Debriefing Santa Claus

Today we celebrate Christmas Day — or Jimmy Buffett’s birthday if you’re more into being a Parrothead than into religion. Better yet, throw on a tropical shirt, put on that “A1A” album and open some presents. After all, the jolly old elf Santa Claus put a lot of work into circumnavigating the Earth last night in search of good little boys and girls to leave presents under the tree.

Unfortunately, Santa is an unusually foul mood today. I caught up with him for a little interview about how the night went and plans for next Christmas.

Me: Merry Christmas, Santa!

SC: Yeah, yeah. You got five minutes. Make it snappy.

Me: Yes, sir. Well, first of all, thanks for the tequila.

SC: You’re not hard to shop for.

Me: Did everybody get what they wanted this year?

SC: I assume so. Letters to the North Pole were down 85 percent this year. It seems everybody is just bypassing me and going straight to Amazon. The holiday has been taken over by materialism — and very specific materialism. Used to, folks would ask for a puppy, toys, clothes, whatever. Now, they go to this Amazon thing and order a Susie Talks Too Darn Much Doll, with the blue dress, for $19.95 with free two-day shipping. The worst was this girl, Alexa. I’ve never seen somebody so greedy and demanding. She orders stuff all day long.

Me: On the bright side, I guess that makes your job easier, huh?

SC: Me, yeah, but I had to lay off 127 elves this year. Granted, some of them I laid off because they came after me wanting $15 an hour just because North Pole Inc. got a huge tax break this year.

Me: Then you should have the money for raises.

SC: What are you, some kind of hippie liberal? Stock buybacks, man. That’s where it’s at. Besides, what’s an elf gonna buy around here anyway? I used to pay them in cookies, and no one complained. Then a couple of them got on the internet and saw folks in New York and Seattle getting raises and started following Twitter posts by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and started going on and on about “the little guy.” And they are all little guys. Besides, I’m going to have to use my entire tax savings to make improvements at Santa’s Workshop.

Me: Such as?

SC: Did you know that Arctic ice has been melting over the past decade at triple the rate of the previous couple of decades? That’s 14,000 tons of water melting every second. That’s more than a millimeter of sea rise each year now. When we got back this morning, my sleigh crashed through the thin ice into water instead of sliding like it’s supposed to. I lost three reindeer.

Me: Oh my God! Which ones? Rudolph? Blitzen? Dasher?

SC: Sammy, Pearl and Louise. How long do you think reindeer live? We replaced them decades ago.

Me: Oh, so what are you going to do about it?

SC: Gonna build a sea wall around the workshop to hold the water back. I had a meeting with President Trump, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin and some sleepy guy, and Trump promised I’d get a big, beautiful sea wall and that Canada was gonna pay for it.

Me: Are they?

SC: Of course not. Not to worry, though. Louie the Elf created a GoFundMe page, and all the elves in the workshop who still have jobs started chanting “Build the wall!” and “Lock her up!”

Me: Lock who up?

SC: Whom. I have no idea, but it’s catchy. Maybe Alexa.

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