A new Goldman State Podcast drops every Friday!

Dec 21, 2022

Holiday Traveling? Some Restrictions May Apply

Read the fine print, even if it’s coarse and granulated

By Ed Goldman

As the holidays approach, are you taking advantage of those low-low-low airline flights, bonus-combo hotel deals, it’s-a-steal-meal-deals, and econo-jumbo car rentals?

If so, are you reading the fine, probably miniscule, possibly disappearing-ink print?

Edgy Cartoon

Magnified Destiny

SOUTHWESTERNEASTERNNORTHERN AIRLINES is now offering roundtrip fares for as low as 25 cents each way! (Some restrictions may apply: 

(1) You must travel on the second Tuesday of the sixth week in the previous month; 

(2) These are not-stop, as opposed to non-stop flights. Meaning, we’ll fly to 14 different cities before we reach your destination and never let you off the plane and not allow any suitcase smaller than a steamer trunk in our overhead bins. If yours won’t fit, be prepared to abandon it and its contents at your starting point; 

(3) TSA rules will apply and you’ll need to remove your shoes and underpants on the plane every time we land; 

(4) We will provide snack bags containing only foods to which you’re absolutely allergic, as long as you bring a doctor’s note verifying exposure to it will not prove fatal—or if so, that you’ll hold our crew blameless, especially Dale and Deidre, our very touchy flight attendants; 

(5) If you wish to sit down during your flight, you will be charged per pound.

OMNIHYATTHILTONWESTIN HOTELS proudly presents its Cheapskate Traveler Plan®: 

(1) Stay at any of our properties for only $35 per night if you book five years in advance and sign a contract indicating you’ll stay at the hotel for a minimum of 427 nights (days not included);  

(2) You’ll pay only $78 dollars every 12 hours for ice machine access—but the good news is that your room, which will have zero sound insulation, will be located right next to it; 

(3) Housekeeping services are complimentary but there is a small charge if you’d like anything stronger than half-ply toilet paper;

(4) For business travelers, fax machines and WiNot-Fi are available in some areas.

DENNYSIHOPAPPLEBY’S Coffee Shops now offer senior dinner discounts beginning at 3 p.m. and ending shortly thereafter, as we expect many seniors will if our menu constitutes nutrition for them. Here are some other tooth-tempting offers:

(1) The $38 GrandSlamHomeRunOffSides Brunch, features six eggs, five pancakes, a waffle, corned-beef hash, bacon, sausage, toast and your choice of Tums, Beano or an EMT;

(2) A free interior-design consultation with our decorators, who promise to combine the same shades of orange, green and yellow in your home to achieve what we do in our eateries: get guests out of there in a hurry;

(3) Free face-painting for the kids, tattoos for teens and Botox shots for busy moms and dads. Sundays only between 6 and 6:13 a.m., select locations;

AVISHERTZBUDGETDOLLAR Car Rentals now offer low-cost vintage American autos (such as the ever-popular 1973 Pinto, guaranteed to burst into flames as easily as The Goldman State’s columnist would were he to walk into a house of worship). Important rules:

(1) If you return what’s left of your car with a full tank of highly flammable gas, you’ll be charged for only half the fleet replacement charge;

(2) You’ll be charged per-mileage fees for only the first two hours you have the car since it’s likely that in Hour 3 you’ll be calling Triple-A for a tow;

(3) Kids ride free! If you don’t have any, we’ll provide some—and would appreciate your dropping them off at any closed DACA facility on your route;

(4) To keep prices low (and pass on the savings to you) our cars feature monoaural AM radio stations (when they come in), a rear-view mirror in many models and at least three relatively new tires (the fourth is the spare. We’ve put that on to give you more space for your steamer trunk; see item #2 of our SOUTHWESTERNEASTERNNORTHERN AIRLINES offer, above).

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is a line from an editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church titled “Is There a Santa Claus?” It appeared in the New York newspaper The Sun on September 21, 1897, and became one of the most famous editorials ever published.

Written in response to a letter by eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asking whether Santa Claus was real, the editorial was initially published anonymously, and Church’s authorship was not disclosed until after his death in 1906. The Sun gradually accepted its popularity and republished it during the Christmas season every year from 1924 until 1950, when the paper ceased publication.

“Is There a Santa Claus?” is commonly reprinted during the Christmas and holiday season and has been cited as the most reprinted newspaper editorial in the English language. It has been translated into around 20 languages, and adapted as a film, television presentations, a musical, and a cantata.

Here it is, in full. On behalf of our extended bank family, I wish you a very happy holiday.

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

“Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

“Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real?

“Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

sponsored content