Rants and Whimsy

Can we make better lies?

November 26, 2014

If we’ve all decided that we’re going to lie to kids and see what crazy shizz we can get them to believe, can we please work a little harder and make our lies just that little bit more complete? I mean, if we’re going do this, let’s bring our A-game. Because the stuff we’re peddling at the moment has large gaping holes and quite frankly I think it’s starting to make #TeamGrownUp look a little messed up, imagination wise.

Obviously I’m talking about the society-wide, acceptable lies we tell children. Not the lies of the “get into my van and you can see my unicorn” variety. No, no, no. More of the Santa Claus and happy reindeer frolicking in the snow genre.

In fact, the Santa Claus story is one of the better ones. It has a lot of back story, a team of characters surrounding the central protagonist and a few (almost) logical explanations: Santa Claus is a jolly fat man living with his family in the North Pole. He hires a team of elves to make toys throughout the year, and trains reindeer to fly internationally through the night as his no fail delivery service. He assigns toys to children based on their behaviour throughout the year, with well behaved children receiving the bulk of the booty.

Why does this narrative work so well? Well, who’s actually been to the North Pole? Sod all people, and even as children we know that there’s not much going on up there. If you were living there you might as well be making toys, not like you’ve got much else to do. We can believe that’s their major industry and Santa is the number one employer for that region of the world. While most toys delivered for Christmas aren’t hand made anymore, it’s easy to believe that modern elves would be importing toys, brokering deals around the world throughout the year and stockpiling for Christmas. They would be able to command great prices from manufacturers due to their bulk buying.

We also have an affinity for any narrative that rewards the good while punishing the badly behaved, and the flying reindeer can be written off as a fun bit of whimsy. The only part not fully explained is how Santa is paid for his endeavours and manages to keep paying the bills every year (reindeer training is expensive). However, it’s easy to write this off as being due to multiple government subsidies from participating countries – a worthwhile investment because no one want badly behaved children running round their restaurants, disrupting lives and causing havoc. Good work with the Santa story, lie creators.

Does the Easter Bunny hold up to such scrutiny? Well, what do we know about this bunny? There is an Easter Bunny, and once a year on Easter Sunday he comes by your house and leaves a pile of chocolate. Mostly egg shaped chocolate, but sometimes bunny shaped, possibly as a homage to himself. Occasionally we get some chocolate chicken paraphernalia, as an allusion to the possibility of chickens producing these eggs. He gives freely to all children without any restrictions regarding their behaviour or disposition, possibly because Santa won’t give him access to his ‘naughty or nice’ list and he lacks the resources to create his own database. That’s it.

We don’t know why he does this. He’s not rewarding good behaviour, he’s just giving away chocolate. We don’t know how he does it. Santa has a team of elves in charge of production and reindeer in charge of delivery, but we are clueless as to how the bunny travels, and if he has a team of chocolate chickens laying chocolate eggs then they are very low profile. Maybe they’re not free range…. maybe this bunny has dark secrets of the battery hen variety and he’s keeping a low profile to avoid bad PR…. seriously bunny, improve your narrative.

Of course, this is nothing when we compare it to the Tooth Fairy. This bitch is running a “your teeth for cash” business and she even does pickup. No sending your teeth away in a fancy envelope and waiting for your cash, It’s right there on your bedside table when you wake up. She keeps with the ‘trespassing in your house in the dead of night’ schtick that is popular with these stories, but other than that we have no other information about her!

Why does she want your teeth? What the hell is she doing with them? Is she creating a large DNA bank? Where is she getting this cash to pay for the teeth? Is she selling your information onto some shady secret society for tracking and identification purposes? People everywhere going nuts about the privacy settings on photos they themselves uploaded onto Facebook, yet we’re freely handing over our teeth to an incognito fairy?

These lies don’t make sense. They need more work. If children had attention spans that lasted longer than the time it takes to eat an Easter egg or shove a pound coin up your nose then we’re all going to look rather silly. Just throwing that out there.

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