A Santa Sighting and the Tiger Train

Santa Sighting
Ipad drawing


Guess who I saw…..


Last night I was out in the Ford Focus Sport heading east along Glenhuntly Rd looking for an evening sugar hit when the railway crossing lights began flashing and the boom gates descended in front of me.


As I sat waiting patiently for the Long Island steel train to pass I looked into my rear view mirror and spotted Santa in his bright red suit. He was cursing away at the incessant ding dinging and the outrageous length of time it was taking for the train’s fifty-five empty steel coil wagons to pass.


He was in the Blue Uber and his portly shape was silhouetted against the bright orange glow of the setting sun.


He looked hot, flustered and bothered.


Santa had not been spotted for ages; not since the 2016 Boxing Day Test match at the MCG where I ran into both Santa and his mate Kirk Ham*.


Now, I know a lot of what I say is often hearsay, but this I know, is in fact a fact, as it was I who spotted the two of them swilling lagers down by the fence in the member’s bay.


The two friends appeared to be deeply engaged in conversation so I didn’t bother interrupting them to say hello.


It seems that Santa’s mate Kirk may have led Santa astray that day, not just for the swilling of lagers in the member’s dry zone, but for suggesting he jump on board the Tiger Train for the 2017 footy season. (Santa was previously footy agnostic)


A short time after this, I had heard from my mate Bull Lee* who informed me that Santa had indeed taken up Kirk’s invitation, and that he was relishing the Tiger Train journey.


Santa and Kirk celebrated long and hard after each Tiger victory last year; celebrations that reached a peak after the granny. They partied on from the ‘G’ at both the Cricketers Arms and the Corner Hotel singing the Tiger theme song over and over again with so many new found friends.


Someone else I know- well, I don’t really know them as such- but with the twitter handle @tigersloveyaforever, tweeted a day after the granny that he had seen a jubilant Santa swaggering his way into a barber shop on Swan Street… it was after this that he seemed to have disappeared. A replacement Santa had to be found for Xmas 2017 through seekdotcom… apparently.


Naturally, this story trended on twitter for days under the hashtag whereonearthissanta?.


As the Tigers winning streak continued to grow into this year, so too did Santa’s passion for his team. He was eventually spotted at various home and away games around Melbourne.


I heard that Santa was dead sure that back to back celebrations were coming his way. He just couldn’t wait.


Well, that was until the towering Texan ran amok at the ‘G’ in the elimination final… Cox… Coxy? I think that was his name, yep, Coxy, number 46 in the black and white.


Coxy was the one who had never heard of Aussie Rules Footy until about five minutes ago…. yet, he was the one responsible for the Pies pummelling the Tigers that dark September night; and responsible too, for hounding Santa out of the ground and back to his Magical Christmas Kingdom as delirious Pie fans chanted U-S-A.


Reality had hit with a grovelling thud. Kirk Ham’s Tiger Train had crashed.


Poor Santa’s high hopes had unravelled drastically; however his good senses were now finally restored.


Besieged with remorse and struggling to fit his once shapely body back into the seams of the red suit, Santa realised the gift supply at the Magical Christmas Kingdom was now utterly depleted.


And in the back of his mind, a nagging thought made him question the wisdom of hanging out with his mate Kirk Ham in the future.


With only four days now until Christmas it’s no wonder then, that Santa’s cursing could be heard emanating from the Blue Uber on Glenhuntly Road last night.


If I spot him again, I promise I will let you know.


*Kirk Ham is a mate of Santa’s. They met down at The Wick after an Amo’s Xmas Party back in the early 90’s.


* Bull Lee is Kirk’s best mate; footy mates from way back and who love rehashing their footy glory stories from days gone by over a pot or two down at the local.


P.S. The Long Island steel train did eventually pass and the boom gates finally lifted. Santa was last seen heading towards the Good Life Health and Wellness Club up on Dandenong Road.


For more information about Kate Birrell and her art click HERE



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  1. Nice one Kate. Personally I reckon Santa is Mr Wrap. His mug shot in past Almanac’s is a dead ringer. The northern hemisphere Santa has his cave at the North Pole, while we know that Santa Wrap has his cave along the Darling up around Pooncarie. He’s been busy all year making rabbit traps to leave under Perth Christmas trees.
    Somehow I don’t think I’ll be getting anything from Santa Wrap this year. He says Eagles and Pies fans were naughty not nice. The grinches that stole his Christmas.

  2. george smith says

    Last year I shouted at Santa in the South Mall in Manila:
    “Santa, how about a premiership for Collingwood?”

    Santa, a large American, who was a bit nonplussed at a 60 year old kid asking for something, thought about it and said “Are they any good?” “Not really, I said…”

    Santa, still bemused, told me not to give up hope, etc…

    Anyway, crafty old Santa gave us, not a premiership,but respect. I suppose i could turn into Kevin bleep Wilson and shout:
    “Respect! you can’t eat it! You can’t drink it with your family at Christmas lunch! It doesn’t even have batteries!! What about all the ghosts of grand finals past, still hanging around like Waldorf and Statler???”

    But I won’t, I am grateful for what we have. The Hawthorn of Britain has just sacked Jose Mourinho, a championship still far out of reach. Yet for our mob, and all except the Suns and the Showponies, now is the season of unlimited dreams.

    Merry Christmas everybody!

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Happy to say I spotted a Santa Christmas eve and he was very svelt! You may be right about the gym as his next stop. Good work as always Kate.

  4. Haha cheers all and thanks for your Santa observations.and greetings for the new year.

    First days after Chrustmas are my favourites, especially with the warmer weather.



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