Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009


Santa likes a gift once in a while, too

For kids, as the song goes, all they want for Christmas is their two front teeth, their two front teeth ...

Santa? All he wants for Christmas is the H1N1 flu vaccine.

With the holiday season fast approaching and Santa getting ready for the malls, swine flu is top of mind for the jolly red guy.

Ernest Berger, president of the group Santa America, has asked Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner to designate Santas a priority group for the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine, like health care workers or infant caregivers. He notes that about two-thirds of all American Santas are overweight, and about a third are morbidly obese.

Another group, the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, featured an H1N1 flu seminar at a recent conference in Philadelphia, and is urging members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins to boost immune systems.

So kids and parents, take it easy on old St. Nick: Make the visit when all's healthy and well. That's being nice, not naughty.



Ditch the ties, but not for grass skirts

Since the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation was launched in 1989 to promote trade within the region, leaders have had their group picture taken while wearing host garb—bomber jackets at Blake Island, Wash.; Javan batik shirts in Indonesia; flowing ponchos last year at Lima, Peru; etc.

In announcing Hawaii as the host in 2011, President Barack Obama told delegates he looked forward to “;seeing you all in flowered shirts and grass skirts.”;

Puh-leeze, Mr. President! At this year's meeting in Singapore (with the leaders featured in the Nov. 14 photo at left), female leaders sported the same Malay shirts as worn by the men.

In Honolulu, muumuus patterned the same as shirts would be acceptable. But grass skirts?

Well, maybe the men could wear them.