The Elves were struggling to form a union. Working conditions were not what they used to be, the stress was mounting, and The Santas Clones® were more demanding each year. If only we had a collective voice, thought the Elves. Then, perhaps, our labor would not be taken for granted, and we might get some much needed elfcare benefits that we've been promised for years...
The Santas Clones® called for a meeting, a caucus, a collective response. "Elves don't appreciate what we do for them! They wouldn't have work without us!" the Clauses exclaimed. The Santa Clones® were used to working together. How else could so many packages get delivered around the world in one night? "We are the job creators," they said smugly. "We put UPS, Fed Ex and the USPS to shame!"
"Who is the CEO Santa?" the Northland Press asked in constant editorial derision. "There must be a leader who can work out this mess with the Elves. There are murmurs of direct action and pickets, toys mysteriously misplaced, wrapping paper mismatched, candy canes with incorrect striping, reindeer wrangling slowed to a standstill. Certainly Santa CEO can come down hard on the little thugs!" The North Polls suggested that The Santa Clones® were losing favor.
The Santa Clones® thought long and hard about this. "If one of us steps forward, we might throw the whole balance of this enterprise off! The reindeer might get aggressive with us and refuse to fly. The Elves might strike, and our Mrs Clauses are already on this equal cookies for equal work thing. It is all we hear at home. Makes us glad to be able to get out of the house at least once a year!
"Our best way forward," they concluded, "Is to create a system where everyone wins. Why shouldn't the Clausettes receive equal cookies, rather than only the 3/4 of the cookies they now get? They seem to work twice as hard! Why shouldn't the Elves have a voice in how the workshop is set up? After all, a safe Elf is a happy Elf! And why shouldn't Rudolph and his Army get reimbursed for the miles they cover… it is one heck of a night's journey!"
While The Santa Clones® deliberated, the Elven teamsters loaded the sleighs. Rudolph's army stamped the snow impatiently, smelling of leather, tobacco and cocoa. The Santa Clones® turned to one another, and saw the strength within their numbers. "We're nothing without each other!" they exclaimed. "And we are nothing without our Santa Sisters and Elven Brothers!" The reindeer stamped and snorted, impatient to be off. Sleighbells jingled. A long night lay ahead.
The Santas, liberated from the shackles of selfishness, finally understood. "Solidarity, Brothers and Sisters… Solidarity to All! United we Stand, but Divided we Fall!"
And as the Santas Unchained sang a sweet Christmas song, "The struggle for justice - was ours all along!"
As those sleighs all rose up, with their reindeer in flight, the Elves formed their union on that Christmas Eve night.
And here is our special Holiday Greetings from the Overpass Light Brigade (hit "play" then "pause" to let it preload... it is worth it!):