Smile of the Day

Life is getting much too serious, yes? Who doesn't need a daily smile?

Friday, December 12

Stressed, to the 09s

One particular Christmas not so very long ago, Santa was once again getting ready for his annual trip; but this year there were problems everywhere.

Fourteen of his elves got sick, and the on-call elves could not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones. The budget was much too tight to afford what the temp agencies would charge, so he had to pull one of his most experienced elves off the line to find, interview, and bring in more seasonal trainees, who were even slower than the on-call help. Santa was beginning to fall behind schedule.

Because production was down, the First Bank of the North Pole changed the terms on Santa's operating loan, which made him fall even further behind when the goblins running the mines started sending their raw materials COD. To raise enough capital to pay them and hire enough trainees to keep the toys flowing in time for Christmas, he took out a mortgage on his and Mrs. Claus' house -- and when the bank found out about that, they dropped his credit rating and raised the interest on his operating loan.

Mrs. Claus told him that her mother was coming to visit.

When Santa went to harness the reindeer, he found three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. He thought briefly about hiring polar bears, but they had already signed a Christmas contract with Coca Cola, and they didn't get along so well with the reindeer anyway. Then the rest of the reindeer found out how much the polar bears were making for a lot less work. In desperation Santa called over to Whoville to see if Max was free. Max yipped happily and agreed, since the Grinch wasn't needing him just then anyway. He was much too busy on the telephone, buying up all the Whoville mortgages at market-bottom prices and happily anticipating foreclosures.

When Santa began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked, spilling all the toys into the snow. All the electronic toys were ruined. He called the distributors, but every shipment before Christmas had already been pre-sold out. Finally he found a couple of Wii Fits for sale on Ebay, and after some intense bidding which maxed out his remaining credit card, he won. Then the standard shipping company said it did not deliver to his area, and when he finally found one that did, they said they could not promise delivery before Christmas.

Deep breath ... just take a break. Leaving everything just as it was for the moment, Santa went back into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. But when he opened the cupboard where he kept the liquor, he discovered nothing but an IOU note from the elves. Then the coffee pot slipped from his fingers, breaking into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.

He went to get the broom. Mice had eaten the straw it was made from.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Santa opened the door, and there was a little angel with a great big smile and a great big Christmas tree. "Merry Christmas, Santa!" the little angel exclaimed. "Isn't it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?"


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