And now, it's time for Robert Wantsa Klue… 


A handful of weeks ago, folks far and wide enjoyed the arrival of Xmas presents under their seasonal indoor trees. 

For some, it is a load of FUN. For others like myself, it is a cosmic mystery that must be chased down to a solid earthly explanation. When that brightly decorated box says "From Santa", I have to ask, how is that possible? Many folks, including myself, have long suspected that those presents, which cater to our materialistic desires, actually come from more material sources that hide behind a playful deception. However, the ritual's stubborn endurance suggests that there might be more to the explanation. I'm open to opening all of it. This is my journey to become Neighborly to Truth. 

The whole thing raises difficult questions like the temporal issue. There simply isn't sufficient time to carry out the task. The speed required would shirley involve air friction that would incinerate the paper wrapping. Yet it arrives un-singed. 

Even more troubling is Santa's death-defying method of delivery. I could accept that my new air fryer was gently lowered down my chimney but it is more than a stretch to believe that the Xmas perp himself can gain entry in this manner. The traditional image of Santa should be a limber figure in a darkly soot-stained ninja suit that is not elderly, hirsute or obese. I'd sooner accept immaculate conception than believe this guy survived being squeezed down the chimney. 

I took these and other questions to the annual conference of the Institute for Chimnaic Egress held at the festive Returns Department at Kohl's. 

I sat down with its longtime director, Dr. Wu Vortex, for some answers. I started by recounting my recent visit to the Home Builders' Convention where I asked a panel of licensed contractors and architects to what degree Santa's mission factored into modern home design. Are there any relevant Building Codes or construction standards related to chimaic egress? 

The answer was, on the whole, no. However, some seemed hesitant and maintained an agnostic position saying "Nothing stops the magic of Xmas". 

I put this to the Doctor who then cataloged a variety of theories, a few of which I had heard before. As usual, I am gobsmacked at the sheer scale of imagination brought to bear on the issue. It is hard not to admire the work even without embracing the results. 

I heard all about dimensional transcendence, creosote-resistant long-chain polymers and sleighs built with alien technology. And of course, the Many-Santas Theory (also known as the Multi-Claus) that states that all possible actions of gift-delivery occur simultaneously. 

I found myself having to fight off the holiday cheer that surrounded these notions like an airborne contagion. My Scrooge-like skepticism could not be concealed behind my tightly-fitted M-95. 

Are presents somehow made transcendental simply by attaching a ribbon and bow? Is Xmas a pre-existing condition of the universe? 

I asked the resident expert on these matters, Reebus B. Cloun, who took me for a tandem bicycle ride around the vast and scenic mall's parking lot, about how we can build a coherent epistemology that includes the Xmas Miracle. 

"As flawed creatures of limited perception, we must first make the fundamental leap that 'it simply is' and then find our way back to the so-called solid ground." 

I suppose that can work for some and it explains why the crossed-over pedal chain drove the bicycle backwards.  Looking at where we've been was blissful, but what about the paint-chipping damage we were inflicting on many parked cars? Is it truly forgivable simply because we didn't see it coming? 

I admit that I enjoyed the eggnog. I still have to ask, as I start next year's wish-list, is this an understanding of reality or a surrender to unstoppable market forces that could wreck the economy if forced to pivot too sharply? Is it naughty or nice to be so Neighborly to Truth?