Sleuth has a chat to a departing Father Christmas
Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth
Sleuth: How come you are still here? Christmas has come and gone.
Santa: "I know but I’m a bit slower than I used to be, and heavier, eleven tons to be exact. Age you see. Hard to twinkle all the time, especially when Christmas is over, the markets leave, and the council takes weeks to dismantle me. Still it’s better than being shoved into that warehouse in Wythenshawe as I have been for all these years."
Sleuth: Does that make you sad?
Santa: "It has me in bits."
Sleuth: This is your eleventh year in Albert Square. Have you enjoyed it?
Santa: “It’s been ok but I have got sick of people calling me Zippy from some old TV show, or worse just staring at me and saying “What the fuck is that supposed to be?” Some people even thought I was a sort of festive Karl Marx."
Sleuth: Anything you’ll miss?
Santa: “Well it was nice watching the people coming to the market from all the small towns in the North and Wales, you know Llandudno, Leeds, Liverpool, and having fun. But…”
Sleuth: “Go on...”
Santa: “But Jeez, if I have to smell gluhwein or bratwurst again I’ll go mad. What is that overpriced shit all about? There was something funny though..."
Sleuth: What was that?
Santa: "There was this portly geezer walking around being filmed whinging about the markets and the prices and how it would be better to support the year round businesses nearby. Apparently he’s now an ‘internet sensation’, or so he says.
Sleuth: Ah yes, we do know about that...
Santa: "Gordo he was called. He had a strapline, ‘Are you a Manc or a mug?’ Not that he mentioned me... all he talks about is food."
Sleuth: Does anybody dislike you?
Santa: "Yes, the Town Hall, it keeps whispering behind my back saying people can’t see him properly and that he’s much better looking than a big bloated unSanta-like Santa. One thing is weird though..."
Sleuth: Go on...
Santa: "That Adam Prince from the one-man Manchester Shield hasn’t complained about me once, nothing about architecture or a corrupt city council. Something else too..."
Sleuth: I’m all ears.
Santa: "Nobody, as far as I’m aware, not even the Salford Star, has demanded that I’m brought down to ground level and used as accommodation for the homeless. You would have thought Andy Burnham would have been all over that."
Sleuth: Have you heard the bad news? I don’t want to break this to you but...
Santa: What is it?
Sleuth: This is the last time for you. The Town Hall is having the last laugh, Albert Square is needed for the refurbishment of the building next year and your days are up.
Santa: "Don’t worry, I know. I’ve been given the sack, ho ho, and about time too. I’m tired. I don’t mind the wind, I don’t mind the freezing nights, but I do mind the rain-dear. Ha ha I should become a sit down comedian, rather than a stand-up, get it? Anyway it’s not like I have nowhere to go.
Sleuth: What do you mean?
Santa: "Councillor Pat Karney is going to put me up. We’ll be a couple of jokers living together like Morecambe & Wise. He wants me to help him write his over the top press statements. I’m working on this one: ‘This has been the most spectacular Christmas Market success in the world, turning the markets in Berlin, Munich and the moon green with envy. It has contributed £80 billion to the local economy and brought in people from as far away as Kamchatka, Canada, Chile and Bolton.’ Right, see ya.
Sleuth: Bye, bye big fella.