His head down, the old man with the red suit and white beard trudged into the psychiatrist’s office. The psychiatrist motioned him to lie down on the couch.
“Now, what did you say your name was?”
“Claus. Santa Claus. ”
The psychiatrist did a double-take. He realized that it was indeed Jolly Old St. Nick himself lying before him.
“Well, Santa, can I call you Santa? This is quite a privilege for me. What can I do for you?”
“Doc. I need help. I’m quite depressed.”
“Do you want to tell me more?”
As he began his sad tale, Santa sobbed, struggling to get his words out.
“It’s… It’s…Amazon.” The word caught in his throat.
I hate them, and I hate Jeff Bezos.”
The psychiatrist was puzzled.
“Santa, please go on.”
“It all started a couple of years back, but it got worse this year. First, I noticed fewer letters coming to me asking for things. Then, the wishes from kids began falling off. Suddenly, I found myself cutting back on inventory, you know, fewer things to deliver at Christmas.”
The psychiatrist nodded. He was beginning to see the problem.
“This year, first time ever, I started laying off elves. Let me tell you something, Doc. Elves don’t like getting laid off. You know what they do when you give them a pink slip?”
“They kick you in the shins, good and hard.” Santa pulled up his trouser legs to reveal hideous bruises all over his ankles. He continued,
“Anyway, I hauled out on my sleigh for deliveries on Christmas Eve. It’s much lighter this year because I have fewer presents. And I have to go to fewer houses. So I have a little spare time to investigate. I started going down chimneys and looking at where the stockings were hung with care. And you know what I found all over just about every living room?”
“Amazon boxes. Everywhere I looked, Amazon boxes!” Santa was now crying uncontrollably.
“It was all I could do to keep from tripping over those Amazon boxes to get to the milk and cookies.”
The psychiatrist gave an understanding look and offered him a Kleenex.
“And you know what, Doc? They’re not even leaving me milk and cookies, anymore. I lost ten pounds last Christmas. I’ve had to tighten my belt three notches to keep my pants from falling down.”
Santa continued, “And it gets worse. On the way home, Rudolph and the other reindeer got buzzed.”
“You mean they had too much eggnog?”
“No, they actually got buzzed. By a drone. Drones, doc, drones! You know what drones could do? They could put me completely out of business. Santa and his sleigh would go the way of the covered wagon.”
Santa took the tissue and spoke softly, “Doc, I’ve already started taking department store temp work. Macy’s. Some of those kids don’t know they’re talking to the real Santa.”
“And Mrs. Santa is not happy either. Now every spring when I’m starting to gear up production, she is on my case.”
“It’s a funny thing. The snow is starting to melt at the North Pole. I don’t know why. So it used to be ‘shovel the snow, shovel the snow’. Now it’s ‘mow the lawn, mow the lawn’. Can you imagine? Mowing the lawn at the North Pole? This year I went into the warehouse. I had hundreds of snow shovels – I have plenty left over if you need one, doc. But I gave my last lawnmower to a groundskeeper in Chicago. What am I going to do?”
The psychiatrist said, “I know where you can get a lawnmower, cheap.”
“They have them on Amaz.. no, forget it.”
The doctor looked at his watch; Santa’s forty-five minutes was up. It was a good time to end the session. He scanned his schedule book for Santa’s return visit.
“Santa, when would you like to come back?
“Well, I have to be at this medical building next week to see the foot and ankle specialist.”
“I’m laying off another hundred elves.”
As Santa got up to leave, the psychiatrist, honored to be Santa’s doctor said,
“No charge, Santa. But could I ask you for something?”
“Sure, after all that’s my business. What would you like?”
”Your autograph for my daughter.”
More than willing to oblige, Santa took a Christmas card from his pocket.
“Now, who should I make this out to?”
The psychiatrist said, “My daughter’s name is Virginia. You see, I’ve always wanted to say to her ‘Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus’”.
Santa smiled, signed the card, and handed it to him.
“Doc, it’s nice to know some people still care. Is there anything I can bring Virginia for Christmas this year?”
The psychiatrist, forgetting himself again for a moment said,
“Oh no, but thank you anyway, Santa. She already has Amazon Prime. Free, super-fast delivery.”
He tried to take the words back but it was too late.
Santa tore the card out of his hand, shot him a dirty look, stormed out, and slammed the door behind him.
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