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The left-most Santa above is Lieutenant Gespacho, who one-upped me by bringing along a hockey mask to cover his face when things got particularly weird. He was master of the megaphone, loudly wishing everyone a "Merry Capitalistmas", and occasionally leading us in some call-and-response: "What do we want?" and we'd throw our fists in the air and yell "HO!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!!". Or: "Gimme a ho!" "HO!" "Gimme a ho!" "HO!" "What's that spell?" "HO!!!"
I still couldn't believe this was happening in this little town of suburban normalcy. The funniest part was people's reactions: some would see us coming from afar and they'd get a smile thinking it was some kind of Christmassy thing, but when they'd get a bead on our ironic scowls their smiles would fade into either bafflement, bemusement, hatred or plain fear. But a lot of people understood the whole thing instantly and laughed right along. One woman yelled from across the street "Hey, you're the skinniest Santas I've ever seen!" And Gespacho shot right back over the megaphone "That is correct, we're the Jenny Craig Santas."
But even when people wouldn't "get it" we were undaunted in at least our own good cheer. Once, an old man was standing on the sidewalk and I guess a Santa accidentally brushed against him, and he waived his cane in the air in the classic old-man gesture of reproval, yelling on unstable legs, "What the fuck are you doing? Get the hell out of here!" This prompted a Santa to yell to the rest of us "Now we're spreading good cheer!" And we marched our merry way.