The fierce competition to determine the site of a second North Pole production line has been won by South Carolina.
The announcement was made yesterday by Northex, the North Pole’s Oslo-based holding company that also owns Kris Kringle Worldwide and Rudolph Organic Compost.
“South Carolina has shown us it offers the best business and labor climate for our expanded operations,” said Angelina Claus, Northex CFO and wife of Santa Claus for 371 years. “Also, they threw everything at Santa in terms of tax breaks and other incentives” to build the new toy factory in the Palmetto State, she said.
South Carolina officials, decked out in pointed slippers, velvet breeches, belled hats, and other gay apparel, gathered in the state capitol of Columbia for celebrations that stretched late into the night. “South Carolina puts the SC in ‘Santa Claus’ — and ‘Christmas,’ now that you mention it,” said a jubilant Gov. Mark Sanford.
It was Sanford’s personal, secret negotiation of a trade pact in Argentina earlier this year that sealed the deal. Now having a physical corporate presence in South Carolina gives Claus an opening into the lucrative Argentinian toy market currently, controlled by competitor Father Christmas.
Other incentives committed by the state include tax exemptions on in-state purchase of reindeer fuel and gift wrap, and a waiver of environmental regulations for Santa’s capital projects. In addition to the new assembly plant in Charleston, Santa also has plans for a three-runway sleighport and a new project for his Nat King Coal division, which would be the world’s largest open pit mine.
Santa Claus went looking for a new production site earlier this year after negotiations with the elf union, the Arctic Federation of Labor, broke down over the AFL’s refusal to agree to a no work stoppages deal. Santa had demanded the provision after stoppages caused expensive delays in the Barbie’s Dreamliner program.
State House Speaker Bobby Harrell summed up the state’s victory: “Today, South Carolina kicked the asses of a bunch of greedy little elves.”
In contrast, the decision has touched off a firestorm north of Canada.
“Christmas is ruined,” said Elf spokesman Gruffudd Greenbuckle said, and went on to say that work stoppages were a phony issue.
“Periodically elves have to perform a little dance, while singing merry toybuilding worksongs. It’s in our DNA, and it only takes about a minute at the top of every hour, everyone knows this,” said Greenbuckle.
“Santa used it as an excuse to betray our centuries of loyalty, and is blatantly cutting costs at the expense of the little guy,” said the three foot tall Greenbuckle. “Health insurance reform with a strong public option would do more to lower costs,” he said.
Stole Democrats’ 60th vote
Greenbuckle and other elf leaders are calling upon federal lawmakers to intercede. “Keep the North Pole at the North Pole, we say ‘let’s stay together’,” Pole City Mayor Holly Mistletoe wrote in an e-mail to Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), chairman of the House Oversight of Holiday Observances Committee (HOHO Committee). A spokesman for Green said his committee would take up the issue after the holiday recess.
However, elf assistance legislation is a non-starter in the Senate, according to Homeland Security Committee chairman Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman-CT).
“Christmas, shmistmas. The North Pole is an axis, with elves whose union supports the public option. Protecting America from this axis of elf evil is my top priority,” Lieberman said.