Maul Santas (Part 3)
I went down to the local mall a couple of days ago to see how the Santa racket works these days. It’s like a production-line portrait studio now, with big signs showing all of your options. You can get any size print, you can get it printed on keychains or Christmas ornaments, and you can get a CD of low-rez pix to email to grandma. They take multiple shots and show them to you on their computer, so you can pick the one you like.
As a result, Junior sits on Santa’s lap for several minutes. It looked like that whole time was spent posing. I’m not sure when Junior got to tell Santa which cheap Chinese crap he wanted for Christmas. But then, after the posing, there are several minutes of the parents selecting and paying for the photo. This means their throughput can’t be more than one kid every five minutes, and is probably even slower than that.
I didn’t ask, but the way the whole thing is set up leads me to believe that you don’t get to see Santa unless you agree to buy some pictures. As you can see by the prices up top, Santa’s package is at least $14, but you could easily spend upwards of $47.
The take-home message for the kiddies is that these days Santa is just prostituting himself for money, like the washed-up Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights.