Santa Simulator

“Luffal, it looks like we’ll be out of business within the next twenty years,” Santa Claus confessed, quoting the data conveyed in the annual Star Gift report. He slumped back in his fuzzy candy cane recliner. “Kids nowadays just aren’t interested in the traditional toys anymore. What good are our wooden block sets if they can get the same thing on a screen coupled with stellar graphics and educational interactivity?”

The wise elf, Luffal, wiggled in his pink polka-dotted stockings, stuck in thought. Then it struck him: “How about we stop with the old toys then, Boss, and move along with society?”

“How so?” Claus was confused. Never had he ever thought of abandoning his old-fashioned toy making lifestyle. Vintage would never go out of style, he believed.

Luffal sunk in a hot chocolate mug bath, the exfoliating steam renewing his sagging skin – there were perks of being only five inches tall. He waved a candy stick at the gloomy, cherry-faced toymaker. “Well, for starters we can make a few renovations to the west factory – Etch-A-Sketches are so last century. Round a few smart elves together, slap them with a tome outlining programming and illustration basics, and put them to work in the west factory designing hit mobile games.”

Santa Claus chuckled in his seat, sipping bubblegum tea. “You say Etch-A-Sketches aren’t desired anymore? Then answer to this,” he handed the head elf a manila folder. “Since 2005, I’ve distributed nearly 100 million of them; you can’t argue with facts.”

“Boss, please, I literally just saw you write that in the report as I was reciting my idea.” Luffal passed the document back to Claus. “That cinnamon-scented ink doesn’t lie.”

The frosty bearded fellow dropped his head. “Fine, Luffal, I admit that I may be a tad stuck in the past – only a tad, mind you. And –”

“Hold up!” the elf exclaimed, nearly falling out of the ceramic coffee mug. “I’ve got it! The Santa Simulator – a blast for kids of all ages, players take control of the reigns for the very first time and they’ll be able to fly while delivering presents to others all around the world!” The festive manager glowed red with excitement. “It’ll be like that Google Earth technology! Only, rather than being subjected to the outside, kids can enter houses through chimneys!”

“Whoa, slow down there, bud. Wouldn’t that be considered an invasion of privacy?”

Luffal deadpanned. “What? I’d never bring this to you if I had even the slightest inkling of its misuse.” He reiterated, “No, definitely no, Boss. This will be used purely for fun. We’ll add a point system and everything! People will be too focused on delivering presents that they’ll never have time to abuse the game. You have to trust me on this, Boss.”

“Absolutely not, Luffal. It all seems like a good idea, but it has the potential to be disastrous as well – that’s all I’ll say on the matter.” Claus stood from the chair and started toward the bathroom. “We’ll discuss other ideas after I take a warm bath,” he said in passing.

As soon as Santa Claus locked himself in the bathroom, Luffal phoned an inventive comrade. After a few seconds, the colleague finally answered the phone. “Yo, Gremmal – have I got a job for you,” Luffal whispered. “No time for details; meet me in the west parking lot in an hour. Be sure to bring a sleeping bag – it’s going to be a long night.”

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