Monday, December 06, 2010

Difficult Phone Calls

Over the years I have made my share of difficult phone calls. While they are necessary they are never easy. Neither was the phone call I recently had to make.
The person I was calling knew how to do his job. In fact, he had for a number of years done it at the highest standard possible. But time was growing short. He was working under a great deal of pressure and was managing a large number of employees.

I noticed my hand shaking as I picked up the telephone. Your hand would be shaking too if you were running the risk of ticking off Santa Claus right before Christmas.

After dialing the number I listened to the prerecorded message, “If you have a Christmas list, press one. If you have been naughty and want to make amends, press two. If you want to tattle on a sibling or someone else in your neighborhood, press three. If you want to speak with the toy department, press four. If you want sled flight information or scheduled arrival times, press five. If you have questions or concerns about Rudolph’s red nose, press six. If you need to speak to Santa Claus, press seven. To return to the main menu, press the pound button.”

I pressed seven. Same thing happens every year. You press seven to speak to Santa and suddenly you are getting passed around from one elf to another, all trying to be helpful, but seven is to speak to Santa. Finally, Santa answered the phone and the conversation went like this:

Santa: This is Santa.
Ralph: Hi Santa, this is Ralph in Colorado.
Santa: Ho Ho Ho Ralph. I was just thinking about giving you a call.
Ralph: Really? About what?
Santa: About the snow conditions. We have been getting conflicting reports and I thought I should touch base with you to see what is really happening.
Ralph: Well, it’s cold and it’s windy but no snow here. Although, there are parts of the state which have received significant snow fall. This might be a tough year on the sleigh.
Santa: Well, that’s what we’ve been hearing. By the way, what’s on your mind?
Ralph: Well I was wondering if you were going to use our cul-de-sac to make your test run again this year?
Santa: You bet I am! I love that cul-de-sac. Tight turns, quick descents and take offs. It’s perfect for the pre-Christmas flight. And Ralph, between you and me, Prancer and Dancer really need the practice this year.
Ralph: Well . . . I’m not trying to stick my nose into your business or tell you how to do your job but I thought I’d give you a friendly reminder we have a new kid in the cul-de-sac this year.

There was a long pause on the phone.

Santa: Ralph, do you have any idea how elves I have working to keep the address database up to date?
Ralph: No.
Santa: Do you have any idea how many elves are needed to keep track of all the moves made just days before Christmas?
Ralph: No.

Then I heard Santa pound on the computer keyboard. I knew I was on thin ice. He came back on the phone and told me the name of the new kid in the cul-de-sac along with his age, his date of birth, how many things he had done naughty and how many things he had done nice. Then Santa added “And on top of that, he likes M&M’s. “

Ralph: Yeah . . . yeah, that’s him.
Santa: Okay, Ralph, keep me posted on the weather conditions and we’ll pretend this conversation never took place.
Ralph: Thanks Santa. I’ll keep you posted.
Santa: See you in a few days Ralph. Ho Ho Ho.

Hanging up the phone my hand was trembling more than when I first made the call. I knew I had stepped on Santa’s toes and may have even questioned his ability. But, I wanted my new little buddy to get something prior to Christmas.

Later that week, I rushed outside before dawn. There was no snow so seeing sled tracks and reindeer footprints was out of the question. I dashed (sounds like Christmas) to the neighbors house and threw open their screen door (little more Christmas) to see such a sight (okay, you get the picture) my new little friend had his first Christmas delight, (sorry, had to make that one rhyme).

Santa does his pre-Christmas flight in our cul-de-sac and he has for a number of years. Daily he leaves the kids a small gift and a picture of himself.

But I’m putting out the word for next year – no one moves in or out of the cul-de-sac. I don’t want to have to make that phone call again.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sunday Funnies

A priest and a rabbi are in a car crash. Both of their cars are demolished but amazingly neither one of them is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi says, "So you're a priest. That's interesting; I'm a rabbi. Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but we're unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace."

The priest replies, "Oh, yes, I agree. It's a miracle that we survived and are here together."

"And here's another miracle," says the rabbi. "My car is destroyed but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink the wine and celebrate our good fortune," he says, handing the bottle to the priest.

The priest nods in agreement, opens the wine, drinks half of it, and hands it back to the rabbi.

The rabbi takes it and puts the cap back on.

"Aren't you going to have any? asks the priest.

"Not right now," says the rabbi. "I think I'll wait until after the police make their report."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My First Sighting

Sipping a cup of coffee looking out the kitchen window I realized we were going to have another spectacular sunrise. I picked up my camera and went out on the deck to take a few pictures. The jet trail added to the unique design of the sunrise.

But it’s winter and it’s cold so after a few quick pictures I headed back to the warmth of the house. I turned around to securing the sliding glass door when I saw it. I had met people who had seen U.F.O.’s (Unidentifiable Flying Objects) but I had never had that experience . . . at least until now.

With my camera still close by I was able to snap a quick picture of my first UFO sighting.
It’s either that or the reflection of the kitchen light in the glass door. You be the judge.