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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa's Special Forces

I don’t know if all the recent news feeds about America raising a nation of obese children is true, but from the looks of things at the mall this past weekend, Santa’s gonna be opting for knee replacement surgery after Christmas.

One kid in line looked like an egg in a snowsuit. It took three elves and two recruits from Mall Security Special Forces to hoist him on to Santa’s lap. If that Humpty Dumpty had fallen off the wall, there’s not a frying pan in the kitchen at IHOP big enough to make an omelette with the remains.

And I don’t know what kind of insurance the Elves’ Union has, but I hope it’s not an HMO. It’s hard enough to get a letter of referral in the North Pole, much less finding an orthopedist with access to load bearing replacement joints.

Of course, Santa isn’t exactly a graduate of the Jillian Anderson school of fitness either. I don’t know what he does during the off season, but he might need to consider having one of the elves whip him up a Wii Fit for the North Pole break room. Before long he’s not going to need magic reindeer. He’s going to need a magic forklift with a widescreen GPS and axles that handle extra jolly loads.

And let’s get real. Who among us believes that any animal with a name like Dancer or Prancer is going to make the cut for a team of high-performance reindeer that has to fly around the world in one night? Those guys might make the top three on Dancing with the Stars, but they aren’t the go-to alpha males for endurance muscle.

I’ve checked all over to find the real story of Santa’s team, but the closest I found was Reindeer Games for Dummies featuring Rocky and Bullwinkle, which sounds a lot better than Prancer and Dancer. In the South, those are the sort of names that get you beat up every day at recess. Sooner or later these guys are going to have to bulk up or risk losing their Sponge Bob lunchboxes to disgruntled reindeer outcasts.

I’d like to peek into Reindeer School to see what sort of screening process is in place. Somewhere there’s a two-ton reindeer named Tiny belting back Budweisers and watching the Olympic Reindeer Games saying, “I could have been a contender.” That’s the sort of animal I want watching Santa’s back.

So you might want to stay in on Christmas Eve. When Biggie Claus mounts that sleigh like Paul Bunyan at the helm of his big blue ox and starts calling reindeer names at takeoff, you might be better off not knowing who they are. Guido might think you’re looking a little too longingly at the Hannah Montana doll in Santa’s bag. One peek at the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow and you could very well wind up in the Polar Protection Program.

Rest assured that come Christmas morning, all will be well. Because as sure as there’s not a mouse stirring in the land of Nod, there’s nobody better making sure a sleigh full of packages get to their destination overnight.

But make it easy on Santa and leave him a spot in the driveway. Those chimney landings are tough on the knees. And Prancer's already wearing a wrist brace for carpal tunnel.

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