Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, has been grounded, along with his eight reindeer buddies this Christmas because of the spiralling price of reindeer feed.
In the last six months, due to war, famine, Brexit, postal strikes, rail strikes, nurses strikes, inclement weather, the endangered status of the Amur Leopard, and institutional racism at the BBC, the cost of reindeer feed has tripled, making the upkeep of Santa’s beloved fleet of reindeer, unaffordable.
We Zoomed with Santa and asked how he was dealing with the cost-of-living-in-the-North-Pole crisis. “Ho, ho, ho, ho! Well, it’s a bastard, I can tell you. People think that we only have nine reindeer out here – not that they can remember their names from one year to the next, ho, ho, ho! – but the herd is actually over 3,000. Feeding costs are astronomically high this year.”
We took Santa up on the challenge, and he was right, with us getting only seven out of the nine world-famous reindeers’ names correct. We then asked him how he finances his North Pole operations. “Well, that’s a very good question young man, ho, ho, ho! I keep this a secret and I’m only telling you this because I know no-one reads the Suffolk Gazette. I steal cash from each home I visit on Christmas eve! Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!! People think I just go straight to the children’s bedrooms to drop off the gifts. No, no, no. The first thing I do is head for the wallets and purses. They’re usually in a dish in the kitchen or by the front door, but I know all the hiding places ho, ho, ho!”
Shocked at this revelation, we asked the big man how much he steals each Xmas eve. “Around $6 billion. Yeah. I know, quite a haul, right? Although I’m not predicting so much this year because people are struggling, but, once you take off the overheads, mainly in the toy workshop: staffing, materials, tools, etc I do alright. Mrs Claus has her own expense account which is quite a big slice gone ho, ho, ho! But the bloody reindeer feed is another matter. I’m losing about twelve grand a week at the moment. It’s unsustainable.”
So if the reindeer are grounded, how does Santa intend to travel this Xmas? We asked him. “Ryanair. They’ve done me a special deal. They’re as tight as Sharon Osbourne’s face job but after a bit of haggling I got the deal I was looking for, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, ho, ho, ho!”
The answer is: Donna, Blitzen, Prancer, Dancer, Rudolph, Cupid, Vixen, Dasher, Comet