Blitzen Placed on No-Fly List

This article was originally published on Humorality, on December 23, 2010.

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Blitzen the Reindeer, one of Kris Kringle’s famed “Mighty Eight,” has been placed on the Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list just days before he was to help guide Santa’s sleigh on its annual Christmas run. The travel restriction, which only impacts flights over the United States, could jeopardize a toy delivery schedule already hampered by electronics shortages in China.

“This is an outrage,” said Ernie, the official spokeself for the North Pole, although with his high, squeaky voice it might have been “Miss in the floutage” as well. “We demand that the TSA immediately restore Blitzen’s flying privileges and issue a formal apology for this senseless error. Otherwise, we will be forced to take back the full-body scanners we put in their stockings last year.”

Officials with the Obama Administration were investigating the incident. One Department of Flying Animals representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his family thinks he works in more reputable job, thought the red flag in the reindeer’s file might have come from name confusion with the famed terrorist leader Abu Masood al Blitzen.

Not everyone was disappointed to see Blitzen confined to the North Pole. The CIA has been monitoring a Canadian reindeer sleeper cell for several years on reports that they may have been planning to take out several of Santa’s hoofed helpers. “It’s entirely unfair,” said Fritz, the president of Antlers United, a reindeer advocacy group. “Santa keeps using the same eight reindeer over and over again, century after century. It’s only because of strict headlight safety laws that we were able to get Rudolph accepted into the team. Until Mr. Claus opens the sleigh up to other participants, I bet we’re going to see more attempts to hinder or even eliminate Dasher, Dancer, and the others.”

Even if the Blitzen incident gets cleared up before December 25, other troubles loom for Jolly Saint Nick. Although the recent elf strike was resolved quickly, the North Pole’s heavy investment in the now-stumbling Greek economy has led to the closure of several of Santa’s snow-capped toy factories. “Sometimes, I wish the entire toy thing would just disappear,” said Santa Claus in a recent interview with Barbara Walters. “With all the manufacturing regulations and the pressures of the season, it makes you wonder if Christmas wasn’t supposed to be about something much simpler.”

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at

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