“In the audience tuhnight is Wendy Richter, Winner of the All Girls World Champeenship Muuhhhd Wrestlin’ Tournanment. And, after the national anthem, it’ll be time for Big Foot to come on out to the center track hyar at the Cow Palace to crunch some cars…”
“Santa! Santa Claus! Stop watching that nonsense and come to supper!”
“Yes, Mother,” said Santa Claus as he got up from his chair, threw another log on the fire, and made his way into the kitchen.
“How many toys did you make today, Poppa?” asked Mrs. Claus as she ladled out a large bowl of steaming, spicy hot chili.
“Plenty. Dolls up 18% over last year’s production, Rambo Doll with nuclear accessories should be a big hit this year. Spreadsheet projections indicate upsurge in market for domestic robot-teddy of at least 45% by third quarter fiscal year 1986, given the positive reaction on Wall Street to mechanized transaction software runs with worst case parameters.”
“Don’t talk money at the table, dear. You know it irritates your gallstone.”
“I’m sorry, I’ve been watching too much TV that’s been coming from the U.S. lately. You know, I wonder about those people sometimes. Their appetite for entertainment is never sated. They’ve turned me into a god with no limitations who watches over them day and night punishing those who shout, cry, or pout with lumps of coal. They think I know who’s naughty and nice. I’m still just jolly old Saint Nicholas, but, to them, I am Ubermench.”
“Don’t let it get you down, dear.”
“It was much nicer two to three hundred years ago when they hadn’t gotten into electronics. The elves have had to attend night classes to keep on the cutting edge of technology. But we’ve geared up. This year the elf union installed robots that do most of the packaging. They also installed a Reindeer-Assist Jet Engine on the sleigh. Rudolph is getting up there you know, he’s almost as old as Gene Autry.”
“Claus to tower. Claus to tower! Request clearance for take-off on runway two-niner.”
“Roger SC-210-heavy. Begin taxi to two-niner.”
“Roger.” Santa Claus grabbed his whip, cracked the biting cold air at the North Pole International Airport, and shouted, “On Dasher! On Dancer! On Donder and Blitzen! On Comet! On Cupid! On Prancer and Rudolph and what ever your name is up there!” The reindeer guided the sleigh toward the end of the runway. As they halted, waiting for further instructions from the tower, a 747 came shreiking through the light snowfall.
“You’re cleared for take-off SC-210-heavy.”
“No, Santa, our printout says here that Bobby gets a lump of coal,” said Emile the elf as he packed the bag full of the proper toys for the children of the house upon whose roof the sleigh rested.
“Oh come on, what did he do that was so bad? He didn’t hijack an airliner, did he?”
“Then give him a Rambo doll, and help me out of the sleigh.”
Emile assisted Santa Claus onto the roof and helped him toward the chimney. Placing one boot, then the other into the sooty opening, Santa grabbed the toy bag and slithered down the chimney, landing in the fireplace below. There was the Christmas tree standing in the dark in the corner of the living room. Santa quickly went to the tree and deposited the toys for the children. In the corner opposite the tree, a table lamp had been left on. Underneath the lamp was a plate of cookies and a glass of cold milk.
“Alright! Chocolate chip, my favorite!” Santa chortled as he stuffed the cookies in his mouth and guzzled the milk. “I always get indigestion on this night because of the rush.” He made his way back to the fireplace, placed his finger on his nose, and up the chimney he went.
“How many more, Emile?”
“Well, Santa, we’re done with the eastern hemisphere.”
“Take us over the Atlantic, Emile. And use the jet engine, we’re running late.”
The S.D.I. satellite detected engine heat. It analyzed the spectrum of the exhaust: air-breather, 80% probability it is a sea-based I.C.B.M. The small micro-jets rotated the tethered ion beam generator into position. A burst of high- energy left the satellite, headed for its target.
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