The Customs Officer
The Customs Officer
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!
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?
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…
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
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?
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.