Santa Delivers!

Posted: December 14, 2014 in Humour
Tags: , ,

santa      Life is funny at times. Often, in the past, I have found myself doing things that are out of the ordinary in order to get ahead. Nothing illegal, of course, just not your regular every-day thing. As a buffoon, it comes naturally to me.

From 1980 to 1984, I delivered pizza part-time to pay my way through college. Truth be told, it was more to pay my beer through college, but let’s not split hairs here. It was a cut-throat business in Winnipeg, a city that has the most restaurants-per-capita in Canada, so they are fighting over whatever money there was available. More fingers in the pizza-pie, so to speak. And as a delivery driver, you had to be crafty in order to get tips. I had a penchant for this, using everything from memory to suave talking to illicit tips from my clients.

‘How is Todd feeling?’ I would ask while standing on their front steps, remembering that Todd had the mumps or the flu or an STD. The fact that I remembered that Todd was sick usually meant a larger than usual tip (unless, of course, Todd died, for which I kept a good supply of Kleenex in my pocket). There were many strategies to making more money, and not all of them make me proud. But there was one method I was quite proud of, one I used but once a year.

I always put my name in to deliver Christmas Eve. More specifically, I wanted to deliver the last business day before Christmas. This was the day where all the big offices in Winnipeg had parties for lunch then let out early. Working for a popular pizzeria called ‘Gondola Pizza’ pretty much guaranteed we would be delivering a ton of pizzas. Office parties + Christmas + liberal amounts of alcohol = generous tips. But I am not your run-of-the-mill tip taker. No. I like to kick it up a notch.

So, I delivered as Santa Claus.

My costume was fantastic. The hair and beard looked real, the velour suit was lush, and being fairly stout, I filled it in like a pro without the need for additional stuffing. Let me point out that it is not an easy task to drive a pizza car festooned in such garb, but it can be done. The only thing I found weird about the entire getup was the fact that it came with suspenders.

Until that time, I had never worn suspenders. Sure, I had snapped my fair share of suspenders in my time, but they were all on other people at the time. Wearing them was hardly a fashion statement. Belts, in my opinion, were a safer, more reliable option. But it was all part of the outfit, so that was that.

My big delivery was to an office that ordered 10 ‘Boss’ pizzas, a famous pie that had double EVRYTHING. Carrying three at a time was risky business. I decided to go 5 at a time, dividing the delivery in two. ‘What could go wrong?’ I thought.

The first trip of 5 pizzas, I struggled up the stairs, and thankfully one person was kind enough to open the door for me. As I stepped through, SPRIONG! One suspender snapped off. Oh oh. There was no way to fix it because it would mean taking off all the top stuff. I just had to grin and bear it and pretend nothing was wrong.

I would love to see a video of the second trip up the stairs. I looked like I was walking in a way to avoid invisible obstacles while in the middle of an enema. Up the stairs I went, gingerly concentrating on keeping that remaining suspender up and in the game. The same person opened the door for me, and everything looked like it was okay. But I tripped a bit over the door threshold and…..SPROING wnt the other suspender.

As I stood there, holding 5 Boss pizzas, 40-odd people watching me as my velour pants (damned velour!) slowly fell to the floor. I was resplendent in a fine coat, beard, wig, and tighty whities, which I think were clean. It was, to say the least, an awkward moment.

And wouldn’t you know it? I got more tips that day than ever. Not to mention a few bum pinches and quite a few laughs.

  1. daisies4gail says:

    Well done Bill. You have to be creative..if you want some extra beer..Good for you for doing so.

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