Democrats & Liberals Archives

Rudolph And Unemployment

As shocking as it might be to those who think that everyone is now ok because the country�s economy is on the mend there is a casualty of the recent economic malaise that you will never believe. Rudolph is being laid off at the end of this Christmas season. A lot of Santa�s elves will have to go soon too if the flood of cheap toys based on $.15 (that�s fifteen cents) an hour labor in China doesn�t slow down. But Rudolph not at the front of the sleigh, what is happening in this best of all possible worlds? I talked to the publicity officer for the No Pole Enterprises Consortium that you must remember has taken over Santa�s operations. The recent acquisition fever that caused No Pole to state, before the takeover, that few things would change with the change of ownership has abated. The real truth is that Rudolph is being replaced by a set of red L.E.D. headlights that will be worn by the new lead reindeer.

The spokesperson for No Pole, the new owner, which a few elves are referring to as �just the shaft�, was happy about the change. �Think of how easy it is to supply energy for those L.E.D.�s�, he gushed, why next year the delivery service will have them on all of its vehicles. �Stop right there� I said, �do you mean to tell me that Santa will no longer be delivering all of the presents�? �Of course not�, he said is his smarmy little voice, �how we manage that is a top secret internal matter�. �But I can tell you that the No Pole vans will bear the Santa logo and be driven by imported workers next year�. �Just look at how bright those L.E.D.�s are and think of how many lives they will save�. �Do you mean to tell me that there were accidents with Santa at the helm of the sleigh and Rudolph leading the Reindeer�? �Well, no,� he demurred, �but you can�t have progress without taking a few risks, can you�?

I tried to talk to one of the elves but he was unable to comment as No Pole has a rule that all comments will come from the publicity department. I did find someone who agreed to talk if I wouldn�t identify him. �S, err, ah, Mr. unidentified source, what do you think the result of all of the changes will be next year�? �Ho, Ho, HO, I think that the delivery of all of those toys without me at the helm of the sleigh and Rudolph at the front of the Reindeer will be a disaster�. �But what about No Pole�s assurances that there would be only insignificant changes�? �Wasn�t that included in the contract�? �Well, it was in the original version. But after all of the versions that came after that, I must have missed the clause that stated that any personnel changes required would be allowed after one year�. �I feel terrible for Rudolph; he will be out on the tundra soon, after all reindeer don�t save for the future�. �Think about how easy it will be for the first hunter that spots that bright nose�.

Stricken by those revelations I asked for a little more time with the No Pole representative but he was being interviewed by Fox News, and dancing through the �no spin zone� with a smarmy smirk on his face. He looked good in his modified elves costume but one of his pointed ear covers was crooked and his answers were astonishing. When I walked into the backstage area off camera the No Pole guy was gushing about international trade. The Fox correspondent just let him talk. �You know that the old man was tired after all those hundreds of years of delivering �product� to customers that never paid a cent for the service�. �He welcomed the change of ownership and demolished the old sleigh himself when we said it was being replaced�? Now my source assured me that the �Old Man� was furious for the first time in hundreds of years and broke the sled in his anger, but that never came out in the interview.

The No Pole guy stuttered, the no spin zone started to spin rapidly and the whole scene flickered and then phased out of sync. The monitors, cameras and all of the other equipment just blinked out of existence. For just a second I saw Santa with his finger held high, not along side of his nose at all. I suspect it was not the same finger as he used when he was delivering toys. The elves gathered around and cheered and Rudolph just glowed. I love it when a story turns out right don�t you?

While you are all waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve be careful what you drink because the nightmare is still out there. I know that the magic of Christmas will never fade as long as we believe in helping one another. Fifteen cent an hour labor in China might be changed if the twenty hour day is abolished and unions take over the bargaining. Reducing Rudolph to meat in a hunter�s sights will never happen now that Santa has taken Christmas back. Reducing Santa to a set piece in a trillion dollar holiday gusher of greed can be stopped if we learn to pay attention. God bless you all and keep you safe from the No Pole guys during this special holiday season and always in the future.

Posted by Henri Reynard at December 25, 2003 2:00 PM