The Corner

The Fat Guy in Ann Arbor

No, not Bo Schembechler. He is deceased (and besides, he wasn’t all that fat). People like to send me stories from Ann Arbor, and about Ann Arbor. I don’t know why. Do I ever mention this rather insignificant little town in my scribbles on this website? Anyway, a reader writes,

I was attending a “holiday party” for an administrative division of the U-M [the University of Michigan, perhaps I should specify]. A costumed Santa Claus was present, and as he prepared to leave he boomed out, “Ho ho ho, Haaa-pppy Holidays!”

Now, this is a big fat guy in a red suit and a snowy white beard. He’s not pretending to be anything but Father Christmas. So I went up to him and said, “Hey, Santa — I think it’s okay for you to say ‘Merry Christmas.’” He said, “Oh, yeah. Sorry. I’m just so used to saying ‘Happy Holidays’ . . .”

Over the years, people have sent me notes saying that ushers in church greet them on December 25 with “Happy Holidays.” At Easter once, an usher greeted my own bad self with “Happy Holiday.” This stuff just gets ingrained, automatic.

Memo to church ushers and Santas: You can say “Merry Christmas.” (Hell, you may even be able to work in “Jesus” or “Christ.”) (Not sure Santa should touch that.) Memo to store clerks (for example): Better watch it. Or as Santa would say, “You’d better watch out.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More