Among the many joys of having a centrally located flat in Auckland’s CBD, besides waking up to marching bands and political protests on Saturdays, is that every holiday season there’s a giant pedophile Santa outside my window beckoning the young and innocent children of Auckland with his dodgy moving finger.
Although I’m not one to shy away from strange experiences in life, I take serious issue with this unwelcome guest outside my window. The finger’s motor echoes the sound of a meat grinder through my apartment 24/7 and seriously disrupts the comfort of my guests.
Also not being one to just go with the flow, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I simply climbed out my window and unplugged Santa’s nefarious finger. I had no idea what kind of madness would follow.
(In the photo above, my flat is the one closest to Santa’s belt, and my bedroom is directly behind his right elbow.)
After about two days of calm, all hell broke loose. It started with a cease and desist letter from my building manager simply stating “HEY GUYS. LEAVE SANTA ALONE. HE’S BEEN THERE LONGER THAN YOU.” Shortly after, everyone from my landlord to coworkers to friends of friends were pointing me in the direction of this fine piece of journalism by the New Zealand Herald:
Hunt for Scrooge who sabotaged Santa
Grinch-like neighbours are being blamed for bringing the famed Whitcoulls Santa to a grinding halt.
The finger-waving, winking St Nicholas that lords it over Queen St shoppers each festive season has been frozen in action several times since he got on to his perch this year.
The article went on to incorrectly state the finger only operated between 8am and 6pm. This is now the case, but presumably only because I gave them crap.
And by the way, I’m fully aware that dealing with Santa is part and parcel with living in this otherwise very cool building. That’s all fine and good, but anyone who bothers to check out Auckland Noise Control will know the law trumps any private contract.
And I got a nice big belly laugh from these final lines of the article:
Ebony Hallam said residents she knew liked having Santa there.
“For someone to do this [turn off the power] is actually quite hurtful.”
Another man described it as “a bit disturbing” that someone was unplugging Santa.
And once this article was published, some local radio stations apparently had a field day by filling their airtime with the Santa controversy. And local television news even ran a story. How sad.
So I have a couple of questions for the reporter of this story (Phoebe Falconer) or anyone else that cares to leave a comment:
1) Can we all agree this is a bullshit story to fill space in the media that would otherwise go to some other bullshit story? If anyone really gave a crap, the “hunt” may have included such tricky tactics like actually knocking on my door, or leaving a note in my mailbox asking for comment.
2) How was I actually “hurting” and “disturbing” anyone by unplugging Santa and reducing a blatantly unpleasant influence in society? The article itself acknowledges that Santa scares children. Common sense anyone?
3) Is this really the best use of our time?