Don't let that whole "jolly" thing fool you: Santa Claus is one badass mutha, on a mission to corrupt our youth! Or so Pamela McColl seems to think. That's why the self-published Canadian author spent $200,000 of her own money putting out a smoke-free version of Clement C. Moore's classic 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (or, as everybody in the universe actually calls it, "Twas the Night Before Christmas"), in which the following two stanzas are deleted: "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth/and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath."
Says McColl: “No one can backtrack now. Santa has stopped smoking, and 2012 is the year he quit, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.” Um ... okay. Simmer down, lady!
So, I have some issues with this.
Apart from the obvious -- like, McColl's tampering with one of the most famous and beloved poems in the English language is blatant censorship -- I'm also, to be honest, kind of confused about something.
Namely, does McColl really think kids are influenced to start smoking because of ... Santa? I mean, kids love Santa. Sure. But they don't generally look up to him as an icon of cool, you know? Of course they want to get on his good side so he'll bring them stuff, but have you ever heard a kid say anything about wanting to be just like Santa when they grow up? He's not a sports hero or a rapper or, I don't know, James Dean. Never has the following argument taken place as a kid left for school in the morning:
Mom: "Wait, you can't go to school looking like that! Your clothes are filthy!"
Kid: "But mom, all the cool kids wear clothes all tarnished in ashes and soot!"
Plus, have you ever met a kid who smoked a pipe? Pipes are for grandpas and professors and ... Santa Claus, not kids!
Gimme a break. At this rate, Bloomberg's revision will be next. Goodbye, belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
Do you think Santa's pipe-smoking is a bad influence?
Do you think this is censorship?