So, the Big Red Car was over getting some work done at the garage and who did he run into? Santa Claus.
Santa was having the runners waxed and trying to correct a shimmy in the front end at 186 knots (TAS – true airspeed).
When we finished our work, we had a chance to chat over an adult beverage as he took the old sleigh for a test ride.
Here’s how it went.
Big Red Car: “So, Santa, are you ready for a great Christmas this year?”
Santa: “Of course. I’m Santa and this is my gig. Gig economy and all. But, Big Red Car, I have to tell you the regulation is killing me. The Chinese are putting tariffs on me, Trump is doing the same. I’ve got the Brexit business between the Brits and the European Union. My damn elves can’t keep up with paperwork. But, yes, we’re ready for a great Christmas.
BRC; “You have the naughty v nice list worked out?
Santa: “You’re on the naughty list again, Big Red, sorry.”
BRC: “Santa, I wasn’t talking about me, but how about the rest of the world? How are they doing?”
Santa: “Give me a name, Red, and I’ll see if I can remember their status. We called Google in to get all of this digital stuff right a couple of years ago, but I still have to memorize it. Fire away.”
BRC: “Well, Santa, speaking of Google — Sergei and Brin?”
Santa: “Naughty, nice. Maybe in the other order.”
BRC: “Trump, Mueller.”
Santa laughed for a long time until his belly was slapping against his chin.
Santa: “Trump naughty. Mueller double naughty. Those two are a real pair. I just wish the two of them could finish their business. The world is tired of this investigation.”
Santa: “Very nice. She invited me down to the White House to see the decorations, me and Mrs. Claus. Delightful woman, the First Lady. Shame the lefties in your country treat her with such disdain. Brilliant woman, by the way. Languages. Entrepreneur. Model. Quite the business woman. Nice son, that Barron. Growing like a reed, tall, skinny. Does she feed the lad? Not like her Donald who eats all that McDonald’s fast food crap. Just for the record, I don’t gift her all of those spectacular clothes. Poor Don having to keep that clothes horse dressed. Sorry.
BRC: “So, Santa, changing the subject a little, you mentioned your tech initiative, what’s the latest on that?”
Santa: “Huge strides. We cut a deal two years ago, brought Amazon in on the fulfillment side of things. Don’t get me wrong, I still make all the stops, but sometimes, I get that Bezos fellow to have his boys handle some of the bigger stuff, like bathtubs. I can’t haul bathtubs anymore, so I get Jeff and Amazon to deliver them for me.”
BRC: “Interesting. Speaking of gifts, what are the trends?”
Santa: “Way more gadgets. How many bottle openers can a Millennial have for goodness sake? Lots more gift certificates — incredible breakage. Last year we did more than $86,000,000,000,000 with a 15% breakage — unspent proceeds.
BRC: “Where does the breakage go, Santa?”
Santa looks around with a clear sense of guilt coloring his ruddy complexion.
Santa: “Don’t tell the God damn Securities and Exchange Commission, but I have the breakage dumped into my Goldman Sachs account where they put half of it in cryptocurrency.”
BRC: “Speaking of crypto, how do you see it?”
Santa: “Naughty, naughty, naughty. I hate making the rounds of the jails, they smell so horrendous. Lots of crypto boys and girls going to jail. Killer app, my ass.”
BRC: “Speaking of jail, Santa, Mike Flynn?”
Santa: “The FBI really did a number on that guy. Plain old fashioned entrapment. I tried to talk to Bobbie Mueller, but he asked me if I delivered to Russia, to whom, and what did Vladimir Putin get last year and this one.”
BRC: “So, Santa, did you collude with the Russians?”
Santa: “Like I told Bobbie Mueller, of course I colluded with them. But, so what, is that a crime? No, it is not. Let’s move on, BRC, I have to get back to the North Pole and start loading out.”
BRC: “Are the lists all going digital and are the letters all email these days?”
Santa: “Cut a deal with the NSA. They listen in through everybody’s smartphones, tablets, desk tops, flat screens. Work directly with Amazon and that Alexa woman — what a tramp. Will do anything you ask her to do. No restraint at all. But, between the NSA and Amazon, I have contact in every home and the lists are easy to come by. The things that Amazon and the NSA pick up. Wow.”
BRC: “Any privacy concerns?”
Santa: “Privacy, how quaint, Big Red, you think there is such a thing as privacy? Somebody asked for some privacy this year as a gift and my elves laughed at me. God damn elves. Irreverent, recalcitrant bunch. Nasty and unclean, also. God, I hate elves. Shit all over the factory. Never wash their hands. Truly repulsive little beasts. I’m talking to Bezos to see if we can find a good alternative.”
BRC: “OK, Santa, I can see you’re getting a little cranky, let’s call it a day. Thank you for your time and Merry Christmas. I have something for you, Santa.”
Santa: “You do? I’ve never received a gift at Christmas.”
Santa broke down in tears and had to put the sleigh on autopilot as he was overcome with happiness. When he finished sobbing like a little girl, he opened his gift.
Santa: “A God damned bottle opener, Big Red Car? You rotten son-of-a-bitch. You’re re-gifting me that bottle opener you got last year, you cheap bastard.”
Santa dumped the Big Red Car off and sped back into the skies headed back to the North Pole. As he flew out of sight, I could hear him say, “God damn it, Jeff Bezos, no I will not pay extra for same day shipping.”