The 6 Biggest Christmas F#@%-Ups of 2014
No matter how crappy your year has been -- and if you're a Malaysia Airlines or Sony Pictures executive, the word is "extremely" -- at least you can still look forward to enjoying a nice, cheerful, merry Chri- wait, nope, it's ruined. Yep, it's not even the 24th yet and dumb people across the world have already managed to shit all over the upcoming Christmas. Oh, well, there's always 2015.
How exactly have they Grinched up Jesus' birthday, you ask? Like this:
TGI Friday's "Mistletoe Drone" Cuts Someone's Face
TGI Friday's might not represent the high point of cuisine, but at least the food won't kill you. No, they handed that responsibility off to the mistletoe-wielding drone that chopped a section out of an innocent photographer's nose.
"TGI wasn't flying at crotch level."
As part of their festive marketing campaign, TGIF planned to fly these drones over couples in the hope of getting them to kiss, because there's nothing more romantic than aerobots usually reserved for brutal warfare. Unfortunately, the anonymous pilot decided to be a massive show-offy dick for the press and ended up crashing into the face of photographer Georgine Benvenuto, who's probably now considering ditching public relations work in exchange for covering civil wars and nuclear accidents.
The drone itself went missing, which is terrifying because it now has tasted human blood.
The drone's blades ended up cutting out a bit of her nose, but at least TGIF's drone program has been suspended. On the plus side, customers can now eat their food without risking their lives. On the down side, this means that TGI Friday's is now officially more responsible than the U.S. military.
North Korea Threatens to Bomb South Korea ... Over a Christmas Tree
North Korea doesn't have the best relationship with ... anyone, but it's especially strained with South Korea. But, hey, if the U.S. and Cuba can bury the hatchet one magical December morning, anything's possible, right? That's why, for this festive season, the South decided to erect a 30-foot Christmas tree near the border to symbolize peace between the two countries. Awww.
And then the North threatened to bomb the shit out of it if they didn't take it down.
We had a caption joke ready to go, but Sony deleted it.
The tree is no more than a radio tower annually adorned with lights and a gigantic star. It's about as dangerous as, well, a tree. However, because they outlawed irony in the 1960s, North Korea considers it a "despicable act of psychological warfare" and a "madcap confrontation racket," a quip that probably sounded better in their heads. Eventually, the South was forced to take it down, because getting nuked over a Christmas decoration just isn't worth it. It's not like it was something truly important, like a Rogen/Franco movie.
As for the real reason the North is so pissed, it's either a) the fact that the citizenry can see the tree and the leadership is frightened that the twinkly lights will succeed where mass starvation, concentration camps, and shit haircuts have failed, triggering a country-wide insurrection, or b) because the country hates religion to tragically comical extremes, making them the real-life equivalent of Reddit (sans kooky gaming-related conspiranoia).
Shitty Christmas Theme Park Forced to Close After One Day
On the face of it, there's no way that a theme park dedicated entirely to Christmas could fail. Hell, most of your clientele are high on dopamine and candy. Just throw some fake snow down, glue some plastic antlers to a dog, dress a hobo as Santa Claus, and hire a lifeguard to prevent you from drowning in the newly minted money pit. Or, you know, maybe throw in a little effort, because it turns out that people don't like it so much when you promise this:
"That's right! Coke for everyone! Coke as far as the eye can see!"
And deliver this:
"Sorry, Santa did all the coke."
The Magical Journey, located near the town of Sutton Coldfield in England, promised British families a "winter wonderland of magic and drama," and, while we're not sure how much magic there was in the air, visitors definitely experienced a sleigh-load of drama. Among the attractions offered by the park was the chance to ride a "train" (read: "golf buggy pulled by a tractor"), be gifted unwrapped dollar-store rubbish from a grotto apparently staffed by the lead character from Bad Santa, and queue for hours. To be entirely fair, however, that's what passes for a white-knuckle ride over there.
The owners blamed poor weather conditions for preventing them from finishing the installations in time, because "our dog ate the whole park" didn't sound too convincing. As a result, the park received so many complaints that it was forced to shut its doors after a single day. After taking a few days to get their shit together and work off the hangover, the park reopened in glory and majesty ... only to close again a few weeks later, this time for good. Hopefully.
Santa Hitches a Ride in a Police Van, Traumatizes Kids
In a time where it's getting harder and harder to trust the police, the cops in the British town of Aberdare found the perfect solution: helping out Father Christmas himself during a parade full of adoring children and their families. Not only that, they even went as far as to give him a ride in their police van at the end! What a wonderful idea! Here's what it looked like, by the way:
"Don't worry," the cops said to the reindeer, "he'll never touch you again."
Yes, apparently Christmas has been called off in the U.K. because Scotland Yard finally nabbed that elf-abusing, midnight cookies-stealing bastard. The kids watching this fiasco understandably started freaking out, and many were reduced to tears -- a video recorded during the parade shows adults laughing while their children despair and someone says, "Santa's been arrested!" Worst of all, U.K. banknotes don't even have "In God We Trust" written on them, so there's no chance of any last-minute Miracle on 34th Street-style exonerations.
Pennsylvania Town Has the Worst Christmas Tree Ever
The people of Reading, Pennsylvania, have a major problem: they live in Pennsylvania. Also, they're stuck with what's being called the ugliest Christmas tree in America after city workers decided not to go to the tree farm because they feared their truck would get stuck in the mud. Instead, they just grabbed the first vaguely tree-looking thing they could find, but they might as well have brought a bucket of mud.
The residents are frantically writing letters to North Korea.
The tree in question, a magnificent-sounding 45-foot-tall Norway spruce, is so pitiful that there no jokes that could match the awful reality. For a while, its only decoration was a single Peanuts-esque bauble -- because you might as well embrace the nightmare with both arms -- while, according to one resident, local birds refuse to land on it, presumably out of fear that they'll tip it over. Or just fear.
It isn't all bad, though. In a turn of events worthy of an '80s feel-good romp, once the tree got national coverage, the community rallied against plans to remove it ... despite initially gathering money to destroy it. Some even consider it a metaphor for the festive season itself, as opposed to a metaphor for really, really wanting those dumb tourist dollars.
U.K. Card Manufacturer Incites Class War
At best, a Christmas card will make you say, "That's nice," before you put it away and forget about it forever. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you'll roll your eyes at the bad joke and throw it in the trash. That was before a British card maker took things to the next level by using the medium for a festive spot of classism:
"Fuck coal; I'm dropping a 'yule log' in these guys' stockings."
The card listed 10 reasons why Santa Claus lives on a council estate, something that may sound like a fancy type of castle but is actually British public housing. The provided reasons included "He has a serial record for breaking and entering," "He only works once a year," and "He drinks alcohol during work hours," which is just straight-up slander, as opposed to an observation based on any part of the Santa canon. Unless, that is, Coca-Cola's Holiday ads are very different in the U.K.
Hold on, the U.K. again?! What the hell is happening on that side of the Atlantic? They have A Christmas Carol, for god's sake. How are they so bad at this?
As a Brit, Adam would like to apologize on behalf of his fellow countrymen for, like, everything that was just mentioned. He'd also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Except you. You know what you did.
While we're on the topic, also check out 5 Creepy Christmas Traditions From Around the World and 6 Horrifying Implications of Classic Christmas Movies.