Features
A Truckers’ Christmas Tale

Have you never found it quite hard to believe

Reindeer bring all those presents on Christmas Eve,

Well, I'm gonna tell ya how us truckers know

The Christmas Eve legend about them is so!

I was hauling a fat load of Christmas trees

Down a wet mountain road just starting to freeze.

The night I gave Santa a ride in my truck.

You could tell the old guy was down on his luck,

Standing there on the shoulder hitching a ride,

When I saw who it was, my eyes opened wide!

He was battered and bruised, had been in a wreck.

Was out on a trial run that 'bout broke his neck.

He'd been testing a new reindeer...robots, you see

And the robots malfunctioned, failed miserably.

Their computers were programmed to fly all right

But their parts wouldn't work in the cold sky at night.

His sleigh was a shambles; his suit in a mess,

Told me there'd still be toys for kids nonetheless.

Said he had a spare sled back home at the Pole,

And his real live reindeer were ready to roll.

Then he asked me how fast my big truck would go,

He said Mrs. Claus would be waiting to know

If electronic reindeer could pull the sleigh

That delivers the presents on Christmas Day.

I put the pedal to metal, stopped near a town.

He hollered back, "Thanks" as I watched him climb down.

We sure didn't know, when Santa got off my truck

It was just the beginning of his bad luck!

You see, at the Pole, rumor spread through the barn

That his live reindeers' job security was gone.

The awful truth came from Mrs. Claus' kitty

Who heard Santa's plan to go to the city,

And try out some new cost-cutting creation;

Home delivery by robot transportation!

Santa said the world mustn't think him a fool,

Computerization was thought to be cool!

Well, of course every one of those reindeer knew

They'd fast be replaced if the robots could do

What they had been doing for hundreds of years,

The mere thought of a layoff broadened their fears.

In a state of panic they came to agree,

They'd best find a job...maybe national TV

They went looking for work before they got fired,

But they didn't come back, because they got hired.

With his reindeer long gone, as you surmise,

Santa Claus was in for a terrible surprise.

He found where they went, was worse for the wiser

They were under contract with Energizer!

To pull the big drum that whole Christmas season

Their rabbit threatened to quit...with good reason.

So...not quite a week later, the message came,

My company said Santa asked for me by name!

The dispatcher told me the old guy was stuck

Some holiday crisis! He needed my truck

And hundreds more of 'em with drivers like me

Glad to help with a children's emergency.

I'd be spilling beans if I told you what year

The truckers replaced Santa's flying reindeer,

But now you know how we all came to believe

Santa's reindeer deliver on Christmas Eve.

And if you think it's easy, take one more guess.

Next time Santa's deer quit, it's Federal Express.

-Ellen McCoy
Curtin, OR

Aug/Sept Digital Edition