Santa Claus to Undergo Gastric Bypass Surgery
After many years spent struggling with his weight, Santa has opted for surgical weight loss
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
-- “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clark Moore
While Moore’s immortal description of Santa Claus may have been apt, Santa never enjoyed it.
“I’m not self-conscious necessarily,” Santa said, his body nestled into an oversized recliner in his study. “But it’s stuff like that, you know, when you’re in the public eye; that hurts a lot.”
This is just one of the many things that caused Santa to consider bariatric surgery. Despite a healthy diet, a strict exercise regimen, and the fact he burns at least 10,000 calories on Christmas Eve each year, Santa’s weight plateaued several decades ago.
“It’s really frustrating,” he confessed. “I mean, I’ve done so much to lose weight—I do cardio and weight training three times a week, yoga twice a week in a heat room, I eat a balanced diet, I’ve given up soda, the pipe, and sweets—but still nothing.”
Fad Diets Didn’t Work
Santa tried both the Atkins and South Beach diets prior to his decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery but did not experience any significant weight loss.
“And don’t even get me started on that lemonade cleansing diet,” he rolled his eyes. “Three days of that spicy lemonade junk was all I could take. For some people, sure, Atkins and South Beach might work, but I guess I’m just different from your average guy.”
That, of course, is an understatement.
Santa is an interesting figure. He’s a dead ringer for an old Orson Welles. He even offered me a glass of Paul Masson champagne (a brand which Welles hocked in the ebb of his career) when I first arrived at his North Pole workshop via dog sled. He plays clarinet and plays it quite well. He has a sonorous voice, a bit like Darth Vader, but cheerier and without the heavy breathing. One of the odd things about Santa, though, is his laugh: it’s very delicate, like he’s one of the girls in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.
I asked about his usual boisterous laugh and he turned to me and smiled. “The ‘ho, ho ho’ is just for show, show, show,” he giggled.
It should also be noted that Santa’s workshop is like a household in The Jetsons. There are robots working alongside the elves, and each of Santa’s reindeer exercise on futuristic treadmills.
“Boss is trying to get in shape and look good, so we’re doing the same to show our solidarity,” said Blitzen.
“Less talk, more walk,” scolded Rudolph.
Santa took me on a tour of his abode, and while it would be just as easy to do a print version of the show Cribs rather than focus on Santa’s bariatric surgery, I will simply note that Santa has an excellent home theater, an extensive collection of original lithographs from the 19th century, two indoor swimming pools (one shaped like a candy cane, the other like a snowflake), and an impressive vinyl collection, the prize piece of which is an original Beatles “butcher cover” in mint condition.
Santa’s Gastric Bypass Procedure
The actual surgical weight loss procedure is scheduled for early next year and will be performed at an undisclosed location. Some internet rumors suggest Hollywood and Beverly Hills as possible locations for the gastric bypass, rumors which Santa dispelled before changing the subject.
“My surgeon told me about the procedure and it seems pretty straightforward,” Santa said. “It’s a Roux en-Y proximal, which is pretty much your standard gastric bypass. It basically staples off part of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch that connects to the lower intestine. The doc tells me this will bypass calorie absorption.”
Getting the bariatric surgery after the holiday season rather than before was a given.
“I’d get the gastric bypass right now, but I’d need to recoup after the surgery and that just wouldn’t be fair to the kids,” Santa said. “I mean, what, you want me to send Crumpet the Elf out on Christmas Eve? That’s madness.”
Crumpet, the elf who welcomed me into the workshop and stood to my left, tossed his glass of Paul Masson aside and stomped out of the room.
“Poor guy,” Santa said. “He’s hit a rough patch with the wife lately. I should really go easier on him. I deserve a lump of coal for that.”
At that point Mrs. Claus, who insisted I call her Martha, entered Santa’s study. Martha is like your best friend’s mom, except she’s even happier to see you and smells just like fresh gingerbread.
“He’s been so down lately,” she said. “It might be seasonal affective disorder, but I really think it’s associated with his self-image. He’s been battling with his weight for so long, but this weight loss surgery is a viable option to finally shed those pounds, so his spirits are looking up.”
What Will Santa Be Like After Bariatric Surgery?
Asked how he thought his life would change after bariatric surgery Santa nodded thoughtfully.
“I know I’ll be the same jolly guy, but I suppose I just won’t be as self-conscious as before,” he smiled. “I’ll probably look like I did back in the 1770s: young, spry, full of vim and vigor.”
“Like a young Orson Welles,” Martha added.
Santa nodded. “The gastric bypass is just the first step, really. My bariatric surgeon has already recommended me to a nutritionist so I know what to eat after the gastric bypass. He even referred me to a plastic surgeon since there’s excess skin and whatnot after drastic weight loss. Going to need some body contouring surgery, I guess, but that’s fine.”
“You’ll also need a new wardrobe, dear,” Martha said.
“Oh yeah, how could I forget that?”
When I asked how different his clothes would be after surgery, Santa and Martha exchanged a knowing look and smiled.
“Well, he won’t be wearing as much black,” Martha said.
Santa raised his champagne and giggled. “Black is slimming.”
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