Sunday, December 23, 2012

Not even Santa can escape political correctness

Another Christmas is upon us.
Kids will be waking their parents up way too early to see what the fat guy brought them (and I told my kids not to call me that anymore.)
The fat guy I am referring to is, of course, Elvis, I mean Santa Claus.
Each year the big dude in red runs around delivering presents to kids and is the embodiment of the spirit of Christmas.
Sure he commits millions of break and enters in a single night, but he is a reverse burglar and will leave stuff instead of taking it.
I never did the Santa thing when I was a kid. My parents did not believe in it and I was one of the few kids I knew who did not celebrate the obese visitor on an annual basis.
But Santa has been a major part of Christmas since someone figured out a good way to use him for marketing purposes.
And in these modern times not even the Jolly Old Elf can escape political correctness.
You see, Santa has a nasty, unhealthy habit some people want banished from his mystical lore forever.
It is well documented that Santa smoked a pipe. It was never clear what was in the pipe – perhaps he might spend a little more time in Washington and Colorado states this year. Maybe that is why he is so jolly all the time.
Santa puffed on that pipe in the beloved and oft told T’was the Night Before Christmas.
The offending line reads: ‘The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.’
Some people are concerned this will encourage kids to start smoking. I know lots of people who believed in Santa as a kid and none of them started smoking because St. Nick had a nic fit in every single house he visited.
Now that I think about it, Santa must really be magic: he is grossly overweight, he eats way too many cookies and treats (got the munchies do we Mr. Claus?) and apparently he smokes like a chimney, but he is still able to put in a full day at the toy shop before pulling an all nighter and travelling around the world.
The jet lag alone would be enough to knock me for a loop, but not the Big Man, he just keeps on going.
Anyway, if political correctness won’t let him suck on a pipe, how long before other aspects of Santa come under fire.
What about the line ‘He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot.’
So Santa murders animals for clothing does he; not after those politically correct zealots get done with him.
While they want the smoking line removed altogether, they could change this one to ‘He was dressed in a synthetic, fur-like material produced at a fair trade factory in a developing country that opposes forced labour and demands better working conditions for everyone.’
The poem also states, ‘He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf; And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.’
There are so many things wrong with that line I don’t know where to begin. First of all, if the pipe will promote smoking in youth, does the ‘chubby and plump’ line mean Santa will make kids fat?
Better change that to ‘He was in good shape for his age from working out on a regular basis and eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, nuts and vegetables.’
There, much better.
And the laughing at a fat person line is absolutely unacceptable so that must be changed as well. Perhaps ‘I looked on in respect of this body type and offered no rude or judgmental comments based on appearance, age or religious beliefs.’
Call me old fashioned, but I think this is one thing political correctness should leave alone.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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