Santa Yu Defeats the Grinch
Issue 9, Volume 113
Tonight is no ordinary Christmas Eve for Principal Yu. Then again, no Christmas Eve is ordinary for him. During the day, Principal Yu may be the mild-mannered Stuyvesant High School principal, but once a year he gears up in his red and white outfit and giddy-ups his sleigh. Yes, Principal Yu is Santa Claus. Every December 24, he commits millions of counts of breaking and entering, spreads joy, and gifts children presents created with morally gray labor practices. This year, however, Santa Yu has a goal he must accomplish. Every Christmas, a Grinch has been following him across the globe and stealing the gifts that he worked so hard to deliver. Santa Yu has never been able to catch them—until now. With advanced technology created by our very own Robotics team, Yu has managed to plant a tracker on the Grinch. Tonight, Santa Yu hunts.
Santa Yu follows the tracker to a home in Ohio. After quietly parking his sleigh on the roof, he slips down the chimney, drops down into the living room, and watches. Under the soft glow of Christmas tree lights, he sees a tall, green, wrinkly figure snatching boxes of presents: the Grinch.
As Yu watches, the Grinch drops the gifts into a burlap bag, and a soft “ka-ching” echoes like a cash register. The Grinch begins to cover the top of the Christmas tree with his bag—
“Stop this at once!” His voice booms. Donning his long, white beard (a fake one since Yu tragically cannot grow his own), Santa Yu steps out of the fireplace. The Grinch turns to him and smiles.
“Santa Claus. I see you’ve finally come to stop me.” Wait, why does the Grinch’s voice sound…somewhat familiar? It must be nothing. Yu would never consort with such a villain.
“Yes, I am here. After years of my life, plagued by your presence, I can finally save Christmas. I can finally get rid of YOU!”
He lunges at the Grinch, ready to defeat him with the magic of violence. Santa Yu tackles the Grinch, taking him down to the ground. They fistfight. Santa Yu grabs at the Grinch’s head and pulls. The green skin of the Grinch tears away, but it turns out to not be skin at all. Santa Yu holds a green rubber mask in his hands. He pauses, shocked, and in that moment, the Grinch strikes at Santa Yu, clawing at his chin. The glue Santa Yu uses for his fake beard tears away in the Grinch’s hand. Their faces are uncovered. The two stare at each other, their true identities revealed.
“PRINCIPAL YU OF STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL?”
“DAVID COLEMAN, CEO OF THE COLLEGE BOARD?”
Rather than a horrifying green monster, Yu is faced with a horrifying human monster. Shocked, he asks, “Why are you following me around the world stealing presents? Haven’t you had enough of torturing me—I mean, children?”
Coleman gets to his feet, laughing. His eyes glow red. “I will never have enough of torturing children, Principal Yu. I love it when I see a student’s SAT answer sheets stained with tears, or when their PSAT score is in the hundreds. Their pain is divine. Being the Grinch means I can finally expand my tortured demographic to include elementary school children as well. Isn’t that delightful?”
“Torturing elementary school children? At least I torture people who can read—”
“Plus, there’s something else I get,” Coleman continues. He pulls out a wad of cash from the bag as a malevolent grin spreads across his face. “Money,” he says. “I can pawn these expensive gifts and make even more money. The millions I get from APs and SATs taken by students every year aren’t enough.” He fans his face with the benjamins and winks at Principal Yu. “See, you’re working overtime, too. Everyone has a side hustle, you know.”
“But now I know your secret,” Santa Yu retorts. Coleman shrugs.
“So what? Everyone already knows I’m evil incarnate. They’ll simply shrug it off. Nothing will be done about it, Principal Yu. I am unstoppable.” Santa Yu listens as Coleman continues his villain monologue. How can he stop such a monster? What could be the weakness of someone so powerful?
Santa Yu has worked with this monster before. He has, of course, been pumping thousands of dollars into this villain’s pockets for AP courses in order to improve his own school. He has only exacerbated the problem. What if he uses that now, to save Christmas and to give Stuyvesant a little academic boost?
“Coleman, what if I… give you another way to torture children and make money? A way that doesn't ruin my Christmas plans?”
Coleman pauses. He is intrigued. “I am listening.”
“I’m sure your evil knows no bounds. You have a set of AP courses to unveil, but you need to test them. Why don’t you test them out at Stuy? You’ll make millions. And if you want to torture children, make them available to freshmen. They’ll eat them up.”
“Stuy will look so much more popular that way. Offering new, never-before-seen AP courses and education? Maybe we’ll finally surpass Townsend Harris in the rankings! Our popularity would also entice more students to come to our school, thereby forcing them to take more APs. You’ll make a profit too!”
Coleman faces Yu. The red light in his eyes has dimmed. He looks almost agreeable. “What’s in it for you?”
“Leave Christmas alone. Let me do my side hustle in peace.”
Coleman pauses, considering the option. Then he extends a green, furry hand to Yu. They shake hands.
***SIX MONTHS LATER***
The incoming class of 2027 rush to their brand new Talos accounts on June 12, 2023. AP course selections have opened for the next year, and Principal Yu just announced a slew of new courses that the College Board is launching at Stuyvesant. They’re so excited to finally take an AP course for the first time.
They log on and see a huge dropdown menu of options. They’ve never heard of classes like this before. AP Calculus CD? AP Physical Organic Chemistry Z? AP Defenestration? They’re not even sure what that last word means, but it looks cool!
Principal Yu watches from his computer as course choices flood in, and section after section of these new AP courses are chosen. He smiles. Christmas is safe.