Saturday, 24 December 2005

It’s a Festivus miracle

Wrong times to push a good cause - episode #1032. And as an additional bonus you get one of the wankiest opening paragraphs in the history of journalism to go with it.

Jamey Schaeffer stretched her mouth open wide, showing off a pair of twin gaps in her smile. With a mouthful of fingers, she said she has no interest in two front teeth for Christmas.

Instead, she’d like a Barbie doll from Santa Claus — and Santa Claus only.

But a substitute music teacher almost came between the 6-year-old and a Christmas Eve spent dancing cheek to cheek with sugar plums.

Theresa Farrisi stood in for Schaeffer’s regular music teacher one day last week. One of her assignments was to read Clement C. Moore’s famous poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” to a first-grade class at Lickdale Elementary School.

“The poem has great literary value, but it goes against my conscience to teach something which I know to be false to children, who are impressionable,” said Farrisi, 43, of Myerstown. “It’s a story. I taught it as a story. There’s no real person called Santa Claus living at the North Pole.”

Erm yes. Fair enough too. But when you take things too far it can have, frankly, hillarious consequences,

Farrisi doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, and she doesn’t think anyone else should, either. She made her feelings clear to the classroom full of 6- and 7-year-olds, some of whom went home crying.

Schaeffer got off the school bus later that day, dragging her backpack in the mud, tears in her angry little eyes.

Now, we’re not here to endorse making children cry. Not much anyway. But you can’t deny there’s some logic in what the kid said next,

“She yelled at me, ‘Why did you lie?’” recalled Jamey’s mother, Elizabeth.

Roll on the biggest hatchet job paragraph in HISTORY. Even those Paxton kiddies who got stitched up by Ray Martin would rise to applaud the following for it’s farcially over the top tone,

“The teacher stopped reading and told us no one comes down the chimney,” Jamey said, curling into a ball on the couch, bracing her chin on her knees, her voice shrinking away like melting ice cream. “She said our parents buy the presents, not Santa.”

Melting ice cream? That’s a shambles. And here’s the teacher to try and dig herself out of the giant hole she’s in. Good luck lady, you’ll need it.

Farrisi said she considered approaching the school’s administration with her concerns about how to handle Santa Claus in class. Instead, she said, she decided to add a disclaimer to her lesson.

“Those same children are going to know someday that what their parents taught them is false,” she ex-plained. “There is no Santa Claus.”

I feel that every person involved in this scandal who isn’t under 10 is a complete peanut,

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Schaeffer was carefully thinking about her next step. She decided to make a photocopy of editor Francis P. Church’s famous response to a little girl, who wrote to The New York Sun many decades ago, asking the same question Schaeffer’s daughter struggled with last week.

“I mailed (Farrisi) a copy of ‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,’” she said, giggling with satisfaction. “I wish I could be there when she opens it.”

You sure showed her… Fools.

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