Author Pamela McColl has self-published an expurgated version of Clement Moore's "The Visit from St. Nicholas" ("'Twas the Night Before Christmas") in which Santa doesn't smoke: The lines, "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth / And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath" have been deleted from McColl's version. The cost for publishing this special smoke-free edition of "St. Nick"? $200,000. A spokesman for the American Cancer Society said, "Yeah, that was probably the best use of the money."
Seriously, though, if this keeps even ONE child from taking up pipe-smoking, it will be well worth it. But rather than just remove the lines, I think McColl should have reinforced her anti-moking message:
"When asked where his pipe was, the fat man did answer,
'I just gave it up, Kid! Don't want to get cancer!'
'Wow, that's awesome, Santa! I'm proud of you! Still,
If smoking don't get you, obesity will.'"