Santa Claus and the Government Grant
by
Bob Seitz
     Christmas, 1987

I'm sure we all know Santa's been a success,
   But how many know that his money's a mess?
With never a cent from Accounts Receivable
   Debits have swelled till they're barely believable!
Orders have multiplied year after year
   Till Santa's now smothered in holiday cheer.
Last year got so bad that he tried a new slant:
   Santa applied for a government grant!
Their auditor said, in a scandalized tone,
   "No way does he merit a government loan!
He'll never repay it!  You know that he can't,
   Which makes him ideal for a government grant!
Your typist can stamp it, to give it some class,
   But make sure she logs it to cover your... lass."
The form was submitted on Valentine's day,
   But then it got lost until halfway to May,
When auditors went to review his accounts,
   And make sure his books showed the proper amounts.
But when they arrived, they were shocked as could be-
   He hadn't kept records since 40 A.D.!
Somehow, it was handled, and forward they went,
   Hoping to wrap up the folly by Lent.
The next thing that tripped them were open-bid laws,
   So Purchasing tried for a small-business clause.
But Santa's among the world's larger affairs.
   (Do you think that he makes all those goodies with mirrors?)
And since word had spread throughout land, sea, and sky,
   Department stores wanted a piece of the pie.
(They also had Santas and wanted to bid.
   With Uncle Sam paying, they'd wow every kid!)
So back at the circus, the lawyers finagled-
   Talked with competitors, argued and haggled-
Till Labor Day saw the grant ready to go
   So Santa could function before the first snow.
But 'ere they could sign, word came down from the buyer,
   From Congress or Heaven, whichever is higher,
That funding was frozen till Congress could see
   How long it could posture and still disagree.
And now, we have come to a new fiscal year-
   And lo, Santa's money is no longer here!
Well, you can imagine!  This late in the season,
   Withdrawing his money surpasses all reason!
This far in the fall, what can anyone do
   To fabricate presents for me and for you?
And Santa, of course, is fit to be tied!
   A Santa-less Yule hurts his virtue and pride!
He pondered for days till he saw what to do:
   The Salvation Army could help him pull through.
His helpers would bolster their troops at their pots,
   And spread out to cover additional spots,
And then, if his workshops produced day and night,
   There's still a good chance we could come out all right.
But Christmas depends on amassing some cash
   So the Salvation Army can finance the bash.
So tell all your relatives--make sure they know-
   Then rush down to K-Mart and dump in your dough!
You won't be rewarded with thank-you's alone.
   What you give them this year will soon be your own.
And then let's help Santa.  We know now he can't
   Depend on the likes of a Government grant.

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