Santaphobia is the medical term for an abnormal, persistent fear of Father Christmas. For those who suffer from this phobia it would’ve been advisable to stay at home on Saturday when thousands of drunken Santas converged on the streets of San Francisco for Santacon; a celebration of all things Santa—and all things drinking.
Attention citizens of San Francisco: Fear the beard!
Everybody say “ho.” Bad Santas united in a thirsty quest for eggnog. A raucous sea of red-and-white clad Kris Kringles congregated on the steps of City Hall with rowdy chants of Ho-Ho-Ho echoing through the San Francisco air. It was like a strange family reunion of long lost relatives as revelers greeted each other with festival jubilation.
“How are you doing Santa?” one Claus says to another.
“Doing good Santa,” they reply.
The big drinky-fest underway found Santas sporting flasks and tallboys in paper bags. Santacon had that great potential for some combustible Yuletide costumed drunkenness. Like an organized military maneuver the Santas formed two groups to respectably take on the bars of the Mission and Tenderloin. Random citizens were overjoyed at the site of such mass jolliness times a thousand.
Walking elbow-to-elbow down Polk Street, like the first men on the moon, a flood of Santas erupted on the public.
They came on bikes…
They came in cabs.
Convenience stores along the Santacon route were flooded with a demanding bunch of bad Santas, not questing mir and frankincense; but pint bottles of whiskey, more beer and smokes.
On my Santa bingo card, my ideal Santacon photo wish list would include: a Santa puking, a Santa relieving themselves in an alley, a pair of Santas dry humping and some drunken Santas fighting. My Holy Grail: a photo of a Santa in handcuffs. Patience is just needed; when it comes to Santacon, you only have to wait for it, all of the above is bound to occur.
Some Santas partook in a delightful sleigh ride by jumping on the back of moving cabs. Ho-ho-ho!
Because it’s San Francisco there was bound to be an obligatory naked guy dressed as Santa; who also sported the jolly old man’s classic potbelly. The one problem here: you don’t want to know where he was dangling his mistletoe—it’s nothing you want to kiss under.
The bars on Polk Street were filled to capacity with the jolly crew that wanted to bust a groove or try to find a Mrs. Claus to shack up with—for the night. Even for the most iconic of holiday figures, the bar bouncers had to card the likes of questionable elves and gingerbread men.
Inside the bars, the music was pumping and the drinks were flowing as sexy Santa helpers mixed it up with MC Hammer Klaus.
The real question amongst the holiday revelers: who was naughty and who was nice? It took several minutes to decide while I continued to direct my eyes towards this vixen’s stickers; first to the right, then to the left, then back again.
As the beer and alcohol flowed so did the Santas’ bladders. A line of St. Nick’s formed outside of restrooms while the urinals were occupied by Father Christmases and his numerous doppelgangers who had to pee worse than Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Damn! I arrived at the scene late. Apparently two Santas got in a fistfight. (Was it over inappropriate groping of Mrs. Claus?) One Santa smashed a bottle over another Santa’s head. (Looks like his sock will be stuffed with coal.) Two iconic Santacon photos I missed out on: fighting Santas and Santa in handcuffs. Bah-humbug.
As the day wore on and evening drifted upon us, lone Santas could be found staggering the streets of San Francisco in search of their sleighs. But a sign of Santa’s appearance remained—it seemed that Santa stuffed the urinals with delicious candy canes.