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WHEN SANTA GOES BAD

Funnily enough, I don’t hit the hay with visions of sneakers dancing in my head. That’s because sports footwear is my day job. I’m in it for cash and freebies. It’s not some fanboy zeppelin that runs on raw footwear enthusiasm. No, no, no. Truth be told, I’m more enthused by horror flicks than lumps of poorly-glued pleather, and because it’s Christmas, what could be better than a blog post cash-in to leach some of that goodwill? Last year, my rubbernecking preoccupation with the macabre was fuelled by the darker than dark case of Bruce Pardo, who dressed up as Santa and went on a Christmas eve killing spree, armed with firearms and a homemade flamethrower. Horrific, but it tapped into my cinematic Santa Claus fears.

Billy Bob’s ‘Bad Santa’ perfectly captured into that temp job, thinly disguised seediness that shopping centre Santas maintain; they’re sinister in their faux-bearded pretence, feigning interest in talk of PSPs and GI Joe, before handing out 99p tat. Even in history, the early Netherlands St. Nick (Sinterklaas) rolled with a captured devil (without sounding like David Icke, it’s curious that the big man’s name is an anagram of ‘Satan’), latterly Zwarte Piet (‘Black Peter’), depicted as a Moorish sidekick; meaning an excuse for blackface makeup. Beat that for un-PC. It’s a long way from a chuckling rotund man in a magic workshop on some snowy plain. Santa was clearly a  prick from day one.

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