Santa’s Plight

Lawyers sometimes get interesting requests. Several federal judges have dismissed lawsuits because the plaintiffs failed to give the U.S. Marshall adequate instructions to serve defendants named Lucifer or Devil with a summons and complaint.

I just opened a letter from a would-be client asking for help. He writes that with six billion people on earth and many of them living in apartments or other structures without chimneys it is getting harder and harder to make deliveries. He put up with it this year but he is hearing about labor laws and health regulations and wondering if I can help before he has to set out again.

The writer tells me that so many cars pollute the air, and so many power plants belch more and more smoke, that we make his life very difficult. His workshop is sinking beneath Arctic ice. He and his reindeer are choking aloft because it is getting harder and harder to breathe and stay cool in flight.

He chalks up all the problems to the sharp increase in the world population. And he notes that almost nobody is doing anything about that. We are not only making more heat and gas, we need more and more things. Sometimes the best presents he can bring to the children are medicines or food. But these don’t grow well in the Arctic. The changing climate is making bigger droughts and deserts, so more food and medicine are needed. Our growth in population is fast turning him into an abject failure. Can’t we stop?

Some of the children’s homes are being submerged under the rising waters. He can swim OK but he has to wear a lot of gear for the trip and carry lots of packages. Underwater deliveries aren’t an option and wouldn’t be very helpful.

In a fit of exhaustion he thought about going on strike. But what’s the use – a lot of scabs would just impersonate him or parents would tell their children that he doesn’t even exist. So he can’t strike. But the reindeer! And the elves. Mrs. Clause has offered to bake for them if they join the picket line and has threatened to kick me off the pole if I try to fire the help. So even though I won’t go on strike, unhappy as I am, my assistants may force the issue anyway.

But how can this all end? If they are of a mind to take action, what can they ask for? I don’t have a way to vacuum up the greenhouse gases, cool the earth, restock the oceans with fish, restore the flooded lands, end the droughts and reforest the deserts. YOU HAVE TO DO THAT.

So he ends his letter, “But then what should they ask the people of the world for? Can we turn this into a lawsuit and get some action? Can we make those judicial penguins understand?

“Help me, help me please.   
“Yours truly,
“Santa in tears”

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