Body Fat Percentage Falling Dangerously Below Obesity Levels
By Catherine Fisher
Fifty-four red-faced Santas petitioned outside the Freehold Mall on Monday to remove Karl Clyne from the National Santa Claus Registry. According to the NSCR, Clyne is in violation of his contract in relations to physical decree. The accused is said to have dropped 45 pounds over the summer, slimming down to a mere 191 pounds.
“The contract clearly states in section 3.0.4 that all members must maintain a Kringle-esque physique,” said Nicolas Pine, vice president of Affairs and Legal Council for the NSCR. “Any member who fails to do so will be put on probation and removed from the service if he does not fulfill the requirements.”
The outrage started at a meeting in October, when several employees noticed the change in Clyne. They say that on top of biking to work and taking the stairs, Clyne ate yogurt for lunch, and his Santa suit was far short of “snug.”
“The uniform sagged around his upper thighs and stomach,” one Santa said, rolling his eyes. “Now he has to get it re-tailored, but who knows if that one will fit for long. He’s losing weight like crazy. It’s disgusting.”
Representatives of the NSCR claim they spoke to Clyne about his contract violation but say he was uncooperative and refused to address the issue. According to representatives, the accused slapped away a chocolate bar when offered and later left, saying that if they wanted to contact him, his employers could “catch him on the treadmill.”
When interviewed about the affair, Clyne was clearly shaken.
“It’s not that I won’t gain weight, it’s that I can’t,” he said.
Clyne said he discovered his cholesterol was reaching dangerous heights earlier this year and, as a result, his doctors have urged him to watch his weight. “That means no more chocolate bars, a better diet and plenty of exercise,” he said. “I don’t see why I can’t have my health and my job.”
Clyne has been a Santa in the Freehold Mall for seven years now, having started at the age of 43. He says he loves the job, but won’t physically be able to do it much longer unless he sheds a few pounds.
“I am an asset to the NSCR, and I am not asking for special treatment,” he said.
“All I ask for is to do my job in a body that is most suiting.”
Lucas Hunt, a Mall Santa of 17 years who has had cameos in various holiday-themed movies, took a different stance, however.
“My wife constantly berates me for ‘letting myself go’ and not taking care of my body, but I know the criticism would be much worse if I lost my primary source of income during the holiday season,” he said. “This profession is not for everybody, and if you can’t compete with the demands then we can find somebody else who will.”
According to Nate Dolan, the head representative of the NSCR in Monmouth County, Clyne’s new body is negatively affecting his work. Reports state that earnings in the mall have decreased 7 percent from last year’s holiday season, in which “Pictures with Santa” is one of the main attractions, normally bringing in about 15 percent of the mall’s overall revenue during the holiday season.
Dolan reports that many children expressed a lack of enthusiasm for having their picture taken with Santa during Karl Clyne’s shifts.
“Between his firm glutes and his pronounced jaw, children were asking why this Santa didn’t look like the one they have seen in pictures,” Dolan said. “It would be one thing if just the employees were unhappy, but it’s starting to affect the children. I can’t have a 4-year-old crying in my mall because there wasn’t enough room for him on Santa’s lap.”
Hunt added that Clyne has done great work in the past, but that now his skinny image is “ridiculous-looking” and “reflecting poorly on us all.”
“Right now all we are focusing on is stopping Mr. Clyne from continuing to improve his physique,” Hunt said. “If we can do that, then maybe by next November Mr. Clyne will be back where he needs to be physically, or at least is fitted into a proper fat suit.”
Catherine Fisher is a sophomore cinema and photography major who thinks Santa needs to be fat to be jolly. E-mail her at email@example.com.