Zapruder Analysis of the Drunk Santa Brawl at SantaCon 2013
For centuries now, people of all ages, races, creeds and geography have loved to drink. Not all of
us you, but a lot of us you. Wine, beer, hard liquor, illegal moonshine, as long as it has alcohol in it, fill 'er up!
To that end, it never ceases to amaze me the various ways that we will decorate a drinking binge and call it something else. A "pub crawl" is really just a multi-bar drinking binge. A drinking game is just an organized drinking binge with rules. A "pub crawl" for charity is just a rationalization.
And then there's SantaCon, which is really just a drinking binge disguised as a costume party with some holiday cheer sprinkled in.
For those of you who don't know what SantaCon is, don't feel bad. I didn't know what it was either until my girlfriend sent me the video below. Doing the research, as best I can tell, SantaCon is a New York City-based, costumed pub crawl designed to a) give drunks a reason to drink (because there's no nobility in just sitting down and getting hammered to get hammered anymore), b) perhaps sing some Christmas carols (but more in that "yo ho ho" pirate-type, swaying slur than in true yuletide choir fashion), and c) ogle a bunch of sexy elf outfits.
All in all, a pretty good way to spend a weekend, I'd say, so long as the tidings of joy remain, well, joyful.
But it is a pub crawl, so we are bound to get some chicanery, perhaps a little extramarital nuzzling and maybe even some public urination. But we would hope that the fisticuffs are kept to a minimum.
Well, not all Christmas wishes come true.
It's not easy "making all those toys" (SantaCon insider lingo for "drinking a shit ton"); it can be stressful. Alas, at SantaCon 2013, Santa -- well, like a half dozen of them -- finally snapped.
0:01 -- The arena is a snowy street somewhere on the East Side of New York City. Pause the screen at the one-second mark of this video and turn on some Burl Ives and this could be a portrait of Christmas cheer. Snow, Santa, the dim of night sprinkled with the light of hope, the snowy metropolis meets fantastic yuletide joy.
0:02 -- Then you press PLAY...
0:03 -- The camera whips around, one of the voices of the "filmmakers" gives a painful moan as we see about six men in Santa outfits gathered in a pack and somebody is on the ground taking some haymakers in front of a New York City taxi cab.
0:04 -- The easy analogy for this faction given the pack mentality is that it's the Christmas (Khristmas?) Kobra Kai (from Karate Kid), but those guys were in skeleton costumes. They're supposed to be scary. I would say that this herd of Kringles is more like the old WWE male cheerleader faction, the Spirit Squad. Remember them...
...it's a better analogy in that male cheerleaders (while frightening in their own right) are not meant to be intimidating, bullying characters. Nor is Santa. By the way, the fact that one of them is named "Nicky" makes it an easy transition to mentally convert that video from cheerleader spirit to Christmas spirit. ("NICKY....KRISSY....SANTY....KRINGY....FRED.... and we are....THE SANTA SQUAD!")
(NOTE: The Nicky in that Spirit Squad? A young Dolph Ziggler!)
Now, I lose track of how many Santas there are in this video, and which ones are the most vicious. I do believe one or more of the Santas are trying to make peace. But the darkness and the video quality make it tough to decipher. We will do our best.
0:06 -- A green-coated Santa comes sliding into a crowd of people and we are under way. Ring the bell, ref! Start the match!
0:10 -- It appears as though two civilians ("Civilian" is the term I will use to describe anyone not wearing a furry red coat and pointy, jingly hat in this video.) are putting a Shield-style beatdown on someone.
0:13 -- One of the Santas grabs one of the civilians by the scruff of his neck and drills him with a roundhouse right hand. Meanwhile, off to the right, another Santa is being held back by his Mrs. Claus and another one is being walked back to the "dressing room" by a fellow Santa, presumably because he could be staring at a probation violation.
0:20 -- Green-coat Santa is peppering a prone civilian with rights and lefts while standing up. Green Coat has the high ground, which, every Jedi knows, makes it a virtual lock you're winning that thing.
0:23 -- Underrated painful moment, one of the Santas gets run into the street sign by a civilian. There might be some broken ribs, and that will hurt once that dude sobers up (in, like, 2015).
0:29 -- Santa #5 hip tosses a civilian into the street, locks his arms in and it looks like a power bomb could be coming here...and then a bus comes by...and then, green-coat Santa gets his face caved in on a sucker punch by one of the civilians. (By the way, we need a finisher in the street on this video so we can call it the "Miracle on 34th Street." Has to happen.)
0:34 -- Now watch this sequence...Santa to the far left comes in to deliver the blow on the Cheap Shot Civilian....
0:35 -- ...he gets intercepted in a reverse bear hug by another civilian....
0:37 -- ...who gets DROPPED, I MEAN DROPPED, by an EVIL Santa who just came out of the dressing room and may or may not have had a roll of quarters in his fist. I mean, GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY, he just FLOORED this guy, KING!
0:41 -- EVIL Santa steps back away from his handiwork and is shaking his fist. Again, he will feel that broken fist when sobriety arrives in ten or 12 months.
0:48 -- Somehow, the guy who took the EVIL face punch manages to pop up. That's incredible, considering you could hear the smack clear as day all the way from where the dudes were filming this...he is CIVILIAN HULKING UP, MEAN GENE!!!....
0:55 -- Green-coat Santa is walking away from the fracas screaming, "YOU STILL WANT IT?!? LET'S GO?!?" Because nothing is as intimidating as a guy in a green Santa outfit with red tights and pointy shoes. (Note to all Christmas tough guys...the Iron Sheik is the only one who can get away with wearing pointy shoes and still be really, really scary. This is an immutable law of nature. So just stop it with your screaming.)
1:11 -- Cooler heads prevail as the two sides split up, and we have a fantastic tease for a Christmas night pay-per-view, where the Santa Squad takes on the Civilians in a "Loser Must Celebrate Festivus" rematch with Burgermeister Meisterburger as the special guest referee.
'Tis the season!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.