Last Bit of Self-Pimpery For the Season

We’re now getting to the point where if you want to take advantage of my offer to sign and personalize books for you through my local bookseller, and have them get to you near the actual Christmas holiday, you need to put those orders in, oh, now (i.e., today and tomorrow). I’ll still be signing books after that (through the rest of 2008, in fact), but I expect most people want to time their gifts to the holidays. So: Hurry, time is a-tick, tick, tickin’.

As a Matter of Fact

Yes, I have seen today’s Penny Arcade. No need to send any more e-mail about it. I mean, as if I don’t read PA.

I’ve seen today’s Heretical Ideas, too. Apparently it’s a good day to be book-checked.

How You Know It’s Not Santa

Hey, kids! This time of year you see lots of portly men with beards and red suits claiming to be the one and only Santa Claus. But as we all know, only one of them can possibly be telling the truth. How can you tell the real one from all the fakes? The following list should help you spot the impostors. Print it out and keep it with you at all times!

You know he’s not Santa if:

• Instead of a booming “Ho Ho Ho,” his laugh is a high-pitched, asthmatic wheeze.

• When you ask him if he’s really Santa, he says “the script tells me to say ‘yes.'”

• His beard smells like your Uncle Dave’s glaucoma medicine.

• He says that the names of his reindeer are Randolph, Datsun, Ketchup, Grumpy, Sneezy and Johnnie Walker Red.

• He’s unamused when you note that usually, when an older gentleman starts putting random children on his lap, the police make him wear a tracking device.

• He explains he’s not really fat, he just has cirrhosis.

• He says that he doesn’t live at the North Pole anymore because that bitch Mrs. Claus got the house in the divorce settlement.

• He keeps tipping his cigarette ashes into the Salvation Army pot.

• His elves have prison tattoos.

• He asks if you’d like to try some of his Prancer jerky.

• His jingly red cap falls off, revealing a yarmulke.

• He asks for your address, the location of your tree, whether your dad has a gun, and then reminds you to leave a door unlocked on Christmas Eve, because he’s gotten too big to slide down chimneys.

• He tells your mom that if she comes back around after the mall closes, he’ll be happy to stuff her stocking.

• Santa’s suit is made of scarlet leather, it’s missing its butt, and he’s being led around on a leash by a shirtless elf.

• He describes the Baby Jesus as “the competition.”

• He says that the reason he can visit the homes of all the good kids in the world in one night is that most kids are in fact little goddamn brats.

• Santa’s beard is fake, and so is his leg.

• You see him in the parking lot and discover his “sleigh” is really a ’93 Toyota Corolla.

• He burps in your face and calls it a “jingle belch.”

• Instead of saying “Merry Christmas” he shouts “Happy Life Day” and then screams like a Wookiee.