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Diabetic Birthdays and an Insulin-Dependent Santa Claus

Andy Stuckey

December 7, 2006

So I haven’t had a day off in the last week and a half, splitting my time between making videos for a Web site and being a camera guy for a TV show. It’s good to have a lot of work leading up to the holiday season, but a day off every now and then does wonders. I will also be celebrating a birthday in nine days.

Speaking of birthdays, I’m not sure if any of you are fans of the publication The Onion, but I remember reading a very funny “News in Brief” article about two years ago that had the following headline: “Diabetic 8-Year-Old Throws Worst Birthday Party Ever.” Check it.

I think little Jason Keoner in the story must have had too many dried cranberries if he had to take insulin—they are pretty high in sugar.

With a birthday coming up, I was thinking about what kids with diabetes do for parties and was reminded of this article. Growing up I didn’t have diabetes, so birthdays were pretty standard for me: cake, ice cream, and roller skates. I’m looking forward to my 31st, minus the cake and ice cream. There’s an old saying in my family, however, that “It’s not your birthday unless you are on roller skates.” So if you’re in Brooklyn on Saturday the 16th and you see someone on old-school roller skates (four orange wheels and an orange stopper—I was never cool enough for speed skates), assume that his pancreas does not work.

Enough about birthdays and roller skates. Yesterday, my friend Murray and I shot our third video for dotcomedy.com, and this one was our Christmas video. It’s about us giving out babies to celebrities in need of good press. The part I liked best about it was wearing a Santa suit all day in NYC. People of all ages love a couple of guys in Santa suits. People waved to us all day and told us we needed to put on a little weight to accurately play the role of Santa. The truth is, you never wear a Santa suit to a bad occasion. Though it might be worth a try—I’m curious as to how Santa would be received at a funeral.

During the shoot, we stopped for lunch and ordered sandwiches. There were a couple of girls sitting at a table who took notice of the two Santas walking in. After ordering, one of the Santas lifted his red coat and injected 2 units of insulin into his belly.

What? Does Santa Claus have diabetes? Does this mean raw vegetables and water for the jolly old fellow coming down the chimney? I thought the visual of Santa giving himself a shot was a good reality check for me. You can dress it up anyway you want to but, at the end of the day, my pancreas is still in my pocket.



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