Dear Dr Tinman: Help! How do I keep lying to my kids?
Welcome to the second edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul.
I am Dr Tinman, life doctor and former Power Ranger.
I shall be the light that guides you wide-eyed simpletons through this nightmarish tunnel of tears and sewerage we call life.
Before we move on to this week’s pitiably pathetic question, I would like to thank those readers who took the time to write to me and praise my advice-giving abilities.
John from Wangaratta, Victoria, said:
“What is this nonsense? I hope you don’t get paid for this crap. You make me sick.”
Amy from Charters Towers, Queensland, said:
“I was very offended by the fact you referenced a series of online medical courses by action star Dolph Lundgren. My mother was severely injured in a horrific accident involving a life-sized cut out of Mr Lundgren.”
And Eddie from Karatha, Western Australia, wrote:
“Is your moustache drawn on with Microsoft Paint?”
My replies, respectively, are: Yes. More common than you’d think. No comment.
Now that I’ve dealt with your petty complaints and inane emails, we shall move onto this week’s question.
Dear Dr Tinman,
My children recently found out that the Easter bunny isn’t real - now I’m worried they’ll find out about Santa, too. How do I make sure the secret remains?
Children are complex creatures – tiny monsters made out of circuitry and odours and sugar. I am told they are mass-produced in a factory on a small island off the coast of South America. As seen in the 2001 documentary “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”, all children – including the one they call “Haley Joel Osment” – are intelligently-designed horrors (in the same way that all Jude Laws are weird sex robots).
Using a strange and complicated series of equations, your brood appears to have deciphered the mystery surrounding the being we know as The Easter Bunny (or “La Criatura de la Diablo” – The Creature of the Devil – in certain parts of the world).
While you may be concerned about the loss of their Peter Pan-style childhood innocence, you needn’t fear. Both the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were fabricated to distract children from those worries that would typically occupy their five-year-old minds, such as: peak oil, tensions in the Middle East, Macaulay Culkin’s general health and the production status of various Aaron Sorkin projects.
So do not fear if they discover that St Nicholas is more myth than man. They’ll survive.
When I was boy, there was no Santa Claus. My father, having been wounded in two separate wars by the same man with a white beard, refused to embrace any mythology about a person sporting such obnoxious facial hair.
As a result, he bought all our presents. When we were good, they were wonderful. Hand-crafted rocking horses, music boxes and antique bayonets would arrive in the most magnificent of ways.
When we were bad, however, carefully-wrapped horror would arrive. We would wake up on Christmas morning to tear the shiny wrapping from a large box of spiders. Yes, venomous Brazilian wondering spiders would spill out from the discarded packaging, scuttling across the floors and darting menacingly around our bare feet.
Oh, how my brother and I would weep. Even to this day, if I so much as catch a glimpse of Toby Maguire or briefly view the scene in Rocky where he fights Puerto Rican boxer Spider Rico, I involuntarily begin leaping onto tables and screaming obscenities in multiple languages (with an emphasis on region-specific dialects, of course).
But it had no effect on me and I barely remember it.
My point is, your children will retroactively engineer positive childhood Christmas memories to fit in with their middle-class friends. That is, of course, unless they are a member of one of those social circles where it is fashionable to recount tales of childhood disappointments in an effort to appear “strong”, “resilient” and “worthy of an Oprah-endorsed autobiography”.
Also worth keeping in mind: If a child misses out on a present from Santa, they’ll think the jolly red man believes them to be inferior to the millions of children he did give presents to.
But when you’re the one giving presents, they’ll know that they’re only inferior to one, maybe two, siblings.
In the end, however, this discussion is pointless. Everyone knows Tim Allen murdered Santa Claus in 1994.
I hope this has been helpful, Imaginative – particularly the bit about the spiders.
Kindest of warm regards,
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