Eek ... send a ransom! Santa has been kidnapped by terrorists!
No, actually this photograph, courtesy of NZ tweep @gnat, is of Auckland's famous Whitcoulls Santa about to be unveiled in the CBD.
Since the 1960s the iconic Santa has looked down benignly on Aucklanders as they dodge homeless people, bodily fluids, and fight each other for Christmas bargains in the lead-up to Christmas.
Last year, there was a huge controversy, because some Bah Humbug/politically correct types thought Santa looked seedy, with a finger beckoning creepily to children, and a rusty eye winking sleazily at them. Seriously, even the P. word was used.
In fact, there was a debate as to whether old Santa should be retired, but public opinion weighed in heavily, and it was decided Santa should undergo what all Good Santas Of A Certain Age Do, and have a makeover. (In fact, there's even a Fan Page on Facebook now for NZ's infamous Creepy Santa).
Off he was whisked to a secret location, where, with the magic of cosmetic surgery, he was rebuilt into a younger, buffer version of his original self. (Really. Is nothing sacred?)
Anyway, this year he is back, younger and better than ever before ... but not before the children of Auckland were forever traumatised by the sight of their beloved Santa trussed up and his face covered in bandages!
Even better, the usual Kiwi Ingenuity has shone through, with one of the people who have done some of the cosmetic work now auctioning up Santa's rusty eye on trademe. Check it out - www.trademe.co.nz under antiques and collectables, then click on Maori and New Zealand. At the time of blogging it was going for $NZ102.
Wonder who will be getting a lump of coal in their stocking this year?