EVERY TWELFTH MONTH he came to her classroom and
raised hell. The big man with the white beard and ridiculous suit
interrupted Mrs. Worthington’s carefully planned schedule with his
HO HO HOs and MERRY CHRISTMAS! He threw the class into a
tizzy with his promise of gifts and goodies, and the children couldn’t
concentrate on anything except Christmas and Santa, Santa, Santa!
By the end, Mrs. Worthington felt like the Grinch in the famous Dr.
Seuss story, holding her head, screaming out in agony, finally, Oh the
noise, the noise, the noise!
And now that maniac Kronenfeldt, who Mrs. Worthington seriously
believed had several screws loose …now his daughter had
brought the class to a screeching halt with all the kids laughing. Mrs.
Worthington wanted to help her, but what Megan had just promised
to the class was a bomb waiting to go off. And it had started out so
They had been moving along nicely all morning, slipping into
science. It was when they were talking about the giant iceberg that
had broken off from Iceland that Megan raised her hand and brought
the class to a halt.
“But Mrs.Worthington, you said the climate was too inhospitable
for Santa. If global warming is heating up the poles and the ice is
melting, wouldn’t that be better for Santa and the elves?”
The class had turned as one to Mrs. Worthington.
“Well, global warming is a theory, Megan,” she began, judiciously,
“the way Santa is a theory.’’
The kids broke into campfires of chatter.
“Children! Children! Please!”
“But Mrs. Worthington , you said it was too inhospitable for
Santa and his elves, and now it’s warming up. Wouldn’t that make it
a more viable climate?”
Megan sat with her hands clasped. And there was that hope in her
eyes. Mrs. Worthington knew she should just give Megan the bone
and move on, but Megan’s psycho father telling her not to mess with
Santa had really racked her off. Why shouldn’t she debunk Santa? The
myth antagonized her every year and ruined the last weeks of her
year. Why shouldn’t she poke a few holes in the old guy’s red suit?
“Megan, as I said before, the North Pole is a hostile climate. Think
about it. Let’s keep science in mind, children. Santa Claus would need
very expensive equipment to survive in those conditions, and global
warming is a theory that some people believe and others don’t.”
“My father said it’s big business ruining the planet, and that only
morons don’t believe in global warming.”
The class turned as if at a tennis match, and it was Mrs. Worthington’s
serve. She smiled icily.
“Your father is wrong, Megan. Global warming has not been
proven, and there are natural cycles the earth goes through that could
explain the melting of the icebergs.”
Megan frowned. “Then if it has warmed up, maybe Santa had a
chance to build a factory to build the toys.”
Mrs. Worthington rubbed her brow.
“Santa Claus has nothing to do with our discussion, Megan! Santa
Claus is a myth! Myths cannot be proven! They are generally not true,
and I don’t want any of your parents coming in here and saying that
I said there wasn’t a Santa Claus! The idea of Santa Claus is a myth,
children and, at best, a theory … like global warming.”
The children stared at the teacher breathing hard. Mrs. Worthington
had hoped they could return to the subject at hand, but the
silence, the round eyes, the quivering lips, told her the jolly man in
the suit was coming for his due.
“Well, I am going to prove there is a Santa once and for all. My
father is going to let me use his video camera and stay up all night
and videotape Santa, and then I’ll put it on YouTube and bring it to
class, and I can prove to the world there really is a Santa Claus!”
The class erupted into a riot with voices on top of each other.
This was the equivalent of splitting the atom for children. They said
it could be done, but no one had ever seen an atom or Santa. Proof
was what Megan Kronenfeldt was offering.
“Children. Quiet! Please!””
The voices came down, and Mrs. Worthington stared at the child
in the middle row. “Your father approved of this plan, Megan?”
“Yes. He’s going to let me use the video camera.”
The man had rocks for brains. What parent would set themselves
up for something like this? Already there were snickers around the
“You’re lying. Your parents won’t let you do that,” Johnny Brandis
said from the front row, turning his head toward the back to face
The other kids began to nod knowingly.
“Johnny that will be enough!”
“All you’re going to see are your parents putting the presents
under the tree,” Jackie Spagelli scoffed.
The cat was out of the bag. The room broke down into factions of
those who believed it was parents and those who didn’t. At the center
was Megan Kronenfeldt, who everyone had decided was telling a lie.
“Children, I have had enough of this!”
And that’s where they had come to. Megan’s eyes had welled up,
and she was staring at the top of her desk. Mrs. Worthington was
never very good in these moments. Other teachers could handle
children crying. She had never been able to cry as a child with her
father, and she had to resist telling kids to buck up.
“Megan, we believe you,” Mrs. Worthington said, glaring at the
other children, daring anyone to snicker.
Megan shook her head and wiped her eyes. “No, you don’t.” She
lifted her head and turned and faced the class. “I’m going to prove to
all of you that there is a Santa Claus,” she declared. “My dad says there
is one, and I’m going to bring you the proof. I’m going to videotape
Santa and prove it to the world!”
Mrs. Worthington popped the two aspirin by her desk, drinking
the dry capsules down with water. She looked at Megan Kronenfeldt,
staring defiantly at the class.
“Oh, shit,” Mrs. Worthington said.
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