SG: A Tale Full Of Wholesome Holiday Cheer II - A Bailout Story
frobozz at eyrie.org
Wed Dec 24 17:59:42 PST 2008
"Please state your name for us, sir."
"How can you ask that? Everyone knows who I am! Every man and woman,
boy and girl around the world knows who I am!"
"Let the record show that the supplicant refuses to identify himself."
"That's not true, young man!"
"To me you're still the cherub-faced little boy who wanted a bright red
wagon for Christmas. And also women's stockings. For your mother, young
man? What a good boy you must have been!"
"Sir, you will refrain from revealing personal... and potentially
compromising... information about this august body."
"I'm sorry, what are you talking about young man?"
"...also, I grew out of that phase, thank you very much..."
"Ahem. What my colleague is trying to say is... please state your name
for the record."
"Oh very well, young man, though this is an awful lot of trouble to go
through when you already know me."
"That's as may be, sir. Name... and also all known aliases. For the
"Well then, you know me as Saint Nick! You know me as the Jolly Old
Elf. Pere Noel, Shengdan Laoren, Papai Noel, Sinter Klaas, Joulupukki, De
Kerstman, Black Peter, El Nino Jesus and Scrumpy Doowhistle. But you,
young man, know me best... as Santa Claus!"
"Let the record show that the individual by the name of Santa Claus has
come to us asking for a bailout. Now Mr Claus... present your cause. Why
should this body spend millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars... to save
the moribund Christmas Season?"
Chris Angelini/Frobozz Magic Productions
Mademoiselle Muse Inc
A Tale Full Of Wholesome Holiday Cheer II
A Bailout Story
"How can you even SAY such a thing, young man? There HAS to be a
Christmas! Every little girl and boy knows that once a year comes a
magical time of wishing and goodwill when dreams can come true! Without
it, a little of the light in their hearts would flicker and die!"
"Mr Claus, we're not concerned with the lights in children's hearts.
We're more concerned with how this bailout package that you're requesting
will be in everyone's best interests."
"Because if you don't bail out Christmas, then the lights in--"
"Mr Claus, I'm not going to warn you a second time. This body is not
interested in lights, children's hearts, the proximity of one to the
other, or the relative incandescence of either. Stick to the facts, Mr
"Ho ho ho, well, if that's how you want to play it... Christmas is a
tradition that stretches back at LEAST as long as there have been
Cocoa-Cola cans, young man. It's a worldwide institution! It can't go
away! Such a thing would be... would be unthinkable!"
"If it's such an institution, then why is it losing money hand over
fist? Can you explain why other holidays, such as Easter, actually posted
a profit this quarter?"
"Blast that silly rabbit! All he has to do is hide eggs and play his
tricks! Eggs, young man! You can buy a dozen of them for three dollars!
Whereas Christmas has MUCH higher overhead to deal with! It used to be
that you could get a bit of birch, set an elf to work on it, and Happy
Holidays, you had a choo-choo train! But now, children don't WANT wooden
choo-choos. They want iPods! Do you know how much it costs to run an iPod
assembly line? That Steve Jobs is a VERY NAUGHTY SHARK when it comes to
negotiations, I'll tell you THAT!"
"Mr Claus, we understand that you may have run into some serious
difficulties in producing toys at a profit, but have you ever considered
that maybe your business model is to blame?"
"Young man! I've always run Christmas this way! Whatever could you
"Sir, I mean that you trade expensive consumer electronics and top of
the line toys for milk and cookies, and even that much payment is
optional. We're hard-pressed to see how you could have ever stayed in the
black with that system of pricing."
"Christmas is about more than money! It's about love, and joy and the
lights in chil--"
"You don't want to finish that statement, Mr Claus."
"Ahem! As I was saying, there's more to Christmas than just money!"
"Then if this body awards you love and joy, that'll be enough?"
"No, I'd actually really like the money too."
"How can we know that the money will be used well instead of just being
frittered away on executive luxuries? For instance, did you or did you not
ride a personal sleigh to be here tonight?"
