GOLF 1-8-2 Antarctica Expedition 2006/2007

After being issued a Santa outfit, your reporting Santa boarded "Ivan the Terra Bus," and received word that this trip would take the group to Lita Albuquerque’s art installation "Stellar Axis" on the ice shelf south of Ross Island. The gravity of this effort immediately became obvious when Sandwich, our fearless leader in a perfect elf suit and stunning shades, recited the anthem "Ivan the Terra Bus" (lyrics) while our Santa Claus driver was required to spell out his last name on his radio check-out out with Mac-Ops: Charlie-Lima-Alpha-Uniform-Sierra (as if they don’t know how to spell it)! There were ten elves, eleven Santas and one lone reindeer on board.

Upon arrival at the site, Lita, the artist, greeted us with a warm reception. She was very pleased to see us even though it was a bit sad that only one reindeer had survived the long trip from the North Pole. We received our instructions for what to do (have a ball, no pun intended; but don’t destroy the exhibit). We were filmed and photographed (but not choreographed). Elves Sandwich and Cece careened and cart-wheeled into the exhibit in sensible seasonal attire: pointy hats, elfish shoes, and striped stockings.

Unfortunately, shortly after we arrived, poor Rudolph lost his nose so bright, which quickly approached the horizon in the wind. An otherwise skilled rugby player, but unaccustomed to joining in any "reindeer games," Rudolph put all his energy into retrieving/tackling the missing snout. His elf and Santa friends misunderstood this gesture as an open invitation to tackle him, and after a short race, Rudolph and his nose were reunited in a substantive ball of Santas, elves and snow. The nose was retrieved, Christmas saved, or at least we’d be able to make it home in case of fog, Rudolph leading the way

A little later we built a Santa and Elf pyramid, and your reporting Santa found himself designated a base (wonder why) but happily obliged, only to find at the end that his Santa-suit knees were irreversibly attached to the shelf ice from the immense pressure from the Santa, Elf and Reindeer load on top of him. In the end the pants were holier than they were before, but nobody seemed to mind. The exhibit was a blast. In the cloudy sky, the sky and the ice shelf became one and Lita’s orbs defined the only thing you could recognize as a plane. Without any direct light they appeared as disks, to turn only into spheres when you were moving around them or touching them. I had a ball (this time, pun intended), the best time ever!

Signing out ...
Santa 11


Hubert Staudigel
25 December 2006


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