It's happened again. In the constant evolution of the English language, there are moments that change our culture forever. The invention of such phrases as "You know" as an interjectory interrogative (I'm like, you know, going to, you know, go fix some, like you know, supper, you know!" have really slowed down the pace of American life. Other great moments in the evolution of English include the addition of new usages for words like , "Dude","Man", "Like" and "Inappropriate".
Well, listen up all you fans of politically corrective changes in the language (remember the attempt at substituting "hir" for the use of "his" as the standard possessive pronoun when you didn't know the sex of the person). We've got it goin' on this Christmas.
You'll be pleased to know that in the interest of interracial sensitivity, Santa Clauses are now being prohibited by the owners of toy stores, malls and department stores from saying "Ho, ho, ho". We all recognize that there has been a lot of uncomfortably negative recent publicity surrounding the use of the word "Ho" by radio shock jock Don Imus.
Apparently the word is a colloquial reference to women employed in a less than prestigious line of public service.
Santa Clauses now have been instructed to say "Ha, Ha, Ha" instead of the traditional "H.." word. One Aussie Santa has even been fired for refusing to go along with the switch.
Now, I'm all for political correctness and all, but having heard Santas out there going "Ha, ha, ha", I have to admit it kind of creeps me out. Frankly, it sounds like he's laughing at the children rather than with them.
I know, when I was 8 years old, if Santa had said to me, "Climb up in my lap little boy, Ha, Ha, Ha....", well I'd have been climbing up over the fuzzy red barrier and crawling for safety using the fake reindeer for cover.
I mean we might as well have Santas up there going, "Hey, ever played the 'altar boy' game - ha, ha, ha!" or maybe, "Pssst, kid! Ever watch gladiator movies?" I actually put on my Santa suit and tried out alternative laughs in front of the mirror.
"Hee, hee, hee," sounds too rodent-like.
"Hoo, hoo, hoo," sounds like a baboon (or Tim Allen when he's not actually playing Santa Claus). That's no good.
"Haw, haw, haw," is way to British aristocracy for my taste.
"Hmm, hmm, hmmmph," came out sounding a little sinister (...is that a candy cane in your pocket, there Santa, or have you been out standing in the cold north wind again?)
"Ho, ho, ho" is really the only way that sounds non-threatening.
Look this kind of thing has been tried before. Remember when Enco discovered that it's company name was some kind of obscene insult in French or Belgian or one of those snooty European languages. They did a search to find a new name that wouldn't offend anyone. What did they come up with?
A name which apparently offends nearly everyone equally - at least everyone who "counts" in the incestuous world of the politically correct.
Oh, well. from this Santa, a big old, a non-threatening, culturally neutral...
"Ho, Ho, Ho!"
And a very Merry Christmas, Hannukah, Ramadan, Kwanza, Winter Solstice and Fiscal New Year (the sacred holiday of all tax accountants)!*
*No offense intended to any person living or dead. The expression "Ho" is not intended as a comment upon the occupational choices, worth as a human being or personal habits of any woman, man or person of ambiguous gender. Anyone using this essay for the purposes of hurting the feelings of any person living or dead, their family, friends, lawyers or CPA's are advised that such use violates the implied writer/reader contract implicit in the posting of this work of attempted humor/opinion in a public space. May not be used without permission of the author, the RCIAA, ASCAP, Michael Jackson Properties, Ltd, Halliburton, Inc. and the National Association of Serious Tax-Accountant Yuppies (NASTY). Improper use of this essay will force the author to send his cousin, "Thumbless" Guido O'Hoolihan, the Irish-Italian enforcer over to your house to let the air out of your tires, to put a stink bomb in your mailbox or to toilet paper the trees in your front yard, so you better just watch out! (c) 2007 by T. King esq.