By Brian Tracey Associate editor
msnbc.com
updated 12/21/2007 9:30:43 AM ET 2007-12-21T14:30:43
COMMENTARY

We all know of a few people who just can't seem get into the holiday spirit, but this is ridiculous: A Spanish ad agency has produced a rap video where they kill Kris Kringle.

Yes, Santa Claus is under attack by his traditional rivals in Spain, the Three Kings, in an advertising campaign that shows the jolly old elf gunned down in an alley and calls him over-commercial and cruel to elves.

Spanish children traditionally receive Christmas presents on Jan. 6, when parades commemorate the Three Kings said to have followed the Star of Bethlehem to bring presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Christ.

But in recent years Santa Claus has made inroads during the holiday season, helped by Hollywood films and shops eager to use his image to persuade parents to buy more toys.

So now the advertising agency, La Despensa, is fighting back with a campaign that includes posters on Madrid streets and a rap video criticizing Santa to win back the festive season for the mobile monarchs.

In the video, three rapping Kings backed by dancing girls taunt Santa as an overweight import whose red costume was popularized by a Coca Cola advertising campaign.

"We're the Three Kings — who the hell are you?" they chant in the expletive-laced video ending with Father Christmas being machine-gunned in an alley.

The rapping kings also give a phone number for elves to call if Santa has exploited them in his factory, make fun of his trouser size and tell him to stay out of Spain.

"Ho, ho, ho? You clown," says one of the kings, as one of them passes a finger menacingly across his throat.

So much for peace on earth and good will towards men.

Merchant slapped with Santa suit
Here's more St. Nick strangeness: A New Jersey dry cleaner was taken to court after it lost  Father Christmas' outfit.

After the holidays last year, Max Weisberg took his red velvet suit to Royal Cleaners in Cherry Hill, which accidentally gave it to someone else. The family-owned business acknowledged the mix-up and offered to pay him half the value of the nearly $400 suit, said Jean Hwang, who said she's the owner's sister.

Weisberg, 54, a civilian employee of the Navy, instead took the business to small-claims court and won a $396.50 judgment to cover the suit and court costs.

But he had to collect the money himself. So Weisberg decided to do it with flair. His wife's public-relations firm notified the media that he would drop by the shop.

Donning a new red velvet suit with soft white trim and shiny black boots, a jolly Weisberg burst into the dry cleaners Monday, television cameras rolling.

"Merry Christmas! Have you been a good girl?" he asked a smiling Hwang. She promised to put the check in the mail to Weisberg the next day.

Weisberg, who has been playing Santa at events for about a dozen years, made a promise, too: If it didn't arrive, he'd be back to protest again.

With a dump truck full of coal, we're guessing.

High heat
Speaking of fossil fuels, a Toledo, Ohio, man might be considering alternative energy sources after he received a bill from a natural-gas company for $5,559.60.

Ronald Ramm, 56, said he'd never seen anything like it in the more than 30 years he's lived in his home on the city's south side.

"The highest gas bill I've ever had since I've been here was $310," Ramm said.

Columbia Gas investigated and determined that the eye-popping bill resulted from an error made when the company replaced Ramm's basement meter with an outdoor one in October, spokesman Chris Kozak said.

Ramm and his wife were credited Wednesday for an overcharge of approximately $5,300, Kozak said, adding that the Ramms were never at risk of having their gas turned off if they didn't pay their original, four-figure bill.

Yes, that would be cold.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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