Everyone knows Santa smokes three packs of Reds a day (a habit he picked up while driving a cab) and if he didn't, he'd gain so much weight that he wouldn't fit down a chimney. But one children's book author has rewritten history (fine, fantasy) by editing out a line of the famous poem A Visit From St. Nicholas that features Santa's pipe. What's next? Will we be forced to whitewash over the time Santa got a Jacob's Ladder or the fact that he did "a little blow" during his freshman year at Columbia?
Who could forget this timeless line from the 19th century poem?
“The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth/and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath”
Kids these days, always using the word "encircled" when talking about the pipes that no one smokes anymore!
The author, Pamela McColl, removed it and hired some fascist propagandist to draw Santa NOT smoking a pipe, which is one of only 1,280,000,000 images that exist with him not smoking.
While the worst thing about Christmas remains the orgy of capitalism that spreads like a Best Buy gift card virus to everyone who celebrates it—dealing its hosts a piercing jet of ennui and saddling them with a mountain of debt and remorse immediately after it's over, year after soul-numbing year—the "controversy" surrounding this book is almost as terrible.
One one hand, you have an author who is (however well-meaning) exploiting her act of censorship for publicity with this book cover and her comments (“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.”) about a book that features a poem that she didn't even write about a mythical character who, while not smoking, is still morbidly, dangerously obese.
On the other, you have a spokesman from the American Library Association taking minutes out of her day to tell the Post that McColl's book is "denying access to the original voice of the author," along with the president of a guild of adult men who dress up in order to lie to children giving The Post a statement IN CHARACTER: “Leave my story alone! This change is not officially sanctioned by the North Pole."
And then of course, there is The Media, claiming that McColl and the "P.C. Police…Destroyed" this sacred text that a guy from New York City wrote to get his kids to shut the fuck up and sleep already. And now, us.
We stopped reading this poem a long time ago anyway, because A Christmas Story or Species 2 or something is usually on TV.