Santa brought me poop
Ten years ago this Christmas, I got the shittest present of all time. Pardon my language, but we’re all adults here and I’m being quite literal in my statement. It was Christmas morning and a warm and rainy day. Not only did the weather put a damper on the Christmas spirit, but also the fact that it was a workday.
The newsroom was staffed with a skeleton crew that morning because of the holiday. The newscast had just ended and an engineer came in and told us there was a wrapped package outside the front door of the station. I went up to see what it was and only saw a box, soaked in the pouring rain. I picked it up and brought the mystery package into the newsroom.
At least one co-worker was worried a bomb was inside the box. (Ironically enough a few years later we would be evacuated due to another threat, but it was a dud too.) Because I didn’t hear any ticking, I deemed opening the box would be safe and we wouldn’t be blown to bits. I didn’t know who the package was intended for because there was no tag or card attached.
Under the festive wrapping paper was a plain cardboard box. I opened it up to see several large pieces of dog poop with a handwritten letter inside. I read it out loud (now wishing I’d saved it or had a smartphone at the time to take a photo of it). The note condemned the news department for not doing a story on a motorcycle riding Santa in the area who had requested coverage of his actions. We were scolded on the note and told the “shit” (his words) was a gift from his helper dog.
The “gift” irritated me but also provided a good laugh on Christmas morning. We all wondered how someone could be so upset by something they’d wrap up and deliver dog poop to a TV station. It provided some much-needed laughs on an otherwise dreary Christmas morning.
Years later I ran into “Santa” at a local restaurant. He confessed it was he who had left the gift. We laughed about it and I explained there are better ways to get coverage for a story and how to vent frustration when that doesn’t happen. But it has certainly been memorable as I’ve shared the story more than a few times through the years.
I'm a former TV news guy turned marketing manager. I like to blog, podcast and watch pro wrestling.