In a dramatic press conference held this morning at the corporate headquarters of Walmart, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, a spokesman for the corporation announced the acquisition of the North Pole and the transfer of all of its operations to Bentonville. Parents and children around the world were in shock!
"The acquisition of Mr. Claus and his staff will make for a much more efficient Christmas for all concerned," stated the spokesman. "Just the savings on milk and cookies alone on Christmas Eve will be in the millions of dollars and pesos and rubles and yen and pounds and deutsche marks. Our Xmas partners at FedEx have guaranteed an efficient delivery system on Christmas Eve and no worries about raindeer poop on the roof. Ho, Ho, Ho, will be replaced by a reassuring Honk, Honk, Honk!"
A reporter from the New York Times shouted: "What about Dancer and Prancer and Donner and Blitzen and Alvin and the Chipmonks," his voice cracking in an unusual display of emotion, 'and the Elves? What about the Elves!?" The journalist began to sob and was quickly escorted from the room by Walmart staff.
"Not to worry," replied the spokesman to the empty chair, "they will all be on display at Xmas time at our stores around the world and then travel as a petting zoo the rest of the year. The little Elves will be happy as can be in their work as Cart Retrievers."
"What about letters to Santa from the children," asked a journalist. "No problemo," replied the grinning spokesperson, "each will get a reply and a personal phone call from a representative in our subsidiary in Calcutta, India!"
Spokesman: "and here is the best news! We are giving each and every one of our store employees in the entire US a gift wrapped application for food stamps in their state!" He looked up and smiled, "HO! HO! HO!"
The Associated Press reports that as the press conference ended a quartet made up of Walmart executives took the stage and sang:
"You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why,
Walmart already owns your town"
As a rather somber and silent press corps turned to leave the room they observed Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting alone on a bench in the back of the hall. Santa had his arm around her shoulder, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She was wearing a green smock with red lettering that stated:
WELCOME TO WALMART!"