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article imageAuckland Santa Can't Tell 'Who's Naughty or Nice'

By Bob Gordon     Nov 21, 2009 in Lifestyle
Today, bandages cover the face of a 20-meter (66 foot) tall statue of Santa Claus in downtown Auckland. At almost fifty, the venerable, jolly fellow underwent cosmetic surgery this past summer.
According to Reuters, "The 49-year-old statue, which is placed on the busy corner every year, has undergone a NZ$100,000 ($74,000) makeover which will be revealed on Sunday."
St Nick requires some post-operative care.... So his new look will not be obvious until the dressings are removed,” Heart of the City Auckland CEO Alex Swney told business.scoop.co.nz.
Since 1960 the mammoth Santa has been erected above the entrance to Whitcoulls bookstore at 210 Queen Street, popularly known as Whitcoulls corner, in Auckland's Central Business District. Unfortunately, Santa was starting to show his age. His one eyelid drooped as if he had had a stroke and arthritis was making it increasingly difficult for him to beckon to passersby. The Aucklander reported that his finger struggled to keep up a pace of 27 beckons per minute or 25,920 times a day. His eye barely opened as he winked seven times a minute, or 6720 times a day.
A media release offered tongue-in-cheek details of Santa's recent medical history. "After months of plastic surgery at a secret Auckland location, Santa and some yet-to-be-identified helpers are soon to be unveiled on Queen Street."
Until the bandages come off, rest assured, he cannot tell if you are being 'naughty or nice'. However, in only hours the bandages come off and Santa is back to his list.
None of the medical professionals involved in the case has been willing to speculate on Santa's rehab or his fitness to undertake his annual trip on December 25.
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