In a stunning revelation, the U.S. Air Force broke the hearts of millions of children who follow its official Twitter account (that number is just an estimate, by the way) when it told two feuding Air Force bases, “Santa will bring you nothing this year...becuase he isn't real!”
To be clear, children were brokenhearted because the Air Force said Santa isn’t real, not because it can’t spell the word “because.” The latter breaks the hearts of millions of elementary school teachers.
The whole Santa flap began when Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota waged a friendly social media war – no actual weapons were involved -- over which fleet was bigger and better. The official Air Force Twitter account (yes, I, too, was surprised the Air Force has an official Twitter account) stepped in with a warning, according to CNN.
“We didn't want to have to do this, but if you 2 can't get along we must...Santa will bring you nothing this year...becuase he isn't real!” read the tweet from command.
The media quickly turned their attention from federal indictments of Trump cronies, North Korean nuclear missile tests and Hollywood sex scandals to focus on this new blockbuster claim that Santa does not exist.
“Air Force confirms Santa Claus isn't real while chiding quarreling bases on Twitter,” read the headline of a Washington Examiner story by Anna Giaritelli.
The Air Force backtracked or clarified or does whatever it does when it drops a bomb in the wrong place.
"Santa is real," the Air Force tweeted as a follow up directed at Giaritelli. "Bluffing to get @Whiteman_AFB @TeamMinot in line. Tracking him (Santa) in Dec @NoradNorthcom, " a reference to the annual Christmas Eve tracking of Santa by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
As the senior military/mythical holiday figure correspondent for this award-winning publication, I knew it was my job to get to the bottom of this controversy. I reached out to sources at both the Pentagon and the North Pole. While I was unable to arrange a sit-down, face-to-face interview with Santa Claus, I did receive this statement from the Santa Administration, purported to be from the jolly old elf himself. Here it is:
It has come to my attention that the United States Air Force in one of its social media posts cast doubt upon my very existence, then quickly retreated from that position, perhaps in fear that high-ranking officers would find lumps of coal in their stockings.
I can assure all the children out there that I am every much real, kept alive through the spirit of giving and in the hearts of all those waiting in line at Best Buy at 4 a.m. on Black Friday.
Look, kids, the Air Force is comprised of a great bunch of guys and gals, but the branch does have a history of contradictory statements. Remember Roswell back in ’47? First the Air Force says a flying saucer crashed, then it says it was a weather balloon.
For the record, it was a flying saucer. One of the aliens who survived the crash applied for elf work here at the Pole back in the ‘52. We eventually got the work visa approved and he’s been here ever since. Gary is a super, super employee. Just the best. I don’t care what you’ve heard about aliens from Alpha Andromeda, but they are fine, hard-working folks who want to provide for their families and I think the Easter Bunny’s plan to build an intergalactic space wall is absolutely absurd. But I didn’t mean to get political here.
To reiterate, I’m real and I will be real as long as the Christmas spirit is real. Keep others in your hearts and, most importantly, don’t believe everything you read on social media.
Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. and a humor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.