Thursday, December 08, 2005

SANTA, FEDEX SPAT THREATENS CHRISTMAS

Santa accuses courier of failing to live up to contract.

NORTH POLE-Millions of children may find their stockings empty this coming Christmas morning due to a contract dispute between FedEx and toy philanthropist, Santa Clause. Clause, made world famous for his twenty four hour marathon of house-to-house toy delivery around the world every Christmas Eve, has accused the international courier of failing to abide by the terms of their four year old contract for distributing toys to the world's children.

"It is really a delicate situation" said North Pole Operations Chief Eng Lon, "we have come to depend on FedEx to take some of the burden off Santa on Christmas Eve, if we do not have them it could lead to serious delays."

According to Lon, Clause sought the partnership with FedEx in the wake of increased security measures as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the overwhelming rise in the number of children around the world. Lon said these factors along with the outsourcing of 60% of the gift production to manufacturers in the U.S. and Asia made the FedEx move a logical business decision since gifts could be shipped directly to the kids' homes and be received by the parents. There is also concern at the North Pole that advances in security technology has made getting Clause in and out of various homes undetected a difficult task.

"The advent of newer security and surveillance devices have made middle of the night toy delivery a virtual nightmare." said Ja-Lee, Director of Technology at the North Pole, "Since 9/11 the U.S military is on us like a hawk if we so much as deviate three feet from the flight plan. It has made toy delivery to places like Washington, D.C. and New York nearly impossible"

The contract with FedEx has enabled Clause to deliver most of the toys to technologically advanced regions of the world without the risk of detection or something worse. However following the 2004 campaign, a dispute arose when Clause requested the courier begin providing cargo jets to pick up the 40% of toys still manufactured at North Pole factories. Lon indicated that the only method they had for moving product out of the Pole region was via Santa's sleigh. The logistics of making that trip to FedEx distribution centers around the world prior to Christmas Eve proved problematic since Clause was the only one who could actually pilot the sleigh. His frequent absences from the Pole on these added distribution runs created some production delays. According to Lon, the contract allows for such a request to be made and FedEx's refusal is tatamount to a breach of the agreement.

FedEx refused to comment on the dispute saying instead that negotiations were ongoing. An unnamed FedEx official, familar with the situation, said the sticking point was that landing cargo planes in the North Pole "is not like dusting crops" and creates huge headaches for their flight teams. According to unamed sources, the North Pole has a very small landing strip since it only accomodates a "sleigh and eight tiny reindeer" North Pole officials are apparently unwilling to consider any expansion of the facilities to accomodate the larger planes citing environmental concerns.

Even with the big night fast approaching North Pole officials feel confident some kind of compromise can be reached to avoid a Christmas disaster for millions of children.

"We are in talks with UPS and DHL just in case we cannot work it out with FedEx" Lon said, "If not, it will not cancel Christmas, the gifts may just come a day or two late."

Lon's assurances come as little comfort to millions of parents whose efforts to contain the excitement and fever pitch of materialstic little brats are futile by Christmas Day.

"If there no presents under the tree on Christmas morning, it could real ugly here. In fact I may have to board the dog and hide the sharp objects just in case." said one parent. "I mean 364 days of repressed bad behavior exploding in a mixture of disappoinment and rage could have some very unfortunate results"

***This is a spoof news article....in case you did not know***
BCB, Copyright 2005

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