Be­cause his rein­deer can fly, Santa can eas­ily avoid bor­ders, hard or oth­er­wise. But that’ll be the least of his wor­ries next year if there’s a no-deal Brexit

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - PA­TRICK FREYNE

If Bri­tain crashes out of the EU with no deal this will have con­se­quences for in­de­pen­dent im­port/ex­port op­er­a­tors like Santa Claus, who has hith­erto, as a La­p­land-based Finn, ben­e­fited from fric­tion­less trade across the EU. Here are some of the things Santa has to look for­ward to next year in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Next year Santa Claus will need to queue up in Dover with all the other for­eign schmucks for re­quired cus­toms checks. That’s fine with us, say the Bri­tish, even though by then most of Santa’s presents will amount to emer­gency food drops.

The cus­toms of­fi­cials will be in­ter­ested in what­ever Ru­dolph’s prob­lem is, but af­ter sev­eral hours ques­tion­ing him about his red nose and the fact he has com­mis­sioned a whole song about him­self (clear signs of drug use), they’ll let him off with a cau­tion. Un­for­tu­nately sev­eral of Santa’s elves will be repa­tri­ated to Riven­dell be­cause they can­not name the Bri­tish prime min­is­ter or War­lord Supreme (this is a bit of a trick ques­tion as the Bri­tish over­lord will be chang­ing on a weekly ba­sis by then due to the war).

It’s not all bad. On the plus side with­out the med­dling EU dic­tat­ing what’s “healthy” or “eth­i­cal”, Santa will be able to pump his rein­deer full of growth hor­mones so that they’re all mus­cle and swollen and emo­tional. “What are you **** ing look­ing at?” Santa’s rein­deers will say as they fly over your town.

The Bri­tish will be thrilled. Any­one who has been to a Bri­tish high street af­ter ten in the evening will know this to be their na­tional greet­ing. In­deed, in the spirit of mak­ing Bri­tain great again “what are you **** ing look­ing at?” is how the queen will open her 2019 Christ­mas speech, now two hours of drunken weep­ing, fol­lowed by a broad­cast of the clas­sic fam­ily film Threads. Then broad­cast­ing will cease be­cause of en­ergy ra­tioning.

Santa will need to reg­u­late his iden­tity for all this, of course. At the mo­ment he op­er­ates un­der many aliases – Fa­ther Christ­mas, Santa Claus, Santy, St Ni­cholas, Jin­gle Jan­gle John, The Red Creeper, Toots Cun­ning­ham, Kram­pus and Glob­u­lus Snake­wor­thy MD. Af­ter Brexit he will be re­quired to adopt a nor­mal English name like “Boris” or “Ja­son” or “Kev”.

I as­sure you, the chil­dren will be just as ex­cited to see “Boris” or “Ja­son” or “Kev” break­ing into their home at four in the morn­ing. “Kev” will be draped, not in so­cial­ist red, but in the Union Jack, and he will be en­cour­aged to drink an English drink like Stella not a weird for­eign drink like eggnog (I’m pretty sure that af­ter Brexit all hens will be dead some­how and eggs will be deemed “fic­tional” or “un­pa­tri­otic”).

Santa will also be en­cour­aged to use the door like an English­man. This is be­cause af­ter the Tories re­lax the child labour laws, the chim­neys will be crammed with wheez­ing urchin chim­ney-sweeps and lit­tle match­girls (they’ll store the match­girls up the chim­ney too for some rea­son). These sooty tykes will be net­ted by fu­ture Min­is­ter for Chil­dren Jacob Rees Mogg, who will pa­trol the coun­try in a Vic­to­rian jalopy in search of cheap work­ers to re­place Johnny For­eigner. When bleed­ing hearts asks about fu­ture child­care poli­cies, he’ll show them the film Oliver and pos­si­bly some is­sues of the Beano from the 1950s, in which he stars, and in which bru­talised chil­dren have jobs and are thrilled by be­ing gifted a sausage or a pie.

In­fant-clogged smoke­stack

Any­way, af­ter Santa is ex­tri­cated by emer­gency ser­vices from his first in­fant-clogged smoke­stack, he’ll get the mes­sage. “I’ll use the door in fu­ture,” he’ll say, a lit­tle shak­ily.

There will be still more changes. Santa will no longer be per­mit­ted to put presents un­der a Christ­mas tree, as this tra­di­tion was brought into the coun­try by a Ger­man blow-in (Vic­to­ria’s bae Prince Al­bert), and thus all the Christ­mas trees are prob­a­bly be­ing bugged by the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice. In­stead the Bri­tish will dou­ble down on the solidly English, co­er­cively sex­ual plant par­a­site, mistle­toe. Mistle­toe was thought by the an­cient Bri­tons to be the se­men of the thun­der god Tara­nis (se­ri­ously), and the plant is used to this day to en­cour­age peo­ple to kiss other peo­ple they don’t want to kiss. This brings two thoughts to mind: “ugh” and “Tara­nis should re­ally see a doc­tor”.

Sadly, due to post-Brexit re­cruit­ment prob­lems at the NHS, Tara­nis will not be able to see a doc­tor. The death of Tara­nis will be the Brex­i­teers’ “Diana mo­ment” and peo­ple will col­lec­tively mourn the beloved de­ity. They will line the streets… or “tracks” or “trenches” or what­ever con­sti­tutes “streets” af­ter the EU struc­tural fund­ing is gone.

So Santa will gaze sus­pi­ciously at the huge pile of mistle­toe in the mid­dle of the first Bri­tish sit­ting room he vis­its, and he will place the presents, re­wrapped badly af­ter the cus­toms search, cau­tiously at its edge. Arms will emerge from be­neath the pile of sod­den plant mass to pull the presents within. Santa will be deeply creeped out. “This is your cul­ture now?” he’ll cry.

“This is our cul­ture now!” the Brex­i­teers will de­clare tri­umphantly, strip­ping to the waist for the yule­tide mistle­toe dance that they cur­rently per­form in se­cret, but which will in fu­ture hap­pen on live tele­vi­sion near the huge wicker man they’re build­ing on the site of the Shard. It will be dif­fi­cult for Santa to con­cen­trate as he glides to­wards the west of Bri­tain. This is partly be­cause he’s still think­ing of the mistle­toe hor­ror and the chim­ney hor­ror and the Brex­i­teer dance hor­ror and be­cause his buff hor­mone-ad­dled rein­deers are scream­ing with rage, but also be­cause of the gales of laugh­ter com­ing from across the sea.

That’s the Ir­ish, a race who have suf­fered for cen­turies be­cause of the Brits be­ing “at it again” but who are quite en­joy­ing watch­ing their for­mer colonis­ers punch them­selves re­peat­edly in the groin. They’ll put up with a cer­tain amount of trade dis­rup­tion to watch the Bri­tish do this.

The Ir­ish wave at Santa and Santa waves back. He doesn’t recog­nise any of them be­cause they’re all in bal­a­clavas smug­gling diesel across the Bor­der, even John Bru­ton. Santa has al­ready been to Ire­land. He hopped over there on De­cem­ber 25th. Be­cause of cus­toms de­lays, how­ever, the Bri­tish have moved Christ­mas Day to mid-March. Santa doesn’t like work­ing in March. He thinks he mightn’t go to Bri­tain next year. Sure, he mightn’t even get in.

‘‘ Santa will also be en­cour­aged to use the door like an English­man. This is be­cause af­ter the Tories re­lax the child labour laws, the chim­neys will be crammed with wheez­ing urchin chim­ney sweeps and lit­tle match­girls

Christ­mas mood: Threads

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