Christmas in Jeopardy!
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NORTH POLE Santa and the elves have begun to panic as Santa’s reindeer have gone on strike—with just days remaining until Santa’s busiest night of the year. After several weeks of attempted bargaining, the final decision was announced late last night.

Comet, spokesdeer for the striking team, spoke to reporters this morning. He said that the decision was made because of unfair working conditions and a lack of respect. “All year, we’re forced to help the elves and answer phones and respond to the fat guy’s fan mail—not to mention the rides we have to give out to screaming little tourists. Then, in December, our lives are total chaos. Last-minute planning, checking lists twice. Then, that last night, we have to fly for hours on end. It’s not natural for deer to fly, you know. But we do it. And Santa’s not getting any thinner, either. He’s really gotta start laying off the Christmas cookies. You know, we wouldn’t mind if he decided to share a few of those cookies with his hungry reindeer. After all, we work and work to drag the fat guy and his sleigh full of toys all over the place, and then we get paid in nothing but sugar cubes!”

As Christmas approaches—only days away!—Santa’s staff is scrambling for a backup plan. Santa’s lawyer is negotiating with the reindeer, but no settlement has been reached at this point. North Pole spokes-elf Rodney responded to Comet’s claims, telling reporters, “We understand the deer’s arguments, but we feel that their demands are excessive. Besides, they’re not really all that hard-working. In fact, they’re pretty lazy. But we don’t want to argue about that. All we really want is a fair and timely settlement.”

When asked if Santa has a backup plan, Rodney said, “Well, we’ve been thinking of hiring bats. Or pigeons. But, frankly, we’d need an army of them to pull a full-grown, slightly overweight man—not to mention toys for every child in the world.” Rodney also said that Santa would possibly have considered using other non-flying animals, but it would take too long to train them. “We have some rhinos who have been in training since the arguments began,” Rodney reported. “But we’re concerned about people’s roofs. Rhinos are heavy. They are also, however, strong enough to pull Santa and his sleigh around. It’s a dilemma that we’re going to have to solve quickly.”

So, right now, Christmas is up in the air. Or, to be more precise, not up in the air. People around the world (especially small children who are hoping to get ponies for Christmas) are anxiously waiting to hear if Santa and his reindeer will be able to settle their differences—or if Santa will have to cancel his annual run.

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