A short entry today. I’m traveling for work and don’t have as much time in the morning or evenings to write. Of course, this is the month I chose to publish every day, so I still need to get something out.
Read on for a story of why I had to wear a Santa suit in the 100 degrees Texas heat one summer.
It begins with a radio station
I created an internet radio station when I was 16, and since then I had always been interested in working for a “real” FM radio station. I finally got my shot in college when I applied to work for a local station, 103.7. My job was promotions, which meant going to local events to promote the radio station, giving away prizes and just having fun with people. It was a great job for a college student because I mostly worked weekend days, which didn’t interfere with my studies or social life.
This particular radio station had a partnership with a local mattress company that wanted to run a promotion in July. Someone, probably some guy in a suit in an air-conditioned office, had this idea to run a Christmas in July special.
Why not contract out the radio station to come out and promote it? Maybe have Santa there, the kids will love it!
That Santa was me, and it was the most miserable 3 hours of my life.
Santa suits are not meant for Summer
Santa suits are hot. The dude has to stay warm as he flies around the country at night dropping off presents in December. If Christmas was truly in July then my man Santa would be in a tank top in shorts, which is what I should’ve worn that fateful day.
Instead, they strapped icepacks to my body before helping me don what felt like a 20 pound Santa suit, complete with hat and fake beard.
I wish I had a picture from the event, just to show you the pure misery of wearing this thing.
They’d send me outside to mingle with the customers and kids in about 30-45 minute increments before I had to come inside again just to cool off and refresh my ice packs.
Rinse and repeat that process for 3 hours. I don’t even think the promotional event was that successful, but I couldn’t pay much attention while sweating my ass off in that damn thing.
What about Disney characters?
If my beef was with wearing a heavy, hot, sweaty costume in the middle of summer, then what about people who dress up as Disney characters for a living?
Let me tell you something. Disney has money. I’m sure wearing those costumes isn’t fun, but my radio station was low budget. We had zero money for creature comforts, and I’m sure the Santa suit in question was purchased years ago and reused many times, a fact that makes me gag a little bit.
I don’t know much about what it takes for a Disney cast member to dress up as Mickey Mouse, but I can almost promise you there is some sort of internal cooling system in that thing. I imagine they also have regular breaks. If that job was as miserable as my one day as Santa in July then I’m sure the newspapers would know about it.
Please, think of the children
Think of the poor college kid just trying to work over the summer to buy textbooks for the next semester.
Christmas in July is terrible and whoever invented it needs to spend some time in the Santa suit just to see how it feels.