Disturbing news is coming from Enlightenment Boulevard where the UCEM Council Executive has recently received reports of the death of Santa Claus. The coup de grâce came when this photographic evidence was revealed:
This dreadful news has shocked UCEM insiders, coming so soon after UCEM’s attempt to cancel Christmas. Such drastic measures were deemed necessary after UCEM’s ‘Preventative Health for Utopian Care’ Christmas task-force publicized the myriad dangers of the festive season. Indeed, PHUC Christmas task-force leader Egerton Y. Davis IV was nearly the first person since Oliver Cromwell in the 1640s to ban Christmas.
You will recall, however, that Christmas gained a last minute reprieve. Santa, although still reeling from his new found status as a ‘public health’ pariah, pledged to change his nasty health habits. His promises to provide an example for the world to follow convinced UCEM to let Christmas proceed.
So, what happened?
Details as yet are scanty. Rumours abound, with many possible mechanisms suggested by conspiracy theorists. Was Santa shot by a disgruntled father who overheard his children singing along to ‘I saw saw mummy kissing Santa Claus’?
Did he bring the wrong present?
Did he burn to death after trying to go down one too many chimneys?
Did he fail to wear a seatbelt?
Professor Staghorn, head of UCEM’s Inquisitorial Disciplinary Committee, has begun to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It seems that Santa’s death may lack the glamour of a Hollywood-style killing. It is likely that many factors were at play.
First, mounting evidence suggests that Santa Claus may not have kept his pledges to avoid tobacco and alcohol:
Together with his addiction to energy dense sugary and fatty foods, as well as chronic sleep deprivation, these factors must have compounded his ongoing battle with weight gain, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Dementia may have also started to set in, with abdominal obesity a known risk factor for the condition. More troubling are reports that Santa was subjected to domestic violence because of his ongoing sexual dysfunction. It appears that coming once a year was simply unacceptable to Mrs Claus. This must have accelerated Santa’s descent into alcoholism. Confirmation of all these problems comes from the most reliable of sources: Santa’s own GP.
It also seems that Santa was under increasing physical stress. The application of new European Working Directives to Lapland’s reindeer meant that Santa had to go on a recruiting drive. Sadly, some of these new recruits simply didn’t cut the mustard. Increasingly Santa was having to help pull the sleigh himself.
There are also rumors that he was suffering a relapse of his 1993 epsiode of sepsis, the consequence of a particularly savage reindeer bite. Indeed, UCEM microbiologists have confirmed that full eradication of Streptococcus rudolfus is almost impossible to achieve.
So, while Santa’s exact mechanism of death is not yet known, it is clear that the writing was well and truly on the wall. May he rest in peace. However, the show must go on and auditions for a new Santa Claus have already begun.
Those hoping for a fit and healthy new Santa may be disappointed: