Police in London are warning Christmas shoppers of a threat being posed by a gang of dwarves dressed as elves. “People really need to be sure that they are buying the right presents for their friends and relatives, as a failure to do so could result in fatal dwarf attack,” explains Detective Chief Inspector Arthur Skate of Scotland Yard’s Seasonal Crimes Unit told a packed press conference yesterday. “This gang seems to target people buying inappropriate presents and wreak some kind of twisted ‘revenge’ upon them for spoiling the recipient’s Christmas. Exactly what their motivation is and how they are able to identify potential victims, we don’t know, but we believe they pose a very real danger to the public.” Skate explained that while last Christmas there was a wave of attacks in the period between Christmas and New Year – after people had received disappointing gifts, this Christmas there have already been pre-emptive strikes, seemingly designed to prevent the ‘wrong’ gifts from being given. “Last time, we were lucky, there were no fatalities, just a few serious injuries and a couple of cases of arson, so we were able to keep it all ‘under wraps’, so to speak,” says the policeman. “But this year it has already got nasty early on – people are dying at the tiny hands of these evil elves!”

Alan Frudd, a twenty nine year old cycle courier from Beckenham, whose Aunt and Uncle recently fell victim to the gang of dwarves agreed to talk to The Sleaze about the horrendous crime perpetrated against his family. “My Aunt is currently under heavy sedation after her ordeal, but she was able to tell the police something of what happened to her and my Uncle,” the visibly shaken Frudd told us. “Apparently they’d been wrapping presents when there was a ring at the door bell, when she answered it this gang of elves just burst in – before she knew it, they’d smacked her over the head with a bag of mixed nuts. When she came to, the whole house was wrecked, the presents they’d wrapped burning in the fireplace and she could smell something cooking. When she went to the kitchen to investigate, she found my Uncle cooking in the oven – quite how they’d managed to cram his body in there we don’t know. But they’d basted him like a turkey, removed his giblets and put him on a slow roast!” When Frudd examined the remains of the presents, the motivation for the attack became clear. “I noticed that, for the second year running, they’d bought me bloody aftershave,” the hirsute cyclist explained. “You’d think it would be bloody obvious that I don’t use it, wouldn’t you? And it isn’t as if I haven’t told them before!”

There have also been instances of people being attacked whilst they are actually buying Christmas presents for relatives. Georgia Plume, for instance, found herself assaulted while she was Christmas shopping in a Regent Street store with her boyfriend. “He was just about to buy some socks for his father, when these little people dressed as elves suddenly appeared from behind a Christmas tree, I just assumed that they were from the store’s Santa Grotto, but before we knew what was happening, they went berserk,” she recalled. “They snatched the socks from my boyfriend’s hands, shouting ‘Cheap bastard!’ before dousing him in brandy and setting light to him like a Christmas pudding.” While her boyfriend – who received third degree burns in the attack – ran around the store in flames, Miss Plume found herself pelted with baubles from the Christmas tree and assaulted with a Christmas cake. “I know that socks aren’t the most exciting of presents and that his father had actually asked for an Espresso machine, but I can’t help but feel that setting my boyfriend on fire was an extreme reaction,” she opined. “It was just as well that all of the decorations in the shop met European fire standards, or the whole place could have gone up in flames as he blundered around.”

Many theories have been advanced as to the origin and motivation of the dwarf gang, with top conspiracy theorist Dave Skitts suggesting that they might, in fact, be a single family. “Reports as to their number varies between three and five, making it quite possible that they are, in fact, quintuplets – or quads, or triplets,” he recently claimed in Practical Conspiracy Digest. “I think that it is entirely possible that they are the offspring of a mother who was extremely traumatised by an inappropriate present while pregnant. Perhaps she received a Cliff Richard DVD instead of a set of curling tongs – that would be enough to induce premature labour in anyone. Anyway, the traumatic circumstances of their birth could have instilled in them a pathological hatred of bas Christmas presents and those who give them! Maybe their mother died during birth, which would also give them a twisted revenge motive!” Skitts’ theory has been widely dismissed as ‘tasteless and demented ramblings’, with other commentators suggesting that the whole story might be some kind of bizarre publicity stunt.

“Quite frankly, I think that they are being put up to it by a cabal of retailers,” speculated Peter Wurtz, Crime Correspondent of the Daily Norks in today’s issue of the tabloid. “It is clearly a crude attempt to boost their revenues in the run up to Christmas. They are obviously trying to frighten shoppers into buying more expensive gifts for their relatives, rather than the usual cheap tat. Whether it will work, I don’t know. Speaking personally, I think that I’d rather risk being murdered in my bed by a gang of evil elves than actually spend any money on my bloody in laws this Christmas, the free loading bastards.” Whatever the truth behind the attacks, they have had one unwelcome side effect – an increase in the number of attacks upon Christmas elves. “It’s no bloody joke, I can tell you,” Clive Acorn, who has worked as an elf in Santa’s Grottos across London for the past ten years, told The Sleaze. “Only this morning, as we were changing shift, some idiot just came up and gave me a kicking, shouting ‘Murdering dwarf bastard!’ I wouldn’t mind, but I’m a midget, not a dwarf! There’s a difference, for God’s sake – they’re the evil ones, while us midgets are the good guys! You’d think that ignorant git would have known that.”