Wednesday, December 11, 2002

This is a sad story

Vicar Slays Santa, Shocks Children:

LONDON (Reuters) - A British vicar reduced young children to tears and stunned their parents when he said Santa Claus and his reindeer would burn to a crisp while delivering presents at supersonic speed.

Stand-in vicar Lee Rayfield shattered the illusions of dozens of kids when he joked in his carol service sermon that Santa and his reindeer would burn up doing 3,000 times the speed of sound as they delivered gifts to 91.8 million homes.

"I am mortified and appreciate that I have put some parents in a difficult position with a lot of explaining to do," Rayfield told Wednesday's Daily Telegraph. "I love Christmas."

Newspapers said many children at the school service at St Mary's Church in Maidenhead, west of London, were distraught when Rayfield pointed out that it was logically impossible for one man and his sleigh to deliver 378 million presents in just 31 hours.

"There were a lot of children there who still believe in Santa Claus, or did so until last night," Sue Smee, who attended the service with her five- and nine- year-old sons, told the Daily Mirror. "It has left us parents with a lot of explaining to do today," she added.


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