Dear Santa, Sorry for writing so late, but I’ve been as busy as a canary in a coal mine and haven’t had the time to get my personal life in order. And I gotta tell ya, Big Guy, this job stinks as bad as methane. Why didn’t anybody tell me back in 2004 or in 2010, huh? I mean, like, the wife couldda said, “No way, Jose, stick to your coal mines and don’t mess with no country that’s the size of France.” Heck, Santa, I don’t even know where France is! I figure it’s the size of Ukraine, which is pretty big, but is it as big as the Donbas? See what I gotta do in this freakin’ job? They got me learning geography and stuff and all I wanna do is ride my copter and shoot bison. Is that too much to ask, Santa? Is it? Course it ain’t! I figured this country would be, well, you know, sorta like a Lego set. You put the pieces together and then you take ’em apart and the wife and the boys would say, “Swell job, pops, where’d you learn engineering?” But no! The people here wanna play with my Legos! And now the Rada is full of guys tellin’ my boys how to run the show. Democracy used to be so easy. That bald fella in the Rada used to tell ’em to raise their hands and they raised their hands. He told ’em to vote and they voted. It was neat, Santa, like a glass of vodka. And now the joint’s crawlin’ with democreeps and this big boxer fella who thinks that, just because he can land a punch or two, he can be president of a country the size of France. Santa, where the hell is that place anyway? And is it really the size of Ukraine?
Dear Viktor, I’m glad you finally wrote. To tell the truth, I was getting worried that my boy, Viktor, was hit with an egg again and landed in the hospital. Or, maybe he get lost hunting jackrabbits on his estate? Did Ludmila hide his socks? My worries may have been exaggerated, but I know you live in a tough neighborhood. By the way, Viktor, there’s something you should know. One of my elves has been talking with some of your party friends and oligarchs, trying to encourage them to change their ways, support good causes, and the like. Well, my elf tells me they told him they’ve just about had it with you. One of them reportedly fumed: “If he builds one more palace, that’s it.” So, my boy, watch your back, appoint Azarov as your official food taster, and avoid dark alleys. By the way, what do you want for Christmas?
Dear Santa, Those schemin’, good-fer-nuttin’ disloyal rats! I’ll get ’em, Santa! Really, where would they be without me? Nowhere! Where would their wealth be without me? Still in the citizens’ pockets from which we stole it. That’s where! I’m just too good for this world, Santa. I’ve got a heart like a donut and the temperament of a lamb. I guess that’s why I figured I had to take charge of this joint. Wouldn’t it be something if all Ukrainians were like my boys, Junior and Sasha? Junior’s got my political genes, Santa. The boy’ll go far, maybe even become top dog. President Junior Yanukovych: sounds swell, huh? And Sasha’s gotta be the world’s best dentist. Dunno how the boy does it, but his practice is getting real fancy-like. It’s lookin’ more and more like a bank and he’s got the swellest folks comin’ in to get their teeth fixed. And he only charges 15 percent of what the other dentists do. See, Santa? That’s what we Yanukovyches are: tough, strong, honest, and entrepreneurial. And I’ll tell ya somethin’ else, Big Guy: I think me and the boys could take that Klitschko fella. Sure, he’s got big fists, but we’ve got brains. Oh, I just remembered: you asked what I wanted for Christmas. A trip to Disneyland Paris: that’s what I want. Azarov tells me the place is crawlin’ with really neat palaces and that it’s in France. Wait: isn’t that the place that’s the size of the Donbas?
Dear Viktor, Is that all? No problemo: you got it! By the way, when you’re in Paris, do visit the Ukrainian church on Saint Germain. One of the icons is really beautiful.
Dear Santa, Was that jab really necessary, big guy? I know I’m beautiful, but please don’t call me a con again, OK? It hurts.
Yours till next year,