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Carol Perkins: You don't know who is watching

Previous column: Decorating for Christmas

By Carol Perkins

Videos are abundantly popular, and not those made with the old -fashioned kind I have in a cabinet. Those made on our phones! They capture the best and worst of us when we least expect or even know it.

Big Brother (the novel, 1984) is keeping tabs on us. The protection we once had of having a say whether to be exposed publicly has vanished. If you are standing under a tree and lightning strikes, someone is likely filming it. If you are walking your dog and the dog chases a stranger, someone has the evidence. The lesson here is, as Santa says, "BE GOOD." As our parents warned us, "You don't know who is watching."

The most recent of such videos recently appeared on The World News, Fox News, and other TV stations. You might have seen it. A little boy visited a mall Santa and asked for a Nerf gun. The child was not in Santa's lap, but six feet away with his mother standing nearby.

Santa leaned in and told the child, "No, no guns, Santa doesn't bring guns." (I'm paraphrasing. He said more.) The child was trying to explain about the Nerf gun as if Santa thought it was a real gun, but Santa was adamant. "No Guns!" He said, "You'll have to talk to your dad about that." The uncomfortable mother took her son's hands as he wiped his eyes. (I'm sure you can find it on your phone.) Since when does Santa give lectures!

When my brother got his Hop-Along-Cassidy holster and pistol and rode "Topper" through the valleys and up the hills, he was not destined to be a "shooter." We wore out the sides on Mama's tweed couch (large armrests) hunting down the bad guys. I had my own Dale Evans outfit. We did what all kids did: rode stick horses and explored the wild west. None of us were criminal minded. My grandchildren were of the Nerf gun generation (and water guns) and the shapes and sizes varied. They knew not to point at anyone's face and paid the price if caught. The foam bullets landed everywhere else on the body and never left a scar. Even adults enjoy Nerf guns. What was Santa thinking?

After the story went viral, another video followed a kind Santa at the child's home, presenting him with an early gift. A Nerf gun! The Hasbro company heard about the video and granted the child his wish. Immediately, Hasbro stock soared. We Americans love a story with a sweet ending. As for the mall Santa, he probably discovered his sleigh had left for the North Pole without him.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-12-10 14:04:44
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