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December 23, 2009
Yes, Virginia there was a Santa Claus.
TIME: The not too distant future
PLACE: The North Pole (still plenty of ice)
I am writing to apologize for the delay in fulfilling your Christmas gift request. We here at Santa Claus Limited have had numerous difficulties this season and I wanted to explain what has happened.
Early in the year while I was sleeping, the elves were confronted by a stern old elf named Andy who convinced them how they were being mistreated and underpaid. Andy had them sign some little cards and by the time I had awakened they were all members of the SEIU (Santa's Elves International Union). Several of our most senior elves have told me that they are being forced to pay something called "dues" and are now making much less than before. Since the elves were working fewer hours and are no longer allowed to perform duties outside of their job classification we had to hire additional toy makers.
Our labor costs here at SCL were driven up to unsustainable levels and we were forced to reduce our non-union staff. In a further attempt to contain our spiraling labor costs we asked the elves for some temporary concessions. They hit us with a slow down. We fell way behind in production so in the spirit of co-operation (and to avert a strike) we met with Andy and negotiated an agreement which gave the elves a 9% increase in pay. The slow down ended and production shot up by 5%. To make up for the loss of production during the slow down we were forced to hire additional toy makers.
Once we caught up with production we ran into a serious distribution problem. The EPA issued a cease and desist order prohibiting me from delivering our packages via my traditional reindeer powered sleigh. It seems that the gas produced by the reindeer is a dangerous green-house gas and is causing global warming.
We then unveiled our new enviro-friendly low emission sleigh. I felt especially proud that we had invested in this new technology, although originally we had developed the new sleigh to head off a protest by PETA. The EPA approved our new sleigh and we were back in business.
Sadly our new "green" sleigh could not be deployed this season. The Secretary of Health and Human Services informed me that flying in an open sleigh, making entrance and egress to domiciles via chimney and consuming whole milk and cookies constitute dangerous and unnecessary health risks and that I would be subject to fine and possible imprisonment under the provisions in the Affordable Health Care Reform Act.
Provisions were quickly made for timely and affordable delivery of our packages with FedEx. As the first trucks rolled up to the shipping dock we were hit with a strike in the packaging and shipping departments. It seems that the collective bargaining agreement which we entered into earlier in the year prohibited the use of non-union drivers.
We made union approved shipping arrangements with the USPS. The additional costs will mean some post-holiday reductions in non-union staffing. The recent blizzard and sub zero temperatures closed the airport, rails and highways, but the USPS has promised delivery of our packages at some point in the future.
As regards your gift Virginia. The Christian Hetero Ken and Barbie Happy Family set that you requested is in stock, however the Justice Department has filed an injunction prohibiting us from delivering this item under the terms of the Hate Crimes Amendment to the Military Financing and Spending Bill . Our lawyers are working to clear this matter up, in the meantime we are shipping a government approved Barack Obama Saves The Masses action figure which was manufactured by one of our new partners in China. Enjoy!
Santa Claus Limited will be suspending operations after the fulfillment of this seasons requests. Please direct any further correspondence or requests to The Bureau of Seasonal Toy Requests in Washington D.C.
Best wishes for a joyous Christmas,
In answer to the question in your post script. Yes, Virginia there was a Santa Claus.