(Originally posted on the Chicago Metblog)
For me, anyway. I read about Santarchy early in the month (I guess it was in the Red Eye, too) and RSVPed right away. A chance to dress like a fool and drink, and subvert the sanitized image of Christmas at the same time? Sign me up!
I ordered a $24.95 Santa suit from Oriental Trading Company -- an excellent value, except for the belt, which was useless. Fortunately, a "pirate belt" works just fine for Santa, and I just happen to have one of those lying around (doesn't everyone?). Also fortunately, as it turned out, I got some use out of the Santa suit last weekend at the Belmont Burlesque Revue.
I never got a reply email, but Saturday Erica dressed up as Ms. Claus and I as Santa and off we went.
Man, if you are ever starved for attention, dress up as Santa and just walk around the city. I got honked at, waved at, kids and adults alike yelled "Hey Santa" (and one dipshit yelled across Diversey that "Santa gives great blowjobs!" Coal in your stocking for sure, my friend).
We were headed out a little early, so we stopped in at Harrigan's for their incredible rib-eye sandwich. The manager there said that he had received calls from two different women with the same name, who had each said they would be showing up at Harrigan's at 9 pm with 50 Santas (he had wondered if someone was playing a joke on him). Emboldened, we finished up and headed over Durkin's at 3 pm. Where we were the only Santas and the doorman greeted us with, "Are you the organizer?" Turns out they had read the RedEye article themselves, but had never been contacted. We waited an hour, at the end of which one other guy showed up. We might have stayed but a) I was starting to remember that I don't actually like hanging out with strangers, especially ones who are weird enough to dress up in Santa suits and b) the guy who showed up kept referring to himself in the third-person ("Santa wonders what you have on tap. Santa hopes he didn't dress up like a fool."). We blew, as they say, that popsicle stand.
I'd love to know if Santarchy (or even better, dueling Santarchies) actually happened in Chicago. But not enough to get back out of my toasty house at 9 pm.