The Takeover Before Christmas
A Rhyme by Odds Bodkin
‘Twas the month before Christmas, fifty-seventh floor.
The Chairman of the Board had just stormed in the door.
All the VPs tugged their collars and started to sweat.
He looked about as mad as a Chairman could get.
He yelled, “I hear there’s competition coming from up north!”
Then he swiped at his iPhone, looking back and forth.
“And yes, I’ve looked into the problem, figured out the cause.
Some old man working nights they call Santa Claus.”
So they filed a complaint with the SEC,
Said this Santa Claus guy’s got a monopoly.
Why, all the children in the world wait for him to appear!
So what if he delivers only one night a year?
So they wrote him out a writ that read from left to right,
Hired a hundred lawyers in case he put up a fight,
And they flew in their choppers up to the North Pole.
From his parka, the Chairman stared out at the cold:
“Santa Claus, Santa Clause, where do you belong?
I’m gonna send you down south to an old folks’ home.
Kick your feet up in the sun on Biscayne Bay,
And let the snow in your soul, melt away.”
Well, Santa welcomed in those hostile takeover guys,
Dressed in striped shirts, suspenders, and little bow ties,
But before he could get in any words edgewise
They slapped him with the writ, then offered compromise.
They said, “It’s cold and you’re old and elves aren’t that much fun.
Wouldn’t you rather be golfing down in the sun?
Where the beach people mingle and play all day?
Here’s a solid gold watch. We’ll give you severance pay.”
But Santa looked at them all and pulled on his glove.
“‘Tis a long way from earth, to heaven above.
And between, there are children. Not all are properly loved.”
And between them the old boy shoved.
But the Chairman said, “Wait! Someone’s getting bilked!
We’ve heard you’ve taken bribes of cookies and milk!
And that you’ve flown without a license in restricted airspace!
So either go down south, Santa, or go down in disgrace!”
Well, they flew old broken Santa down to Key Biscayne,
Where the only snow that ever falls is rain.
They traded in his snowsuit for sandals and lotion,
And left him in a beach chair, looking out at the ocean.
Meanwhile up north, poor Rudolf went out of his mind,
And elves showed up in unemployment lines.
And all the letters from the children lay unopened, unread,
For Santa Claus was gone. The Christmas Spirit seemed dead.
That Christmas Eve, the world’s children, all snug in bed,
Had fitful dreams as chopper blades roared overhead.
Down the chimneys fell presents, all wrapped by machine,
With computer bills that read, “Send no money ‘til spring.”
Meanwhile, down south, old Santa was a different man,
Betting fantasy football and sporting a tan.
He drove a fifty-seven Ford with lots of polished wood,
And instead of reindeer, had horses, under the hood.
But the tan and the shades, they were all just for show.
For though the beaches were white, they weren’t white as snow.
And though on Christmas Eve all the presents came,
To the kids, it just wasn’t the same.
But the TV’s cried out, “Sure the toys are the same!
So somebody else brought them? Hey, what’s in a name?
Oh, yes, and “Dear Santa” letters don’t apply anymore.
Just cross out “North Pole.” Write: “Fifty-seventh floor.”
And sure enough, the next Christmas, all the letters poured in,
All addressed in crayon, filling bin after bin,
And the Chairman saw his future––endless Christmas bull markets––
As he jumped from his limo and told his chauffeur to park it.
But imagine his surprise. His office was a tomb.
His golden parachute was falling toward financial doom.
The firm was in trouble. It was all on his head!
For they’d opened all those letters and every last one had said:
“We the kids of the world, we don’t think it’s funny,
How you took Santa’s love and all that’s left is money.
Our parents think so, too, and promise they’ll assist us.
So either bring Santa back or we’ll boycott Christmas!”
Well, the Chairman, he resigned. I mean, circumstances forced him.
He lost his limo, stocks and bonds. His lovely wife divorced him.
Salvation Army took him in and served him soup and fruit.
Next day he showed up at the mall dressed in a Santa suit.
So Christmas was put back to the way it once had been.
Santa blew out his Ford, but quickly traded it in,
Rounded up all his reindeer, got his elves off the dole,
And headed north listening to rock’n’roll.
Yes, Santa got back to the snow and ice
And started keeping his list of who’s naughty and nice,
And he wrote the world’s kids and said, “Thanks. Glad you missed us.
Peace on Earth. Rudolf’s fine. Oh, and Merry Christmas.”