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Challenge #00712 - A347: Jinge Bells, Santa Smells

Santa’s elves go union!

“Two! Four! Six! Eight! Hear us, Kringle, we can wait!” The chant filtered through the stained glass windows of the Head Office.

Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus, aka The Jolly Elf of the North, was not that jolly. He was perspiring, despite the cold, and highly nervous. He cleared his throat seventeen times before he put his foot in his mouth with, “And what do you want for Christmas, little boy?”

The elves across the table glared at him in cross-armed, stony silence.

“Sorry,” he quavered. “Habit of centuries…”

The spokes-elf had to stand on his chair to slide the papers across. It was quite a thick document.

“Oh my,” murmured Santa. “Living wage? I thought we were already agreed on that. I… give you all lodgings and all the festive treats you can eat…”

“Plum pudding and candy canes don’t cut it any more, fatboy,” said the spokes-elf. “We want a balanced diet.”

Santa coughed. “Hurm hum hohoho… Er. Let’s see… I can -um- expand the definition of ‘festive treats’? I can only do Christmas food. Um. They serve a lot of salads in Australia?”

Cold glares. “Just open up access to normal food.”

“Yeah, open up a Costco or something.”

“Yes… yes I suppose. We shipped all the toy-making jobs to cheaper manufacturers.” He read further down the list. “Equal heights?”

“You might have noticed that we have to bring step-stools with us when we want to talk to you,” said the spokes-elf. “We want full mobility aids installed throughout the entire facility.”

“Walk-talk pathways. Self-elevating chairs. Standing bars,” said a compatriot.

“Lower ceilings.”

“Please,” begged Santa. “My lumbago…”

“We told you to put wheels on that sack forty years ago.”

“…it’s not traditional… I have an image to maintain. Can’t disappoint the kiddies…”

The elves exchanged a glance. “All right. We’ll talk with our fellow members about the ceilings.”

“But we insist on the right to celebrate Christmas.”

Santa looked very lost. “Don’t we already do that?”


“…hohohooo… dear…”

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