Photo via Rockefeller Center's Twitter

Earlier today an 80-foot Norway spruce had its throat slit in broad daylight by a team of hired assassins who, sources say, have strong ties to Rockefeller Center. The tree was murdered at home in Mount Olive, New Jersey—where it had just survived a freaking hurricane—and we're told there may even be footage from the brutal killing.

The corpse is now being "shipped to Midtown," where it will be "dressed with over 5 miles of lights"—at least, that's how the spin doctor running Rock Center's Twitter account puts it. But as we know from previous years, what will really happen is that the tree's lifeless carcass will be strapped to a truck, and paraded all the way to Midtown Manhattan where sap-thirsty gawkers and dead-eyed children will cheer at the sight. It will then be forced up into a standing position like some arboreal Weekend at Bernie's, lit up, resuscitated, and murdered again through the sounds of whatever soul-sucking pop sensation is picked to serenade it on November 28th.

The 76-year-old man who previously "owned" the tree had known that his tall friend was targeted for the ritual slaughter four weeks ago, but today announced that, for obvious reasons, he “kept this very low profile... kept it off Facebook and everyplace so nobody knew what was going on.” We're told his young neighbor Timmy was shocked to hear of his involvement in the arboricide, which is receiving national attention. According to Timmy, the kindly old man "smelled like peppermint and reminded me of Santa." Upon overhearing him, the man told little Timmy that Santa wasn't real, before grabbing an ax and chopping down a couple more trees, "just for sport."