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Little-Known Santa No. 18
Well, if you are at all media-savvy, then you certainly should have expected to see this character coming around again at this time of year. After all, he sure has repeated it often enough: “I’ll be back!”
Here he is. Part man, part machine, part fabled children’s favorite and celebratory icon of the winter solstice holidays — meet The Santanator!
(Don’t be dismayed at the steely stare that is most assuredly emanating from behind the mirrored lenses of those aviator glasses at this very instant. The cyber-dude is simply sampling all of your biometric data and physiognomic characteristics in one brief penetrating multi-scan. As long as your last name’s not ‘Connor’, you should be all right. That shotgun he’s toting is really only intended for those carrying anti-terminator neutron devices. Or anyone helping them.)
Our hulking Austrian friend, Little-Known Santa No. 18, has been returning pretty regularly ever since Christmas of 1984 (except for a brief sojourn into politics and some extracurricular babysitting adventures — which we should probably discuss at another more appropriate time).
Seems like every few years, as he’s added a few pounds, slowed a few steps, and is in need of a little extra residual income, he’s back, causing everyone to wonder if he’s gonna be good, or gonna be bad. (Funny thing about these cyborgs; the attitude is all in the latest programming. Flip that switch, and executioner immediately becomes savior.)
Upon seeing this fella’s most recent return, all I can say is that I am glad he happened to first come upon a very large biker willing to sacrifice his entire wardrobe (now that’s the holiday spirit of giving!). Though just about everybody anxiously awaits the arrival of a certain jolly old elf, nobody wants to witness the arrival of a naked jolly old elf.
But leave it to The Santanator to fulfill everyone’s Christmas wishes this year! Dad gets his requisite fix of 94 minutes of laughable plot, improbable weapons, speeding vehicles, large explosions, insipid monosyllabic dialogue, futuristic robot FX, and easy-to-remember clichéd catchphrases. Mom gets to see some really buff macho dudes in action and in various stages of undress and/or mutilation. Junior gets to sign onto another massive franchise installment of mind-numbing comic books, garish posters, transforming toys, artificial laser eyeballs, plastic guns, fake leather gear, and stupid streetfighting moves. Sis gets to scope out what the hip up-to-the-minute heroine-in-danger is wearing, how good her hair looks as she’s being dangled out of a helo from 200 years into the future, and how quickly and coolly she can punch out the alien that’s trying to cop a feel during the kidnapping scene.
Doesn’t that just make your heart swell with the spirit of Yuletide?
Well, if not, just check out some of The Santanator’s other classic Christmas roles: See him chosen as the Olympian Gang’s holiday tree in The Austrian Oak. Or, for a special treat, watch him play opposite himself, in dual roles as both the hardline Republican dogcatcher and his gay Democratic veterinarian cousin in This Country’s Going to the Dogs!.
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