Vancouver, BC, November 14, 2012--According to publisher Grafton and Scratch, Santa himself "edited" Clement Moore's classic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas'" ("A Visit From St. Nicholas") to hide the fact that Mr. Claus smokes a pipe.
The book's cover illustration no longer shows the pipe, and the following lines were scraped out of the text: "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, / And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath."
The publisher said that kids will light up if they see or hear about Santa's habit.
According to Bill Smith, president of the Sanitized Literature Organization Wordwide (SLOW), "It's much better to have ignorant kids who do not know the ways of the world rather than kids who are presented with the dangerous original additions of classic literature and expected to fend for themselves."
In the works from SLOW, new versions of "The Yearling," "Bambi," and "Black Beauty" without any death, cruelty, or discouraging words. Long term, Smith is working with writers "willing to prostitute themselves" to remove the flies from "Lord of the Flies" and to edit out the Western Front and all references to war in "All Quiet on the Western Front."
Authors and literature teachers who have spoken off the record since they cannot risk offending those who are offended at everything these days, noted that--based on the book's cover art---the publisher did not bother to censor out the fact that Santa is obese or, in using only one reindeer to pull his sleigh, has no respect for animals.
A well known grammar police group noted that the publisher also doesn't know how to spell, having left out the apostrophe in the contraction "'Twas."
"Most kids won't even notice," said Smith, "because apostrophes are being removed from public school tests as part of the every child left behind program."
When asked for a comment, Mr. Claus said, "Nuts!"
Story filed by Jock Stewart of the Junction City, TX "Star-Gazer"