2 min read

Santa and the Surveillance State

Dada, does Santa look at my penis and butt?
Santa and the Surveillance State

Alanna and I have struggled with the Santa thing ever since Carson was born. We don't want Carson to grow up and one day realize we've been lying to him his whole life. But at the same time, we want him to have a magical childhood. It's a tough and probably foolhardy balancing act.

We've kind of settled on this wishy-washy state of affairs where we let society do the dirty work of telling him about all the nonsense and then when he asks us questions, we kind of just say "well that's what people say." It's a cop-out but it gives us plausible deniability so that when he is older, we can say "well, we never technically lied to you, son."


Anyway, all of this has led to this exchange between Carson and I in the car.

Carson (out of the blue): "Dada, does Santa look at my penis and butt?"

My eyes immediately widen. "Uh no," I stutter.

This goddamn Santa shit is leading Carson to believe he doesn't have any privacy and he is growing up thinking this is okay. I have to nip this in the bud.

"Why would he do that? How would he do that?"

"Well Santa is always watching me," he replies.

"Why do you think that? You think he has cameras in our house? You know I control all the cameras in our house and I have strict network policies in place so that the cameras can't access the wider internet. Nobody is seeing our camera feeds except us."

"No, dada. He is in the sky watching."

"He's in the sky?" I glance up into the sky for dramatic effect. "I don't see anything up there. Also how would anyone see through our roof from the sky?"

"Well he can see through invisible stuff." He doesn't use the word "invisible" correctly but I still catch his meaning.

"You know, Carson. I'm an engineer. That means that I build things. And it's really hard to make complicated stuff like that work. So when you talk about fantastical things like people seeing through walls from the sky, I want to know exactly how something like that works. Because, honestly, it seems a little impossible to me."

"Well, dada, the elves build things for Santa and then he uses them."

"Oh? So the elves are engineers?"

"Yeah, dada. They build lots of stuff."

"Hmm, ok. But how do you know that?" I ask.

"I just know."

"So you are saying there are elves that have developed some secret high tech gizmo that Santa uses to see through walls from the sky. And he does it in a way that we can't see him and he somehow not only looks at you, but also at every other kid on the planet?"

I smile to myself realizing that I nailed it. He is going to admit my logic makes perfect sense and realize that not only does he have privacy, but that he should demand it from society.

Carson thinks for a second and then replies. "Yes. And he can see through clothes too. I wish I was Santa so I could see through clothes and see people's butts."

Bah, I give up.