as they did last year, and the shops are all decorated with the usual baubles and glitter. But this is pretty much limited to Colombo and some of the larger towns, whilst the majority of the others around the country are tightening their belts – and running out of holes to buckle up. The North is a morass – in all respects – and the East is in confusion as brother fights brother on behalf of the Goats that set them to it.

Sorry for such a depressing letter, Santa, but I thought I should let you know what’s happening since we last exchanged letters. Hope all is well up there and the ice isn’t disappearing too fast with all that ozone depletion above us. Take care and we do hope you will show up – at least for the sake of some of those children that have pinned their hopes on you. I guess it will be too much to ask for a bit of peace and harmony as we did last year – yeah, I do remember what you wrote in response to that request last year and about what the boss said when you asked him. Fair enough!

Anyway, look forward to seeing you, or at least hearing from you when you get back after your usually hectic Christmas.