Here is the second in the series of four recycled holiday columns I wrote years ago. The first in the series was partly about the holiday spirit taking over and partly about a wire story on how a Texas lawmaker had raised the ire of Texas Christmas tree growers by putting up in the Texas House of Representatives a plastic Christmas tree made in China. Yeah, that did not go over well.
The one below pokes fun at me for waiting until the last moment to begin holiday shopping. I even come up with a name for the illness and write about it in another in this series of four recycled columns.
Enjoy! Or not.
Calling too late for wishes
Editor’s note: The author was the opinion page editor at The Reporter in Vacaville, Calif., when this was first published on Dec. 24, 2003.
By Keith Michaud
“Thanks for calling the North Pole Operations Center Customer Service Division. Elf 1st Class Norman here. How can I help you?”
“Norman, is it? Yeah, I’m in a bit of a bind and I was hoping you and the Jolly One for whom you work could give me a hand.”
“We’ll see. What seems to be the problem?”
“You see, in typical fashion …”
“… I waited until the very last minute to begin my Christmas shopping.”
“And, well, I was hoping you fellas could, you know, get me out of a jam.”
“OK, well, Santa is kind of tied up right now …”
“Yeah, I figured he would be pretty busy what with it being Christmas Eve and all. I knew I was calling much too late …”
“It’s quite OK. We deal with these sorts of things every year. You’re not the first mentally challenged last-minute shopper to call the Santa’s North Pole Operations Center.”
“Oh, I see …”
“Now, what can we do for you? Is there something in particular you’re looking for this year.”
“World peace would be nice. And it would be cool for our servicemen and women to have a safe holiday season and get back home before too long. This whole thing in Afghanistan and Iraq is costing us all too much money and too much in lives.”
“World peace? Well, we’ll give it a try, but you have to understand that’s a pretty tall order, even for Kris Kringle, and especially on such short notice.”
“Well, yeah, I didn’t really expect him to get it done overnight. But perhaps he could work on it after the new year?”
“I’ll take it up with him after The Run. Now, what else? Perhaps something a bit more doable?”
“How ’bout ending world hunger?”
“OK, anything that has to do with ‘world’ anything isn’t going to get done by Christmas morning. It’s just not gonna happen.”
“OK, OK. Mmm, what about fixing up things in Sacramento. Years and years of silly politics has pretty much tarnished the Golden State. Don’t get me wrong. Gov. Terminator has taken some action, but I’m not sure he’s an action hero when it comes to politics. Can Santa fix up the state government, and the economy while he’s at it …”
“Whoa, now. There are just some things even Santa Claus can’t do. You Californians will have to take care of things on your own with that one. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“I suppose not. Those were the big ones this year. Maybe next year?”
“Perhaps. But try calling before Christmas Eve next time. Santa can’t work miracles, ya know.”