Santa’s article for the Torbay Weekly - as reported by Peter Moore

Torbay Weekly

Peter Moore asked me to write his column this week. He claimed he needed a week off to prepare for Christmas but actually I’m a far better writer anyway.

Let’s face it, he’s not very good. And how much preparation does he have to do? Surely, I’m the one who has the most to do preparing for Christmas.

He would probably roll out those dreadful clichéd puns about the elf centres. I found them vaguely funny when I first heard then in 1685.

Last year was not easy with the pandemic but then I’m old enough to remember the plague years of 1347-1351 and 1666, not to mention the Spanish Flu of 1918-20. Of course, Spanish Flu was no more from Spain than I am from Antarctica.

Visiting Torbay last year was different. I had to get the right house. Very few children were with their grandparents.

I also found going down the funnels of all the cruise ships difficult. I’m grateful to the people of Torbay who collected presents for the crews which must have helped the ships which didn’t have a traditional funnel.

Flying was a little easier as there were less planes to get in the way although most planes going over Berry Head are usually at 35,000ft so don’t worry the reindeer.

There were problems when I flew to London. I heard there was a child in Downing Street but couldn’t land because there was a party going on.

I was also worried about coming down the chimney in case I damaged the gold wallpaper. I’ve no idea who would pay to have it repaired.

This year, I have had to run through various tests with my elves and reindeer.

To ensure they are all as fit as Prancer they are having to pass the Prancer Christmas Reindeer test or PCR.

The sleigh needs to flow through the snow in a straight line and so it must undergo a 'Lateral Flow Test'.

I have one small request. As well as leaving out a carrot for Rudolph, a glass of sherry and a mince pie, please could you put a bottle of hand sanitiser on top of your chimney? I can then sanitise my hands at every house.

Poor old Rudolph is really suffering. Every time anyone sees his red nose he’s sent for a Covid test.

I then upset the anti-vaxxers when I showed my vaccine certificate in an advert for Tesco.

When you’re overweight, several hundred years old and visit every house in the world, of course I need a vaccine.

Imagine if I had to self-isolate for ten days starting on Christmas eve.

Flying reindeer, going down chimneys and visiting every house in one night may seen far fetched but far more believable that their bizarre conspiracy theories.

It is also time I went 'green'. The sleigh itself does not release carbon dioxide but the reindeer do produce methane, although at the opposite end from Rudolph’s red nose.

I was hoping to get an electric sleigh which would made the reindeer redundant but I’m not sure a charge would last around the whole world.

If I had to stop to recharge the battery I’d probably miss a whole continent.

The green movement does cause me other problems.

Without coal there are very few old-fashioned fireplaces to climb down but at least there will be less soot. And I keep slipping up on solar panels.

So please leave out your stockings. I will get to you.

After all if the NHS can offer a booster to everyone over 18 by next week, visiting every house in the world should be easy.

I’ve enjoyed writing this column. I am thinking of having a word with the editor.

I’m at a bit of a loose end for 11 months of the year and so have the time to take over this column. I’d make a much better job - ho, ho, ho!