Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – culpable negligence?

Each Christmas season, this song comes around, and there is much impugning of Santa Claus’ honor, but can he be considered to blame for this tragedy?

culpable negligence – (law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences)   []

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Grandma had been drinking and the family knew this.
  2. She was on medication that she forgot to bring – the family knew this also
  3. Their sole effort at keeping her safe and healthy consisted of “begging her not to go”, but allowing it when she insisted.  Not unlike knowingly letting a person drive drunk.
  1. She was not found until Christmas morning although there is nothing to suggest she wasn’t somewhere directly between their house and her own.  There is no evidence that a search was made until the following morning – they seem to have just assumed that all was well.
  1. They’re proud of Grandpa and how well he is taking it – watching football on tv, drinking beer and playing cards; this also seems to reflect how well they are taking it that Grandpa’s actions do not disturb them in the slightest.
  1. They wonder whether to open her gifts or send them back – could this be due to their wanting the gifts themselves, or the refund for any purchase they made for Grandma?

When considering all of this, we have to wonder whether the entire family did not in fact plot Grandma’s demise and concoct this cock-and-bull story to cover it up.  Did anyone see this accident occur?  Just because there are hoof-prints doesn’t mean it was Santa’s reindeer.  Did they live near a wooded area where wild deer might be to blame?  Or could the hoof-prints have been ‘planted’?  What exactly are these ‘incriminating Claus marks’?  Do we have DNA proof indicating the source, or could they also have been staged?

For that matter, if they were so concerned about Grandma’s health and welfare, why did no one offer to go get the medication for her, or at least to go with her?  Did none of them have a car in which to drive her so she wasn’t stumbling around in the cold and snow?

I have to wonder if Santa Claus is unjustly being made the fall guy here.  The family perhaps thinks this is the perfect crime since how likely is it that Santa Claus could ever be apprehended?  The very nature of his work requires him to work in secrecy, so they know it would be difficult for him to provide witness testimony in his defense.

No, personally, I wonder if we bring in a bona fide criminal forensic investigator, might we discover that the facts tell a much different story?

[Written by Randy Brooks • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC; recorded by Elmo & Patsy]


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