A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

25 December 2015

No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus

Below is the never before published "private" reply to  eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to The (New York) Sun asking if there was indeed such a person as Santa Claus.  This private reply was written by the paper's editor, Francis Pharcellus Church, and hand delivered to Virginia by courier shortly after the "cleaned up" version was published on 21 September 1897.
Francis Pharcellus Churd hand delivered by courier on behalf of the paper shortly after their "cleaned up" version was printed on 21 September 1897.

Virginia's beloved letter (suspected of actually being written by her father -- who is oft-times regarded as the "Founder of the 'Viral Video' of His Day") is known far and wide as one of the most heartfelt and touching dialogues ever printed -- predating "Dear Abby" and paving the way for the popular "Question and Answer" segments featured in countless newspapers and magazines, world-wide.  

This never before disclosed discourse is as follows:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street

No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

Forgive me for being so blunt, but...the fact of the matter is -- there is no Santa Claus.  Your "little friends" are right; your parents have misguided you...and you trusted them.  This parent/child bond is now forever broken and, sadly, one day you will probably need therapy.  And when I say "one day", I mean...you will need years and years of weekly therapy by a trained psychoanalyst, at the unheard of fee of $30.00 per session to rid you of your trust issues. 

Honestly, from this point onward, you will look back and wonder -- while you are lazily gazing out of your classroom's window, years from now -- when you are lying, spent, on your back looking up at the ceiling after a lover's encounter, or tomorrow -- when you are in bed, head under the covers, trying to fall asleep...those thoughts will creep into your mind and you will undoubtedly have flashbacks of various things your parents have assured you about over the years. 

Things such as: 

"Am I really an only child?" 

"The Easter Bunny - another sham to make me behave?" 

"Did my pet goldfish really safely swim out of his bowl to the East River to be reunited with his family that one day when I went to grandma's for tea?" 

"Are there really no monsters under my bed, especially now, because I'm lying wide awake in my bed for hours on end, and...for some inexplicable reason my father and mother always close the door after they shun my requests for a kiss 'goodnight' -- and, would they even hear my muffled cries for help if a monster got me?"

Absolute poppycock and pure hogwash, Virginia!  In fact...chances are that's not even your REAL name.  By that I mean -- yes, it's your name now...but, before you were adopted (and by this abject refusal of affection your "parents" deny you, chances are good you aren't even remotely related to them...or perhaps you are the bastard child of that aunt they never speak of) it was probably something else.  But, it might have been Elsie or Gertrude, so consider yourself lucky, in a way.

Lastly, there are probably no monsters under your bed...but this made up creepy fat guy in a red suit shimmying down your chimney to gain access into your house just to poke around in your sock drawer because he has a stocking fetish...well, let's just say the monsters are the least of your worries, my dear!

In closing, I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your life, trudging onward from this point, being hounded by the press and taunted by your so-called "little friends" up until the day you die -- as I'm going to publish your full name and address in our paper, haha!

Or as "Santa" would say (if he existed, but my dear delusional child...rest assured, as best you can in your bed, late at night -- the very same bed without the monster under it -- he certainly does not) -- "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

-- Regards, F. P. Church, Editor