"Oh, but I did! It's a tradition! Santa flies everywhere in his
"We're not interested in your personal eccentricities, Mr Claus. If
you're willing to sell your sleigh this very evening and take public
transportation back to the North Pole, please put your finger to the side
of your nose. Let the record show that no fingers have been placed to the
side of any noses."
"But that sleigh hardly costs anything! It's pulled by eight tiny
reindeer, and all it takes to keep them in the air is a handful of
reindeer feed, a little touch of magic, and a Mexican Speedball for that
little extra 'oomph' Santa needs now that the world's population's gone
above the four billion mark."
"This body -is- aware of how much the cost of magic has risen these
past eight years, Mr Claus. As of this year, twelve magic makers, eleven
wizards willing, ten magi mysterious, nine mystic masters, eight sorcerers
seeking, seven seers a seeing, six incantators intrepid, five... ah...
"Ah! Yes. Thank you for the reminder, gentlemen. Where was I? Oh yes.
Four arch-mages astounding, three enchanters experienced, two diviners
divine and a supergroup based in faerie have all gone under. What makes
you different from these, who've failed to meet the challenges posed by
the free market?"
"Christmas is a magical time of year! And as you've pointed out, young
man, the price of magic is going up up up! So eventually, Christmas -has-
to turn a profit if you just bail it out!"
"Then why hasn't it turned a profit yet?"
"Speaking of whom, Mr Claus, perhaps we should discuss your workforce.
As we understand it, you employ an immense, specialized workforce that you
house on the premises. Have you ever considered outsourcing?"
"Ho ho HO NO, young man! I tried that years ago, and it was a
"Outsourcing is a proven and effective way of reducing your labour
costs while at the same time effectively destroying your country's
economic stability. What could possibly go wrong?"
"Oh young man, young man, do you remember the Christmas of 2006?"
"That rings a bell... "
"Let me refresh your memory with a Yuletide memory! Remember the
Lysergic acid diethylamidenog? Remember the lead 'tin' soldiers? Remember
the dreams of rohypnol-plums dancing in children's heads?"
"We outsourced to China, yes."
"Ahem. All right, moving on. Are there any other corners that you can
cut, perhaps? To show willing to reduce costs and prove that the bailout
wouldn't go to waste?"
"I suppose... there are a few things that Santa could do to pinch a few
pennies... I've been wanting to experiment with turnip-nog for a while...
and there's using newspaper to wrap the presents..."
"Excellent, excellent, Mr Claus. Please write up a list of your plan to
make Christmas more efficient and submit it before the twenty fifth. Be
sure to check it twice; errors will be considered naughty."
"Does this mean that Santa can depend on you for your bailout, young
"We just can't be sure. You're asking for a lot of money..."
"You were willing to bail out the Matchbox corporation when their focus
on die-cast SUVs sent them right into the toilet!"
"True; but on the other hand, they just asked us for twelve bucks and a
spring to tide them over till the first of the year. Also, they've
presented us with a very compelling ten year plan to transition from
finger power to hydrogen."
"Maybe we could work out a deal..."
"What sort of a deal are you offering us, Mr Claus?"
"A Red Ryder blue metal BB gun with a compass in the stock and a thing
to tell the time?"
"Mr Claus, you throw in a battling top and a hula hoop and you'll have
yourself a deal!"
"Ho ho ho HO! Merry Christmas! Whoever said that the Mafia wasn't made
up of nice people just didn't know what they were talking about!"
"Now let's discuss terms. We need to work out an installment plan...
how many fingers do you think you could stand to lose..."
This issue is mine, mine, mine and you can't have it. Nyah and copyright
belongs to Frobozz/Chris Angelini, 2008. Mess with my legal rights and
I'll send over Gggthstx to discuss 'fair use' with you. Email to
frobozz at eyrie.org. Homepage at http://www.eyrie.org/~frobozz. Yeah, it's
short. Bite my shiny metal Yule Log.
frobozz at eyrie.org
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