Why I Laugh

A myth is defined as a traditional story, usually focusing on the deeds of gods or heroes. The story of Santa Claus is a myth that is familiar to most people. When children first learn about Santa, they believe in his existence unequivocally. Eventually, these same children get older and their belief in the jolly toy-deliverer fades; he becomes a harmless fib. Sometimes, there are situations in which the belief in myths does not dissipate. This can be an extremely dangerous occurrence. The longer someone accepts a myth to be true, the harder it will be for he or she to become a disbeliever.

Imagine that you are single. No children and very few responsibilities. You are employed at a large corporation and your next assignment is to move to a small town in northern Canada, Fable; population 13,293. Your goal is to live amongst the people for three months and determine whether the company should expand to the area. All of your living expenses are covered, and you are given three thousand dollars a week, as spending money.

Fable seems perfect — Except for one thing. As outlandishly ludicrous as it may seem, the people never discovered that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. It’s the funniest thing that you have ever witnessed. It’s almost as if you want to shake each person and yell, “ARE YOU *expletive deleted* KIDDING ME!” After every encounter with one of the locals, you always hear the same thing, “I know Santa is watching, so I always try to do my best.” You can’t stop laughing. No matter how intelligent a person may seem, everything that comes out of their mouth loses total credibility, the second Santa is mentioned.

While watching the televised game of a local high school football championship, the star player is interviewed and he says, “The entire time, I just kept telling myself to give it my all because I know Santa was watching.” The footage causes you to spit out your drink and you roll around on the floor uncontrollably; you finally understand the acronym LOL.

When you first hear about their belief in good old Saint Nick, you immediately think that it is a joke. You can’t stop laughing. It takes a week before you finally grasp the fact that the people of Fable are serious. You constantly try to tell them that Santa doesn’t exist, but they keep replying, “You know Santa can hear you; I don’t think your going to get a Christmas gift.”

There are those, in Fable, who believe in Santa but still act out in a show of defiance. They are the “bad people” of the community; they never get Christmas gifts. The funny thing is, even the anti-establishment folk believe in Santa – they just choose not to follow his rules. It is comical for you to listen to these people talk about how “cool” they are because of their dissent.

There is also a small group of “rebels.” These are the people who know that Santa is fake — they do everything within their power to preach the truth, but are shunned by society. Parents teach their kids about these “naughty ones.” It is often said that they hate Santa.

It turns out that there is a small cluster of “official helpers.” The main purpose of the group, is to keep the belief in Santa alive. These selected few are also responsible for handing out presents, during Christmas. Fable actually has a Guru, who has the job of answering any and all questions about Santa. The Guru is also the person who is approached whenever a person begins to question his or her belief in Father Christmas.

You discover that the people of Fable often struggle with their belief in Santa. They frequently say, “I know that the existence of Santa is implausible, but every time I try to stop believing, I feel deep down that he is watching me. I can’t go to bed without talking to Santa in order to apologize for my daily mistakes.” The Guru does his best to strengthen their faith but if he can see that the individual is having a difficult inner struggle, he will finally reveal the truth. The person can either pledge to become one of the enlightened official helpers, or has to agree to leave Fable.

The Guru explains, to you, “all over the world, children struggle with the belief in Santa. There always comes a time when the truth is finally discovered. Even though the truth is revealed, there is no light-switch moment. The belief in Santa is something that is ingrained in each child, so it will take time to let go of the myth. Even when the belief is at its highest, there is still an inner struggle in which the child will question his or her certainty. The reason why most of the helpers struggle to let go of their belief in Santa, is because the myth has been ingrained in them for so many years. There are helpers who sometimes will forget reality for a short time and catch themselves reverting back to their old behavior. I know it seems like we are evil for lying to our townspeople, but the myth gives them something to believe in, and keeps people from mistreating one another.”

It is the Guru, who creates the propaganda which keeps the naughty ones from revealing the truth. In a way, because Santa never appears, Fable’s Guru becomes an iconic figure whose celebrity almost rivals Santa Claus’.

Even after three long months, in Fable, you can’t help but laugh whenever someone mentions Santa Claus. It is the most nonsensical place that you could ever imagine. You determine that, although the people are intelligent, there is no way anyone would ever take them seriously because of their belief in Santa Claus. You find it impossible to stop laughing whenever Santa is mentioned.

I GET IT! You believe in “God.” Do you get why I can’t stop LAUGHING!


Published by Peter Teixeira

First and foremost, I enjoy writing stories. I recently completed my first novel, and I successfully co-wrote a short film script, which won the grand prize in the words made easy competition.

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  1. This reminds me of my favorite Catholic joke:

    I once prayed to God for a bike, but he didn’t give it to me. I quickly learned, that’s not how it works. So, I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness, because apparently, THAT’S how it works!!! Haha

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