The Lapland Preparatory Council Meeting was about to begin. Santa Claus’s plush office on the 14th floor was festooned with decorations, as was customary for that time of year. Santa walked up to the huge window and looked down at the world below. Snowflakes fell gently, making the world as pristine as a book ready for new stories.

“Where the hell is Jack Frost?” Santa muttered, “he should be here by now.” He walked back to the head of the long table and took his place. His hangover was killing him, and he took a sip of black coffee.

“I call this Annual Meeting to order,” he cleared his throat and began self-importantly. “As you all know, this year I hired a consultant.” There were some murmurs around the table.

He ignored them and continued, “Remember this is 2018, well into the 21st century. All snowmen will now be referred to as ‘snowpersons’. All reindeer, meaning the eight of you – will call yourselves ‘freight specialists’. All you elves – Hermey, pay attention! – will now be called ‘Santa’s size-challenged assistants’. Is that clear?”

The murmurs of dissent continued. Which annoyed Santa.

“Rudolph! Did you go to the AA Meeting this week? That nose doesn’t look too good.”

“I did, boss. But we missed you there,” Rudolph replied with a straight face. The other reindeer tittered. Not stopping at that, Rudolph continued, “There is the other matter of the lawsuit against you, boss. Several complaints from girls that you were watching them while they were asleep! Y’know, this MeToo thing. No more chimneys, boss.” More titters.

“Hmmph… never mind that. You were texting when flying, Rudolph! Unacceptable!”


“Enough! You’re all fired! Hohoho! I’m booking the Christmas Eve sleigh ride with Uber!”

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Beetashok Chatterjee
Beetashok Chatterjee is a seaman by profession. This old sea dog is also a wannabe poet/writer, avid reader, music lover, movie buff, cricket enthusiast and a restless spirit.
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