This document has been forwarded to you
from the legal offices of Hornblower and Hornblower, sensitive
materials contained herein.

Janna Hutz

Dear Mr. Claus:

In regards to our looming court date, I would just like to
clarify a few tentative matters on behalf of my client, Mr. Scott
Serilla, to rectify any lingering confusion over our impending
civil suit against you, SANTA Inc., and all there-in mentioned
subsidiaries or associates.

We regret that it became necessary to obtain the federal
injunction shutting down your so-called workshop and
freezing all your assets. We realize that the third quarter is a
crucial time of year for you and your employees, but we feel we
were left with little recourse.

To refresh your memory (which your defense team assures me is
mostly operational), Mr. Serilla is suing for damages and
back gifts related to broken agreements and general incompetence
displayed on your part between the holiday seasons of 1984 through
1996. Your shoddy work has obviously had a forceful impact on the
scarred, trembling pool of jelly that is my client’s psyche.
His ablity to maintain a relationship has been crippled, he hardly
ever makes deadline at his job and he sobs uncontrollably whenever
he hears “Good King Wenceslaus.”

For example, in 1985, my client requested of you a “Castle
Grayskull” He-Man play-set with working drawbridge,
detachable laser turrets and accompanying Battle Cat figurine. In
exchange for which he agreed to make his bed, continue eating his
mother’s ‘Santa Fe Surprise’ casserole and
refrain from thinking suggestively of Punky Brewster through the
month of April of the following year.

We have, of course, plenty of corroborating evidence, both in
copies of correspondence sent from my client to your offices at the
North Pole and a taped oral agreement made on Dec. 15th of
’85 at the Eastland Mall in Harper Woods. During the
conversation, you express your willingness to abide by the deal and
deliver said Castle Grayskull 10 days hence. Lucky someone had the
foresight to wear a wiretap under his snow pants.

Mr. Claus, I doubt that I need remind you that 10 days after
this conversation, my young client awoke at 6 a.m. to find not a
Castle Grayskull, or even the moral equivalent — the lair of
evil Skeletor, “Snake Mountain.” What he found was a
stuffed hybrid of a lion and a bumblebee, apparently called a
Wuzzle. We’re still not sure even what that was, but it
sounds simply terrible.

Certainly this was not the last time Mr. Serilla awoke to
disappointment on Dec. 25 due to your negligence and belligerent
indifference. In ’87 there was no VHS of “Harry and the
Hendersons,” and in ’89, no Huffy mountain bike. 1990
— you failed to bring Bill Laimbeer and Vinnie “The
Microwave” Johnson of the World Champion Detroit Pistons to
Mr. Serilla’s home to serve him breakfast in bed, then help
him and his brother Paul beat the DeWitt boys from up the block in
their annual Christmas Day Hoops classic.

And the list goes on.

Sound ridiculous, Mr. Claus? 1. A man of your age who chooses to
spends the majority of his time with elves and reindeer — and
a man who seems to find nothing wrong with regularly bouncing the
children of others on his lap — is certainly in no place to
make value judgements on the feasibility of the whims of young
boys. 2. You were under no automatic obligation to honor any of
these wishes, yet, without regard to plausibility, you had approved
all of them. Don’t write checks your red-covered rump
can’t cash.

Larger still are the lingering questions of ’92 when you,
allegedly in the depths of an egg-nog binge, sadly mistook my
client’s home for that of a Senor Julio Cerrila of Mexico
City. When my client awoke, his shoes were filled with lime candy
and there was an orange in his sock. Mr. Claus, if you think a
naranja is an acceptable gift for my client, then you are
sadly mistaken.

We trust that justice will prevail and that we already have more
than enough evidence for the Courts to immediately begin garnishing
your wages to repay my client. But just in case, we have managed to
secure several key character witnesses to testify as to your
incompetency and blatant disregard for the welfare of children
around the world.

Yes, your estranged wife, Estella Claus, was more than happy to
come forward with several key documents, implicating you in
everything from taking pay-offs from certain high-profile families
in order to fix the naughty and nice list, to your stint in
Betty Ford for addiction to hallucinogenic
“sugarplums.” With this near damning testimony, I
hardly see how the jury could rule in any other way, but our

Furthermore, your outrageous implication that my client may have
lifted the idea for this column from either “Miracle on 34th
Street” or an old “Calvin and Hobbes,” is both
counterfactual and slanderous, and you can eat it.


Marshall Stack, Attorney at law


— Santa settled out of court and now Scott gets to see
“The Return of the King” a week before you do. E-mail
him to see if he needs a ride at

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