There was some grumbling on the Seattle santa email list prior to the event that Santacon had devolved into nothing more than a pub crawl, complaining that in the old days (1998 or so) there was more of an agenda, more pranking and less drinking. Well, whatever, it was still fun, and I like to think we made the days of some bystanders a little more surreal.
(note: because I didn't resize my pics and am too lazy to do so, I'm going to just include links and not images. you can see all my pics at http://ref7.lib.umbc.edu/lara7/santa/ if you are so inclined)
I arrive at the pre-established meeting spot to find fellow Tacomans Kurt and Randy, as well as former Tacomans Chuck and Laurie. Laurie's wearing a gorilla suit with a Santa hat, which is one of the more original costumes of the evening. Other great costumes include Elf-vis and holiday Hugh Hefner. I meet holyoutlaw's friend Dawn, the other pink-haired librarian, who introduces me to semi-famous librarian Jessamyn West, who's only returned to Seattle in the last few days from Vermont.
So the basic deal with a Santa Rampage is you take over a bar or club, have drinks, sing naughty carols, and when you leave, mess with adults along the way as you go to your next destination. You also get to refer to all the participants as Santa, both individually and collectively, ie the call to leave is "Ho ho ho/ Santas got to go!" Since I don't know Seattle too well and I drank a lot, I can't really say what our route was. I know we started at the Nitelight, and along the way went to the Crocodile, a snooty martini bar that only played Electroclash music, the Pike's Place Market, The Pioneer Square Saloon (where a bartender was so inspired by the sight of all the Santas grooving to James Brown that he actually jumped on the bar himself, borrowing a Santa's jacket while 50 Santas chanted "One of Us! One of Us!", but probably not in that order.
Santa attempted to go to The Lusty Lady, which had a wonderfully appropriate marquee: "We're naughty if you're nice", but fire codes/occupancy rules couldn't stand so many Santas at once. Santa also went to the Bon Marche Department store, riding up the escalators while chanting "Buy more stuff!" Near a large carousel, Santa broke into some caroling ("Walkin' 'round in women's underwear", for example) and, perhaps in tribute to Santa's grunge roots, did some old-school crowd surfing in the Santa pit.
But it's not all about the drinkin'. It's also about the dancin'. Santa went to some hot and sweaty danceclub that Santa would have probably hated under most circumstances, but Santa had a great time gyrating frenetically. In fact, Santa danced with, and kissed, a random Santa who Santa had just met and didn't even know his name. heh heh. It would later turn out that Santa was a Burning Man guy and former programmer for a software concern in Redmond. Even in a random crowd of Santas, Santa managed to find a geek without even knowing it. heh. Nothing happened other than dancing and the kiss, but it was a fun moment, and Santa needs some naughty with her nice.
The other mackin' Santa moment was that one Santa, who I'd walked and talked with a little bit, apparently got it in his head that he should kiss me. I wouldn't even mention it, except by bizarre coincidence, another participant in the event posted a pic of the exact moment he tried to kiss me:
From left to right: Santa Ivan, Mackin' Santa, me, Dawn. I was talking to Dawn when mackin' Santa made his move. Crazy that someone else that didn't even know me should have snapped a pic of this.
Anyway, Santa's memory gets fuzzy after a while. Santa sobered up, went to the I-Spy, but it was kinda lame, and then Santa noticed that Santa's numbers had dwindled considerably. At the height of the madness, I think we had over 100 Santas. Santa doesnt stay still long enough to be counted. Anyway, Santa's car was in a parking garage that locked at 2, and it was 1:30, so Santa decided it was time to call it a night.
Some Santas I met earlier offered me crash space on their couch. As I was pretty tired, I thought this a good idea. They'd bussed to the Santacon from Capitol Hill, so they were happy to accept a ride home in exchange for the couch crashing. When we walked into the garage (I hadn't told them about my car), Santa Lars's first comment was - "This is so cool!...I love you!" Once again, I manage to find the geeks, even out of their natural habitat.
Arrive at the house, and true to a Santa tradition of putting alcohol in other containers, theres a blue punch in a windex bottle. One of them squirts a taste into his mouth, and I'm not convinced its NOT windex, because it looks just like it. I get a taste--it tastes like windex as well. Yuck. A phone call from the separated part of their party leads us to the Hurricane, where we wait forever for food, and a random person hands us a book to write "anything" in. The result is this poem, which I think started as a haiku:
Windex Peer Pressure
Pumping action stops
light of window rises
never to see the streaks of the setting sun.
Poignant, no? Okay, well, it was amusing at 3:30 in the morning after a night of drinking.
After the Hurricane, I hit the couch. It is the most satisfying sleep I've had in weeks.