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4 Completely Insane Ways People Are Hijacking Santa's Image

It's Christmas Eve, which means that Santa Claus will soon pervert the space-time continuum in ways frightening and unimaginable just so he can deliver you a gift certificate to the Cracker Barrel. And as is par for the course, this Christmas many organizations are appropriating Santa's already terrible countenance for their foolish human ends.

#4. Santa Gets a Smartphone, Murders His Reindeer

To demonstrate how much modern smartphones can improve one's business, U.K. mobile carrier EE created this ad featuring Santa Claus espousing the virtues of fast wireless Internet. (Unlike last year's raft of Christmastime phone commercials, this particular Santa Claus does not use his phone to ogle Mrs. Claus' vagina.)

EE
It's for all of us who ever wondered what Santa would sound like as a Guy Ritchie character.

The ad starts out fairly innocuous, with Saint Nick yammering about how various apps make his deliveries go smoothly. Then, in the final seconds, we see the consequences of modernization -- Santa puts his reindeer out to pasture and/or in an elvish glue factory in the northern wastes of Greenland.

EE
"I keep these as a warning to the new workers."

This is supposed to be a throwaway gag, but the joke's totally sinister when you spend 10 seconds unraveling it. First off, Santa Claus and his reindeer are immortal -- that's why we don't change the reindeer names in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to, like, Roshambo and Cuisinart and Dongle every year.

So precluding the possibility of some sort of peppermint-scented protozoan infection -- which we can't even imagine is a thing, as there are no Christmas carols about such a topic -- Santa Claus upgraded to 4G wireless and promptly slaughtered Vixen and Blitzen and the rest. But why? The reindeer would've happily lived forever, flying around the rafters of a barn, raining endless shit on stable elves for all eternity ... actually, we kind of see where Santa's coming from.

#3. NORAD Gives Santa an Armed Escort

Last year, 22 million people watched the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa tracker, which allowed kids to see the enigmatic Arctic mystic's route in real time. But this year, the Pentagon caught the Internet's flak when promotional footage hit the Web of Santa's sleigh flanked by what appeared to be a duo of missile-sporting jets.

NORAD
"Now I have an F-18, ho-ho-ho."

A NORAD spokesman countered this criticism by claiming that these were simply jets the Pentagon scrambled to help Santa refuel, which we suppose means firing an icy cannon of whole milk at the magical fat man at 40,000 feet.

#2. Greenpeace's Basement Hell Santa

To raise public awareness about the depletion of Arctic ice, the environmental protest group Greenpeace recently released this unapologetically disturbing video of actor Jim Carter (also known as Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey) dressed as a dirty, bedraggled Santa Claus who has to cancel Christmas because of melting ice caps.

GreenpeaceUK
And then gets murdered by the Blair Witch.

The clip is more or less 90 seconds of a confused, unkempt Santa Claus traipsing around a leaky, poorly lit room as he mutters vague threats to Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin and the camera focuses on his nose veins. Anybody who watches this won't think about the polar ecosystem, but rather that one time, as a kid, they met that mall Santa who smelled like menthols and apple cider vinegar and screamed about the reptile people who run NASA.

#1. Everybody in New York Hates SantaCon

SantaCon began in 1994 as a goofy flash mob designed to confuse San Franciscans with the spectacle of several hundred Santa Clauses in a single location. And in the intervening years, SantaCon spread to a bunch of cities -- specifically New York, where it's now a pub crawl that attracts thousands of hollering douchebags in Kris Kringle costumes who clog the avenues with the sights and sounds of undiagnosed alcoholism.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Merry Cirrhosis.

And despite efforts to staunch the tide of Santas by community organizations, police, residents, and certain bar owners uninterested in serving a gaggle of intoxicated dumbfucks, SantaCon scored some of New York's least discerning bars record money this year, proving once again that there are few forces in the universe more powerful than a drunken mob.

And of course, no SantaCon would be complete without those colorful breakdowns of civilization, which ranged from bar brawls to open container arrests to a Santa getting a public hand job in a pharmacy to a six-Santa street brawl. Presumably, crimes like these make New Yorkers nostalgic for the days when Times Square was just filthy with pimps.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"Jim Beam us, everyone!"

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