the state of things

 

Short Extract from SANTA'S CHRISTMAS EVE BLUES

by Elvis Shackleton - 12:00 on 07 December 2012

This week sees the release of the re-vamped, supersized, The Night Santa Got The Blues redux, SANTA'S CHRISTMAS EVE BLUES. In this short extract, Henry F Potter, President of the Board of The Big Fat Father Christmas Corporation, tries to impress upon his colleagues the grave danger of the situation, and the fact that there is a real possilibity of Christmas not taking place at all.

Half an hour later Henry F Potter was presiding over a full board meeting of The Big Fat Father Christmas Corporation. Many of the executives had been indifferent about being summonsed to work at this late hour on Christmas Eve, but Potter had made sure that Miss Kublik had impressed upon each of them the extreme urgency of the matter.
‘We must find a way to get him to deliver the presents!’ cried Potter, slamming his fist onto the table. The smile of affable curiosity from earlier had completely vanished. Once again Potter was the hard-nosed businessman who had once managed to sell rainwater to Scotland. ‘Christmas has to happen or shares in this company will collapse overnight. It’ll make Jurassic Park look like a teddy bear’s picnic in a Girl Scout factory.’
Even though Potter could be a little strange sometimes, and many of the things he said did not actually make any sense, everyone still knew what he meant.
‘Why don’t we get someone else to do it?’ chirped a small round woman from the far end of the table.
There was a sudden hushed silence round the table, and everyone looked at the small round woman who had dared to speak. Potter did not like it when someone other than him spoke at a board meeting, and a couple of senior executives glanced at him nervously, waiting for the eruption.
‘Because,’ began Potter slowly, keeping his temper in check, ‘Santa has to deliver sixteen billion presents to approximately one billion homes in a very short period of time. Do you know how he does that?’
‘No,’ said the small round woman, timidly shaking her head.
‘Well,’ said Potter imperiously, ‘neither do I. Nobody does. It’s magic, Santa’s special magic, and he’s the only one who can do it. Of course, we have scientists working on the technology, but they’re decades away from a breakthrough. Decades. We need answers, people, or this company is going to sink faster than the Titanic in a bowl of custard. We’re in permanent danger of losing the Christmas franchise to Disney, or the Chinese even, and this will be the catalyst to tip us over the edge. Now, I know there’s usually little point in any of you speaking when I’m in the room, but it’s time to throw the pigskin into the bushes and set fire to the envelope. We need ideas and we need them in the next ten seconds.’
‘Perhaps,’ said a strange little man with dimples on his nose, ‘we could ask Mrs. Claus to have a word with him.’
Potter sat back, his hands clasped on his big, fat belly, a belly engorged on mince pies, pumpkin doughnuts and mulled wine, as he regarded the strange little man with dimples on his nose for some time.
‘Mrs. Claus,’ he said eventually. ‘Might work. Might work.’
The strange little man relaxed and sat back, hoping that his idea might be the one that helped save Christmas.
So it was that shortly afterwards, Mrs. Claus was flown by helicopter to Manhattan from her retirement home in Saratoga.

Click on the book cover to get your own little piece of Santa's special magic.


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