Mug Shots

Smoke ’em on up, Santa

Dec 24, 2008 at 6:00 am

“You’re such a Grinch,” said one of my friends recently, presumably intending it as a form of rebuke.

I responded, “Thank you very much.”

It all goes back to finding out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. As an incredibly gullible child, the discovery took a while, but when it finally occurred, I disavowed Christmas on the spot. It was only a short step to outright atheism, and both revelations came from being consciously misled by so-called authority figures. Once they’ve lied to you about Santa, anything is possible.

Considering that Santa Claus is a myth, can we really know anything about his personal lifestyle choices?

I ask this question because recently, one of my helpers designed an NABC promotional poster depicting Santa Claus smoking a cigarette. The illustration was borrowed directly from 1950s-era advertising copy. In the end, you probably didn’t see it, because most of the posters were taken down, ostensibly because, “you can’t show Santa Claus smoking!” Someone else asked, “What if children see it?”

Hmm. Would that be the same children who aren’t legally permitted to drink beer in the first place?

Am I to conclude that we can cram as many images of bikini-clad Swedish beauties onto cardboard as possible, with no ill effect whatsoever on children and adults as pertains to the larger issue of female self-image, but we must protect the reputation of a completely fictional character?

But I do celebrate the holiday after a fashion. Christmas Eve is the occasion for the annual “shopping” expedition of Roger and the lads. We’ll make appearances at Bluegrass Brewing Company (St. Matthews) for lunch, followed a bit later by a visit to Cumberland Brews, with a stop at ear X-tacy falling conveniently in between.

If you’re out and about today, look us up. Happy holidaze, folks.

 Roger Baylor is co-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. Visit for more beer.