Sunday, December 25

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

We take little pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great embarrassment that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Ledger:

Dear Editor—

I am thousands of years old. Some of my little friends, er, employees say there is no Virginia. Mrs. Claus says, “If you see it in The Ledger, it’s shit.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Virginia?

Santa Claus

Santa, your little friends, er, employees are wrong. They have been affected by the ignorance of an ignorant age. They do not believe except they see — probably on TV. And no current television shows are set in the great commonwealth of Virginia. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Santa, whether they be men’s or children’s, or ‘elven’, are little. Even yours, as evidenced by the letter above. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge, and that there are 50-odd states here in our union. Frankly, they are probably screwing with you so that you skip Virginia on your annual Christmas Eve jaunt to dispense gifts to the world’s children, piss off a lot of Virginians, and have to go back on the 26th or something to make everything right (which would be a total embarrassment to yourself, right?)

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and unfortunately, also as West Virginia exists. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Virginia! No Roanoke! No Norfolk! No Blue Ridge Parkway! It would be as dreary as if there were no Marylands. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence, save for the childlike faith of Dakotans and Kentuckians, Maya Angelou, and a well-worn Danielle Steel novel or two. We should have no Virginia Hams, Moses Malone, no Wayne Newton, no Willard Scott, no Cyrus H. McCormick (and thus no grain reaper!), no Ward Burton, nor any mention of the Piedmont.

Not believe in Virginia! You might as well not believe in the North Pole. You might get your wife to hire men to watch all of the highways and byways of this great county to spy a license plate from Virginia. But even if they did not see one, what would that prove? Not everyone has been to Virginia, but that is no sign that there is no Virginia. (Actually, there is a sign – it’s the Welcome to Virginia one on I-95.) The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men, nor elves — for pete’s sake, can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? If you answered yes, then, you sir, are a bigger fool than I had originally surmised. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world — that would be super cra-zay. That person was probably Albert Einstein, but alas, he is dead.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the baby cry, because now there is a broken rattle, which the baby would like to play with, but now that a jerk like you has broken it, the baby is shit out of luck per the rattle. (But I digress.) There is a veil covering the unseen world, and a lot of Islamic women, which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived (except perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger) could tear apart. Is it all real? Ah, Santa Claus, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. You can thank Thomas Jefferson and his fellow white slaveowners for that! For Rill-a!

No Virginia! Thank God! It lives and lives forever (or until the fall and destruction of the United States.) A thousand years from now, Santa, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, (okay, I’m pushing it, but you comprehend dramatic license don’t you? I mean, you fly around in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer for crying out loud!) it will continue to be a tourist destination for one and all. And remember, Santa (and Mrs. Claus), Virginia is for lovers!