Frosty Killed Santa…or So Authorities Believed (aka The Dangers of Inflated News)
Let me describe the scene of the crime.
I live in a small town with a big and beautiful lake.
Life revolves around the lake, which was a hallowed gathering place for the Wampanoag people for centuries; it’s now a destination for swimming, parasailing, light craft boating, skating, and ice fishing. It is still a place of reverence and respect.
Back in the day, Sharon, Massachusetts had one of the largest ice plants in New England. Big blocks of lake ice were cut from the frozen water and sent to patrons around the state for their “ice boxes”. Frigidaire put an end to this in 1946 with the modern freezer, but the town has continued to embrace a culture of inventiveness rooted in practicality, with an openness to new ideas that has helped shape a liberal sensibility.
It helps that we talk as a town. We talk a lot; we argue some. But we get along. Proximity creates understanding and understanding makes for compromise.
This sensibility, coupled with an equally fervent respect for the natural surroundings, means a tolerant, multicultural climate. We have nine churches, seven synagogues, and one of New England’s largest mosques — all within a few miles of one another. This is part of the reason we were named one of the best places to live in America by Money Magazine in 2013.
Our town’s embracing diversity includes one of the oldest moose sanctuaries in the country. Yes, moose. The moose looms large here.
I offer this picture to set the stage for the shocking and initially inexplicable crime committed in my hometown during a recent holiday season.
Frosty killed Santa Claus.
Early reports indicated that Frosty had just crippled him, which would have created a dependent Claus. But that sadly proved untrue. Santa is gone.
Here’s what happened as reported in the local newspaper, with some embellishments from me.
Sharonians were encouraged to decorate with festive holiday items, with some spectacular, ecumenical dioramas popping up around town. Anchoring one display were the assassin and his would be victim — a twelve foot high inflatable Frosty and an equally-sized Santa. Santa’s red plastic coat was embellished with some faux fox fur to add authenticity.
For many weeks they stood amiably by each other’s sides. But one morning, the town awoke to find Santa in a crumpled heap. To make things worse, two young children on their way to a holiday pageant had discovered the body.
Looking up, they’d noticed that Frosty still stood tall but had a more demonic glare in his eye than they’d remembered. Had the professional rivalry between these two icons suddenly turned personal? They rushed to tell the authorities.
As the news spread, everyone started to become Claus minded; the local coffee shop was abuzz with conspiracy theories and people started to take sides. The police deputized a group of children to scour the lake for clues. Days passed without a breakthrough in the case.
Hearing that the trail was turning cold, the town animal warden volunteered to analyze the crime scene more closely, and he discovered some mysterious tracks in and around the fallen Nick.
The case broke wide open with this plausible re-creation: A large bull moose had wandered off the grounds of the Sanctuary. Disoriented and probably hungry, he’d happened upon the diorama and Santa. Startled by the faux fur on Santa’s coat and sensing a predator (moose are not fearless, as Rocket J. Squirrel can attest,) he’d attacked, taking a bite out of Santa’s butt and rendering the fatal blow.
It’s true that moose are usually herbivores, but they are also extremely nearsighted.
Frosty was exonerated.
The moral of this sad tale: Don’t buy bargain basement holiday inflatables, especially if you have moose nearby. And…
It’s always smart to reserve judgment until you have all the facts.