A couple of days after Christmas at the Pole
Special to the Daily
SCENE: The North Pole, a couple of days after Christmas. Santa Claus is watching dejectedly, and with some bewilderment, as workers from FedEx, UPS, DHL and the US Postal Service deliver huge shipments of returned toys.
Santa: I don’t understand this ” tell me again why all the toys are being returned this year?
Head Elf: They weren’t checked for lead content in the paint. The U.S. government wouldn’t allow them in the country. If you recall, sir, I told you back in September that we needed to install a Lead Paint Detector.
Santa: But why? I don’t use lead paint!
Head Elf: It doesn’t matter, sir. Everything is suspect these days.
Santa: But I can’t check billions of toys individually! We’d never get finished in time for Christmas ” yes, what is it, Blitzen?
(Blitzen has dispiritedly poked his head through the window).
Blitzen: Please sir, can we have our reindeer treats?
Santa: Your reindeer treats?
Blitzen: Yes sir, the ones you always give us right after Christmas. We haven’t gotten them yet, and the fellows are hungry.
Santa: Oh .. I’m sorry Blitzen, but those were recalled. Contaminated pet food, they said. You’ll have to wait until the factory reopens ” if it does.
Blitzen goes away, shaking his head sadly.
Santa: Which reminds me ” where are my Santa Burgers? I always look forward to those after a long sleigh ride, and …
Mrs. Claus: I’m sorry Santa ” the ground beef’s been recalled. It had E coli something- or-other. You’ll have to wait until the factory reopens ” if it does.
Santa: No Santa Burgers? Well I guess I’ll have to make do with a salad then. I should be losing weight for the New Year anyway. Why don’t you make me a nice …
Mrs. Claus: The spinach for your salad has all been recalled too.
Santa: Well, what am I supposed to eat? I’m hungry!
Blitzen (from outside): Me too!
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen (et al): Me too!
Head Elf: Speaking of food, Santa, this just came.
(Hands Santa a bill)
Santa: Ice cream? Why am I being billed for this much ice cream? I thought you guys made your own Elf Ice Cream.
(Enter officers from the U.S. Department of Immigration)
Head Elf: We used to, until this year. Global warming, sir ” not enough ice.
Immigration Officer: Am I addressing Mr. S. Claus? We have a report that you’re employing a staff of illegal aliens.
Santa: They’re not aliens. They’re elves.
Immigration Officer: But where do they come from?
Santa: I don’t know! They just showed up one day! Where do you boys come from?
Head Elf: Elfland.
Immigration: Where’s that?
Head Elf: Elfland
Immigration Officer: But are you hiring minorities?
Santa: Aren’t Elves minorities?
Immigration Officer: But there are sub-categories of minority-ism. How many are males, how many females? How many belong to non-conformist religions? Is Elfland a developing country? What about the language barrier? And do you boys have any education? Have you ever heard of our President’s “No Elf Left Behind” program?
Head Elf (chuckling): We DID leave one behind one year, in Butte, Montana, but we went back for him. He fell off the sleigh.
Immigration Officer: That’s enough ” we’re going to have to take you people in. Round up your little buddies, it’s time to go back to Elfland or wherever it is you came from.
Santa (wringing his hands): I TOLD Hermey to study law. I TOLD him I could use a good lawyer up here. But nooo, he had to become a dentist! And who needs a dentist, nowadays? Nobody can afford one! (During this rant, the elves are led away).
(Enter a delegation from the United Nations)
UN Official: Mr. Claus, we have a report here that you may be harboring weapons of mass destruction.
Santa: WHAT!?! Who told you this?
UN Official: Well, we were tipped off by the President of the United States. He said that the way you power your sleigh is mighty suspicious, sir, mighty suspicious. He suggested we come up and take a look around…
Santa: Oh go ahead, do whatever you want. I wish I’d stayed in orbit this year. At least when I was up there, I felt like NORAD was protecting me. I wish I’d never come back down to earth …
(Enter workers from FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service, bringing in more packages ” this time not of toys, but of everything else.)
Santa: What’s this? They’re sending back all the other gifts too?
Head Elf: No Santa, these weren’t returned by the government. These were returned by the people that got them.
Santa: But why?
Head Elf: People saw their credit card bills and decided they’d have to cash in all their gifts this year. Either that, or sell them on eBay.
(Immigration officers lead Head Elf away, who stops and turns back for one last word with Santa, who is sitting with his head in his hands)
Head Elf: Happy New Year, sir,
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