The Customs Officer

The Customs Officer

Characters

The Customs Officer

Father Christmas

Welcome to Greece! Ah, Greece, Greece: here you will enjoy the glorious sunshine and golden sandy beaches and with a little drop of ouzo …you will soon forget all your troubles. Greece, Greece, the country where the democracy has borned! The country of the free! Free – the glorious golden sunshine, the golden sandy beaches, and …free the golden boys and girls.

Welcome to Greece!

Free!

But first you must answer one question: have you anything to declare?

FC: No, no, of course not.

CO: Very well. The green door please. Stop! And where in the name of the glorious sun do you think you’re going?

FC: The green door.

CO: Aha! The green door. Why the green door?

FC: Nothing to declare.

CO: No whisky, no cigarettes, no drugs?

FC: No, nothing.

CO: Very well then I must enforce the special Christmas directive XMAS 225862 / EU/ IMF which says: ‘if the visitor has nothing to declare he or she will pay a special Christmas tax of 25,000 euros which the state will use to buy Christmas presents for the poor children’. Now, I will ask you again, have you got…?

FC: Well, actually….

CO: This way please. Now, do you have any whisky, cigarettes, drugs.

FC: No, no, no…

CO: Electrical equipment?

FC: ho, ho, ho.

CO: Please your bag on the table. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the an underground revolutionary or terrorist organization?

FC: Sorry, I’m afraid not…I mean, of course not.

CO: Then why have you come to Greece?

FC: To enjoy the glorious sunshine and golden sandy beaches.

CO: Hmm. Do you believe everything you read in advertisements?

FC: Well, not everything….

CO: Your passport please.

FC: There you are.

CO: Now, let me see your name  (reads): Klaus, Santa, Nationality: British. Is Klaus an English name…

FC: Ooops, sorry wrong one. Try this one.

CO: You have two passports, why?

FC: I travel a lot.

CO: I see. Now, let me see. Name: Father, Surname: Christmas. Father?

FC: Yes, it’s pronounced Christmas. Father Christmas

CO: Father Christmas? But Father Christmas is fat.

FC: I know.

CO: But you’re thin. You’ve lost a lot of weight.

FC: I know?

CO: Why?

FC: I used to eat a lot of Christmas pudding, but nowadays all I get is a biscuit. These are hard times.

CO: Well, Mr Father Christmas…

FC: Please call me father.

CO: Well, father, do you have anything to declare?

FC: Yes. Trains and aeroplanes, laptops and ipods and lots of chocolates and sweets for the boys and girls.

CO: Good that will be …5, 10, 15, 25,000 euros. Plus VAT, that’s 30,000 euros..

FC: But I don’t pay tax…

CO: Why?

FC: I’m Father Christmas

CO: Everyone pays tax in Greece, even Father Christmas

FC: And VAT!  I’ve never paid VAT before

CO: Then I’m afraid you owe us a lot of money, father.

FC: But  I’m Santa. Santa doesn’t pay taxes.

CO: Hmm…Herr Klaus…so what is the purpose of your visit?

FC: To spread goodwill, peace and joy….

CO: Tax free?

FC: But I’m Father Christmas, look I’m wearing a red costume, black boots….

CO: Hmm.. black and red…. Are you now or have you ever been a member of an underground revolutionary or terrorist organization?

FC: Look, I’m wearing a beard….

CO: But you are not wearing a beard in the photograph…

FC: No, it’s a false beard, look.

CO: A clever disguise.

FC: And I’ve got a reindeer waiting for me outside the airport

CO: If you’re Father Christmas then you can sing jingle bells.

FC: OK. Jingle bells, jingle bells…

CO: Hmm…these terrorists are well trained…Can you sing jingle bells in German, Herr Klaus?

FC: Of course. O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
CO: In Spanish?

FC: Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero Ano y Felicidad.

CO: In French?

FC: pa rum pum pum pum
Petit tambour s’en va pa rum pum pum pum

CO : …and in Greek ?

FC: I am not sure I can.

CO: Aha! Why can’t you sing Jingle Bells in Greek, Mr Christmas?

FC: But Greek is a difficult language

CO: But my friend, you know Christmas is a Greek word?

FC: Really?

CO: Yes, from the Greek word Christos.

FC: And ‘mas?

CO: Mas? Mas? Mas is the ancient Greek word for eat, because at Christmas we have a tradition we eat a little.

FC: Well, I’m sorry, I can’t sing Jingle Bells in Greek…you see, to tell you the truth, this is not my real job

CO: Not your real job? What is your real job?

FC: I am an English teacher.

Co: So why don’t you teach English, why all this jingle and the bells?

FC: Well, you see, these are hard times. I needed a night job. So, I’m sorry I can’t sing jingle bells. Can I go now?

CO: Well, you can call a friend…

FC: A friend?

CO: Yes, a friend to help you sing jingle bells in Greek.

FC: I don’t have any friends here.

CO: No, friends? Ah…all together…perhaps these nice people can help you…all together….(Jingle Bells in Greek with audience); welcome to Greece Merry Christmas,

FC: Ho, ho, ho.