Saving Santa. By Martin Green.

I was putting the last ornament on the tree when Jeeves came in, holding the telephone. “It’s him again,” Jeeves said. “Shall I tell him you’re busy?”

“Nah, I’ll take it.” He handed me the phone and discreetly left. “Hi, Claus, how’s it going? Well, what do you expect, having to depend on a bunch of elves. I told you, you gotta modernize. Get with it. Those computers my buddy Bill sent you working okay? Good. So what’s the problem?

“The elves are pulling a last-minute slowdown. They want another raise? See, what did I tell you? Okay, okay. Profit-sharing. Yeah, tell them you’ll work out a profit-sharing deal. That’ll make them happy. There’s something else? Rudolph what? You’re kidding. The worst fog in history and he’s gotten a nose job. And a complete makeover. Okay, okay, let me think. My friend W is no help, too many problems of his own. Wait a minute. Call my friend The Donald. Yeah, tell him you need to borrow his private jet. Mention my name. If he gives you any trouble, tell him to get in touch with me. That should do it.

“But Claus, look, we gotta talk. You hafta get up to date. After the first, we’ll do lunch. We’ll get you into the twenty-first century yet. And you hafta get rid of those damned elves. Don’t worry, I’ll think of something. Maybe early retirement. Outsourcing, that’s the name of the game. Okay, that should do it. Yeah, you have a merry, too. Right. And a ho, ho, ho to you, too.”

Well, I hope that takes care of everything, but I bet he calls again, just before midnight. “Jeeves. Where are my stockings? I hafta hang ‘em up with care.” .

The End


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