25 December 2011 – Amusements

Just the one Christmas-themed “amusement” this week followed by an old Christmas favourite.

The 12 Days Of Christmas After Re-engineering

Global challenges require the North Pole to continue to take more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary.

The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic plant, providing savings in maintenance costs.

The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during the working hours could not be condoned under the company “zero tolerance” sexual harassment policy. Both positions are, therefore, eliminated.

The three French hens will remain intact and we may actually expand the number of hens used. A recent time-motion-profitability study proved that using illegal migratory fowl is extremely profitable as it eliminates the company’s need to provide employee benefits because the hens do not meet federal residency requirements.

The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked, and whether the calling function can be replaced by e-mail.

The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order.

The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of their decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by the Personnel Department will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.

The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. Their function is primarily decorative. Replacement mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes to better enhance their outplacement.

As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility.

Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps. Let the re-engineering team hasten to add that company policy prohibits age discrimination, and any layoffs must be justified using a business case to preclude any employee lawsuits.

Ten Lords-a-Leaping is overkill. The high costs of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed because of the high average weight of retired congressmen, significant savings should result due to the number of congressmen left unemployed after each election.

Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music and the elimination of uniforms will produce significant savings to the bottom line.

Though incomplete, studies by our consultants indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop-ship in one day using a “just in time” system, service levels will be improved and we can expect a substantial reduction in the use of part-time personnel.


And finally, because it’s Christmas, another opportunity to enjoy the story of the Lovable Louise.

Lovable Louise — a Christmas Story

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay’s kids’ stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty and grew increasingly threadbare.

One year I decided to make his dream come true.

I put on sunglasses and a fake beard and went in search of an inflatable love doll. Of course, they don’t sell those things at Wal-mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you’ve never been in such a store, don’t go. You’ll only confuse yourself. I was there almost three hours saying things like, “What does this do?” “You’re kidding me!” “Who owns that?” and “Do you have their phone number?”

Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll suitable for a night of romance that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. I’m not sure what a complicated doll is. Perhaps one that is subject to wild mood shifts and using a French accent for no reason at all. (That also describes a few ex-girlfriends.) Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I’d only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I figured the “vibro-motion” was a feature Jay could live without, so I settled for Lovable Louise. She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a “doll” took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and cleverly left the front door key hidden under the mat. In the wee morning hours, long after Santa had come and gone, I snuck into the house and filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise’s pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray.

Then I let myself out, went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him very happy but had left the dog confused. He would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. I suggested he purchase an inflatable Lassie to set Rover straight.

We also agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner. It seemed like a great idea, except that we forgot that Grandma and Grandpa would be there.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. “What the hell is that?” she asked. My brother quickly explained.

It’s a doll.

“Who would play with something like that?” Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut. “Where are her clothes?” Granny continued. I hadn’t seen any in the box, but I kept this information to myself.

“Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,” Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless.

“Why doesn’t she have any teeth?”

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, “Hang on Granny, Hang on!”

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey, who’s the naked gal by the fireplace?” I told him she was Jay’s friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa.

The cat screamed, I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

Later in my brother’s garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise’s collapse.

We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot fireplace ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health. Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies. I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.