Here’s the yuletide apologia we just dashed off to our family to explain why all our presents will be late this year: outsourcing.
- Dear Mom, James, Aoife, Padriag, Dad, Susie, Stephanie, Grandma and Grandpa,
Chris and I awoke last night to a dreadful rooftop clatter. We went up the hatch to see what was the matter/kick some homeless guy’s ass. The night was cool and pocked by stars. Actually, those were lights from Jersey. The odor of the Gowanus Canal wafted through the air.
On the roof, next to our neighbor’s DirecTV dish, sat a small pile of presents, and upon closer inspection, we were shocked to find…
- “…them all addressed to my family in Colorado and North Carolina! We scanned the sky for the source of the gift drop, and in the distance spotted a miniature sleigh, led by four tiny reindeer, weaving through the sky, headed due North. Christine brought out the binoculars she always carries with her (big Rear Window fan) and on the back of the sleigh spotted a sticker that said “How’s my driving?” along with a number to call.
We called the number on and managed to file our complaint over the din of bells and the sound of hammering and high-pitched shouts. The operator told us that Santa’s Workshop actually produces very few of the presents these days, instead functioning as a staging ground, and operations management center. Most of the presents are outsourced via global low-bid contracts and assembled at the North Pole by Christmas eve for, “The Big Run.” It’s a bit like FedEx, the operator squeaked to us.
The operator apologized for the performance of the errant sleigh-man. Due to the high volume of packages, Santa Clause also outsources driving of packages to the North Pole to local contractors. The one we spotted in particular was on loan from a Brooklyn livery company. She assured us, however, Santa still personally performs the final chimney action.
The operator gave us free shipping for next year and agreed to send out a sleigh to pick up the missing packages. Unfortunately, they will probably not arrive in time for Christmas morning. Please accept this gift of an iTunes Charlie Brown’s Christmas album in the meantime and keep an eye out for our belated presents.
Ben & Chris”
— BEN POPKEN
Photo: David Le