Santa Declared Redundant?
Merry Christmas!


NOT YET

 

            Saint Nicholas settled wearily back in his bed. Well, it had been another hard day’s work, as it usually was at this time of year. He had checked that the Elves had finished their work, watered and fed the reindeer before locking them in for the night, and then greased the sleigh. He fell into an exhausted sleep.

            He was awoken by the sound of his door opening, and a stranger appeared at his bedside.

            “Who the hell are you?” he demanded. “What do you mean by waking me up in the middle of the night?”

            “Sorry”, said the sharp-suited stranger, “but we thought you ought to know about our decision as soon as possible. “I am the Ghost of Christmas Future.”

            “We are, of course, aware of the excellent work you have done over the years, and have had many tributes to your efforts. But with climate change, increasing population, and modern marketing conditions we have come to the reluctant decision to let you go.”

            “What do you mean? Climate change? Population increase? Marketing conditions? Are you telling me that I’m being made redundant?”

            “I’m afraid we have no choice. Of course, you’ll have a year or two to plan your retirement, and we will guarantee you a decent package – and probably an honour. But you have to realise that the North Pole is scheduled to be clear of snow shortly, in which case a sleigh pulled by reindeer would just look ridiculous.

            “ Also,” the Ghost continued relentlessly, “ there are now so many children in the world that you cannot possibly cope with them all. It is unfair to ask you to at your age. You only just about managed last year, and that took you a couple of months to recover. And with all-electric housing with no chimneys, and the narrow flue-pipes of wood-burning stoves, the task is becoming impossible.”

            Santa was appalled.

            “But what about the Children? They’ll be so disappointed,” he protested.

            “I was coming to that,” his visitor continued. “Most of the letters to Santa are now sent by email, so we will intercept them as usual. Now I know you are particularly interested in Northern Europe, so we have arranged for GCHQ to intercept all i-phone activity from children to ascertain their wants. They will all have i-phones by then – well, they have to have something to occupy themselves during their waking hours. On Christmas morning they will receive an email voucher for Amazon or Argos for the items chosen for them – they will be able to redeem them on Boxing Day”.

            “And the Children who have not deserved presents? What happens to them?”

            “Ah, yes. They will be given a voucher for a course on Social Responsibility from the Open University, NVQ Grade 1, and will have to produce a Pass certificate to qualify for next year”.

            “And who is going to run all this?” queried Santa, not believing what he was hearing.

            “I’m glad you asked. We have a marketing company very experienced in internet commerce. It is a progressive company, based in Hong Hong. It’s called Melly Clistmas”.

            “And what am I to do over the Christmas period?” said Santa.

            “Just sit back and enjoy yourself. Have a decent Christmas Dinner for once. You’ll be able to stock up – the Eskimos will sell you a decent freezer after the ice has gone. The Elves will be looked after by the National Elf Service.”

            “And just what am I supposed to eat at this feast?”

            “Well” said the Ghost of Christmas Future, “You will find by that time reindeer steaks will have become very popular.”

            Next morning, Santa woke up to realise that he might have just suffered from a nightmare brought on by overwork. He certainly hoped so.

            He went down to let the reindeer out into the yard where the overnight snow lay deep and crisp and even.

            “Not yet,” he said softly, as he stroked Dancer’s muzzle. “Not yet”.

           

 

 

           

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Latest comments

04.07 | 14:06

Hey, my next door neighbour's a poet..
...and I didn't know it!

Well done Tony, I shall peruse with interest.

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03.03 | 19:03

Its a bit warmer here so most things are up including weeds - the sea defences are damaged - 10.2 metre tide today, 50 knot gusts - and it goes on raining--

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03.03 | 14:38

What if, indeed, Tony! The title is succinct.

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21.01 | 00:30

Happy New Year Tony!
I just sent 'Trouble in the Channel' to Dan, he is about old enough now to enjoy it.
Cheers Jo

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