This article was originally published on Humorality, on October 19, 2009.
Delivery Fleet to be Sold through Cash-for-Reindeers Program
The North Pole Board of Directors today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its overnight delivery service, and announced the immediate suspension of division president Santa Claus from his regular gift-giving and elf-management duties. The company released a short statement commending Mr. Claus on his centuries of service. In his place, the board has promoted Executive Vice President Norman Keebler to the position of acting Father Christmas. Mr. Claus did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him by wish list.
“Businesses worldwide have been hard hit by the global economic downturn, and the North Pole is no exception,” said Rudolph Joyovich, chairman of the board. “With our mounting corporate debt and the approaching holiday season, prudence demanded that we act sooner rather than later. As difficult as this change may be for many, we anticipate that most parents will come up with some such story to placate their children in time for Christmas. ‘Santa got the swine flu,’ perhaps?”
North Pole Delivery Services, while under protection from creditor demands, will undergo a bank-managed reorganization. “Sadly, Kris Kringle will not be a part of that process,” said Jennifer Meiser, Vice President of Edge of Reality Accounts for the World Bank. The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a related investigation into Mr. Kringle’s salary and bonus package, and his lucrative toy licensing rights. As for the millions of outstanding speeding tickets and rooftop-parking violations issued in his name, “those are a matter for local jurisdictions,” said an SEC spokesbureaucrat.
A falling dollar and rising coal prices also contributed to the decision, said the chairman at a blustery Arctic news conference. “With so many children leaving the ‘nice’ list, our coal purchases have more than doubled in just the last five years. We have also had increased logistical costs in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent airspace restrictions. So many naughty people,” said Mr. Joyovich between sips of hot cocoa.
Sugarplum Engineering, the world’s northern-most toy making business and the only part of the corporation in fiscal solvency, will continue its existing operations. However, prices for the world-famous playthings will likely rise to compensate for deficits elsewhere in the company. A sales manager, who spoke on condition of elfanymity, indicated that the typical toy would increase in cost from $nice.child to $58.43, plus shipping and handling.
News of the red-suited layoff reached all corners of the globe within hours of the announcement. Max, a six-year-old living in Texas, tweeted a typical reaction: “It’s so jank. I want my mommy!” Yet feelings at the North Pole manufacturing center were still upbeat. “I heard that St. Nick already found a job at FedEx. But I expect to see that ol’ Bowl Full of Jelly back soon. The board did the same thing back in the 1930s, and things turned out all right,” said one perky elf.
When things might actually turn out all right is anyone’s guess. For now, families are sizing up their options. “I guess we could go to church and celebrate the birth of God’s son,” said a shopper at a Harrods store in London. “But it just won’t feel like Christmas.”