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The Last Reindeer: A BT Christmas Tale

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 06:00

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By KELLY TAY

'Twas the night before Christmas
All kids were in bed,
The promise of Santa
Wove through little heads.

"A puppy? A toy train?
I wonder what I'll get,"
Wondered Johnny aloud
As he played wish-list roulette.

But up at the North Pole
Things looked pretty dire.
A tight labour market
Had sought to conspire

Against earlier plans
To deliver all presents -
Santa's nine reindeer
Were not being pleasant:

"It's just too much work
For us to pull a fat man
Across the whole world
Oh, it's such a scam!

"We're only paid peanuts
And the work is so tough,
Once Santa's down the chimney
We're out in the rough!"

And due to a botch-up
With fresh calculations,
The sleigh was much heavier;
There were more locations

More kids were good this year
More stops would be needed,
"The load is too heavy
"One more reindeer!" they pleaded.

So Santa had looked
For another reindeer to hire;
He put out a job ad
Listing traits he desired:

"Red noses preferred,"
(Since Rudolph proved great)
"Only looking for reindeer
From up here, upstate."

But his job ad was found
To be discriminatory
"Consider all fairly,"
Said a higher authority.

So Santa amended
The job ad to say:
"All reindeer are welcome
To help pull my sleigh!"

And those from the South Pole
Jumped quick at the offer:
"A chance to pull Santa
While filling my coffer!"

After five rounds of choosing
With strict interviews,
St Nick picked one reindeer
Hoping joy would ensue

Little did he know
Another shock lay in wait -
The Deerpower Bureau
Would again set him straight.

He failed to take stock
Of employee numbers, you see
His dependency ratio
Hit the maximum decreed.

And so that work permit
Could not be approved,
Thus Santa's predicament
Was still unimproved

So Santa tried once more
To hire local staff,
But all of his efforts
Were just met with laughs

As those from the North Pole
Merely scoffed at the ad:
"The work is so menial
There're sweeter jobs to be had."

Cried Santa as he wondered
How to fill the last job:
"All these local reindeer
Are unbelievable snobs!"

He was growing ever-desperate
As time was a-ticking,
He'd exhausted all options
But still none were sticking.

As the hour of departure
Approached late at night,
Santa was despondent
With no solution in sight.

He decided to set off
With his usual team of nine,
And encouraged them on
With all the strength he could find.

But the night flashed by quickly
And the sun began to rise,
Santa's stomach was lurching
He knew the little ones would cry!

Australia was done,
As were Europe and North America,
But he never made it to Asia
Nor the continent of Africa.

And so goes the tale
Of the Christmas that was missed
It suffices to say
That the kids were all miffed.

"Santa failed to deliver,"
People everywhere said,
"We'll just have to believe
In something else instead."

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