An article about a Santa Claus conven-tion in July certainly caught my eye. See, I’ve been plagued all my life with requests to play Santa. I used to have a hard time saying no.

I’m big, I’m relatively jolly and I do offer ample lap space, but also I’m nervous in front of big crowds.

My last gig was a newspaper party in New Mexico. I had been judging a Christmas light contest earlier that day and had wandered into what may have been a home with a drug-making operation. The fumes were intense. I did my interview and scrammed.

Well, my performance was better than ever. My editor even told me I had missed my calling – doing standup. But was it my innate talent or the (alleged) crack fumes? Who knows?

I just know that I eventually grew a spine and learned how to trade “ho ho ho” for “no no no.”

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