The president scheduled the meeting with Santa Claus a month earlier. He met Santa about a dozen years ago at a mall outside Chicago but had not had a chance to talk to him since then, and he wanted to offer the jolly fellow some advice.
“Hilda,’’ the president repeated with annoyance. “Who is naming these winter storms, anyway? It is ridiculous. Can’t we put a stop to it?’’
“Yes, you are probably right,’’ the president said. “After all, people can still read whatever they desire, watch the TV shows they want and freely use the Internet, text and e-mail.’’ Then, chuckling, “NSA may be spying on what people are doing, but at least we let them do it.’’
After the jet was cleared for take-off, sped down the runway and reached cruising altitude, Steve asked the president about his first meeting with Santa back in 2002.
“Well, it was sort of embarrassing,’’ the president said, and he related how he and his wife took their oldest daughter to the mall so she could see Santa. Though only 4, he said, his daughter wanted to ask Santa for a popular video game that showed Americans killing Arabs.