Thursday, December 25, 2008


If you are younger than 10-years-old, please stop reading NOW.

Sure, we've all heard lots of stories about how folks learned there wasn't really a Santa Claus. Frankly, most of the stories don't bear repeating. However, this one does. Not only does it bear repeating, it may very well be the funniest "down goes Santa" story we've ever heard.

John Seminole Clark is a Today's ACC Headlines founding member and a stalwart vocal supporter of CC Nation. Many of you might remember that John once served as the Guest Editor during football season where he regaled us with is "Game of the Week" column. Problem was when the Seminoles lost (and that was a lot the last few seasons prior to this one), the esteemed barrister Clark would take to his bed and go all T.A.H. AWOL.

As a first class journalistic publication which is proud of its "high standard of low excellence," his failure to publish in a timely matter was, at the very least, problematic. We tried wooing him with various bribes and we even conducted a "Where is?" campaign complete with our favorite Nole's mug plastered on a milk carton. When all efforts on our part failed, the Editorial Board (the Editor, Young A.T., Toly Hansbrough© A.G., two dogs and a cat) had no option but to can his you-know-what. But, we digress…

At a recent Christmas cocktail bash at T.A.H. headquarters here in the beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia, former/sometimes Contributing Editor Clark told us the story about how his world was shaken mightily in the course of one episode of Family Feud.

Seems as young John was home one day from school (with an unknown illness, and he can't remember if he was faking or not which is important in that "self-inflicted" wound sort of way) and eating lunch while casually watching an episode of Family Feud his mom had put on the family television. What could possibly go wrong?

Well evidently, the category was "name something you believed in as a child that you no longer believe in as adult." Oops, that's gonna be trouble.

So while young John is happily munching down his bowl of plain macaroni, with parm, butter, and ketchup, contestant number one answers as follows:

Contestant A: SANTA CLAUSE!
John Clark: Well, that's a stupid answer.
Richard Dawson: Survey, SAYS!
PING - Santa Clause!

The somewhat shocked and surely confused future Seminole looked as his mother and his worst fears were confirmed by the look of abject horror plastered across her previously worry-free face. Had he been older, he, no doubt, would have fallen back on the shock standards of either Holy S%&#! or WTF?

Believing that rushing to the T.V. and changing channels would only make things worse and lead to even more unanswerable bubble bursting questions, the intrepid Mrs. Clark endeavored to stay the course. In short, that was her second mistake. Were she a regular fan of Family Feud she would have seen the second freight train coming.

Richard Dawson: Survey, SAYS!
PING - The Easter Bunny.

Holy cow, the eight-old-brain must have been paralyzed by the sudden and terrible realization that two major league childhood icons had just bitten the dust in the span of one bite of the Clark family classic of pasta and ketchup. Wrong, we tell ya…just PLAIN WRONG.

Oh, but as you know, bad news travels in threes, and there weren't enough Hogan's Heroes to stop Richard Dawson on his quest to slay childhood innocence in the span of a few short poorly produced minutes.

Contestant C: THE TOOTH FAIRY!
Richard Dawson: Survey, SAYS!
PING - The Tooth Fairy.

Oh no! Horrors of horrors, another good man down. Poor little John has lost old Saint Nick, the purveyor of Easter Eggs and his first down payments on legal scholarship all gone in fewer seconds than Bobby Bowden is years old.

Evidently (and understandably so), his poor mortified mom still cries when she tells this story.
Sadly, it's a classic.

Merry Christmas!

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