Lee Coughlin says it was the best $89 he ever spent.
Once or twice a week this month, Coughlin will the red and white suit, hat and fake beard, and streak around the city on his small electric scooter. Past schools he rides, drawing crowds of onlooking children to playground fences. And on busy thoroughfares, drivers honk not in frustration or anger, but to recognize the guy in red normally seen behind a sleigh and a dozen reindeer.
In fact, all the happy honking takes some getting used to, he said.
It’s the second year that Coughlin has donned the red-and-white suit. Yes, he’s not the real Santa – who, after all, is busy making his list at this time of year. But, as one child mentioned to him, he might just be a clone – this is the 21st Century, after all.
And joy, he said, is the point of wearing red.
“I do it for the fun of it and to make the kids laugh.”