Exclusive Santa Column: Paranoia About the Millennium Bug

A traffic sign saying Christmas on it
Santa’s going to save Christmas!

Following on from the lice outbreak at Santa’s factory, it appears Father Christmas regressed back to late 1999 and pressing contemporary matters.

He filed this rambling (AND EXCLUSIVE!) column mere minutes before we were due to go live. Truly, Santa knows how to live on the edge of professionalism.

Santa Overreacts to the Millennium Bug

I woke up with a start last weekend at 3am drenched in sweat, drooling, and I’d wet myself. Fairly standard stuff.

Nauseous beyond belief, I lent over to puke on the floor. Then I took a swig from the absinthe bottle next to my bed. “Welcome back, sweet clarity…” I crooned.

My insane wife mumbled something and got out of the bed, realising she’d also have to get up due to my bedwetting habits. Daft bint is used to it all. She trotted off to bake cookies for the elves. “BITCH!” I roared at her as she left the quarters in her nightie.

Then the paranoia hit me again. I’d had a dream. A dream about the Millennium bug.

Goddamn it! I realised that bastard of a thing could ruin Christmas 2021! So I called my head elf, Mary, in for a 4am meeting in my office.

She turned up looking quite sleepy. “WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING!?” I bellowed at her. “I’m sorry!?” she squeaked. “I DON’T PAY YOU BELOW MINIMUM WAGE TO TURN UP, IN MY OFFICE, LOOKING TIRED! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WOMAN!” She quite rightly apologised for her conduct.

I then laid forth my plans to ensure no goddamn Millennium bug wouldn’t derail Christmas 2021. These were my orders:

  • Fumigate the entire factory to ensure no bugs are left.
  • Buy a Millennium Pug to act as a deterrent.
  • Invest heavily in chlorine on the stock market.
  • Bring in a pest exterminator, like that one from the film Arachnophobia played by John Goodman.

Mary pointed out the Millennium bug has nothing to do with insects. “I KNOW THAT, YOU DIMINUTIVE HAG!” I roared.

I admit, I did not know that. So, after that revelation I added a new item:

  • Buy a new computer. There’s only one in the factory and it’s from 1995.
  • Invest in cybersecurity.
  • Hire a full IT department.

Yes. YES! I decided it was about time to bring the Santa factory kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

And, lo, behold it took a few mere days for helicopters to fly in 20 new state of the art laptops and all sorts of other gubbins.

Pug, Pug Me Do

The thing about being a business pioneer is how exhausting it all is. My genius drains my soul, which leads to drinking, and replenishment of my mojo.

“WHERE THE HELL IS MY MILLENNIUM PUG, YOU SLAG!?” I bellowed at Mary, who had been scurrying around for days without sleep to get the IT department set up.

“Sir, the pug is due today.” She said. I sneered down at her haughtily and mumbled some obscenities.

The Millennium Pug was set to act as a mascot and present Santa in a family-friendly light.

Unfortunately, the dog that turned up was actually a male adult ostrich called Henry. I couldn’t quite believe this development.

I called Mary into the office and she scuttled in. The bird was stalking about pecking at the floor while whistling, hooting, hissing, and growling.

“Mary…” I began. “Do you see anything out of the unusual?”

Her eyes were wide open like stalks and she faltered for a moment. “Erm… no, sir.” I eyed her with contempt. Through gritted teeth and a tone of hysteria I barked, “Well, I sure do! Take a look around!”

I swept my left arm across the room grandly, the vomit stains on my red tunic quite apparent. “Tell me, what do you see? A PUG, PERHAPS?!”



“Sir, I thought you said order an ostrich.”

I couldn’t quite believe this impertinence! We had to go to great lengths to return it to the zoo it came from. I was in favour of blowing the feathery bastard up with TNT, but my wife intervened. Stupid cow.

It also soon turned out Mary had ordered three tonnes of plugs, believing “pugs” to be “plugs”.

Quite how she came to order an ostrich wasn’t ascertainable there and then. After throttling her by the throat, my ridiculous wife suggested Mary should see the nurse.

The nurse, Doreen, turned up an hour later with a report on Mary’s issues. These were:

  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Concussion.
  • Scurvy.
  • Headlice.

“Shit!” I yelled with alarm. “Headlice?! Oh Christ, not this again! We’re going to have to do bleach baths for everyone again!”

However, as we were totally out of bleach the nurse suggested quarantining Mary and letting her recover from her other ailments.

I agreed to this, on condition Mary agreed to a pay cut. This was confirmed in writing soon after.

Santa’s Brand Spanking New IT Department

At the very least, my IT department was up and running and looking glorious! The elves cleared out one of their sleeping quarters to make room for it.

300 elves now sleep on the factory roof. 50 of them developed hypothermia on the first night alone, the nurse told me. I laughed in her stupid face.

With all this fancy IT equipment, I made a bunch of impromptu promotions and filed 25 elves as my official IT team.

They don’t have any training or knowledge in IT. So I told them to be competent within or week or face death by firing squad.

I demanded daily updates on their IT progress and they were able to report the following over the course of several days:

  • The laptops turn on if you press the power button.
  • Setting a fire extinguisher off on the laptops doesn’t turn them off, it makes them break.
  • Jumping on laptops doesn’t fix technical problems.
  • The Millennium bug hasn’t been a problem since 1st January 2000.

I was surprised to learn of the final development. John the elf, my Head of IT, told me it was an issue in the late ’90s.

“Huh!” I scoffed. I told him I thought he was chatting shit and he should stop trying to patronise me.

He assured me he’d done thorough research and showed me the page about it on Wikipedia. I then accused him of being a leftist spy and had him escorted from the premises. I expect to never hear from him ever again.

I made another spontaneous promotion, making Jeff the elf my Head of IT.

Commanding him to show me around the new department, he took me around the room pointing at the laptops. I observed the elves smacking the laptops with their fists and prodding at them with screwdrivers. “Yes!” I said in contentment.

“Excellent work, Jeff! Now, what of the Millennium bug?”

Jeff informed me he’d dedicated 12 of his team to combatting the issue and had already fumigated the entire department prior to my tour.

I heartily thumped him on the back, congratulating his sterling work.

Believing the issue to be under control and finalised, I then realised I had achieved ROI for my IT department.

As such, I wandered to a utility closet to obtain a canister of petrol and a bazooka.

After obtaining these items, I returned to the department and doused it (and all the elves there) in petrol. “Sir!?” Jeff inquired, while rubbing petrol out of his eyes.

“Stay here, you little bastard!” I snapped. Waddling out of the department, I then turned around and blasted off my bazooka (not a euphemism).

I don’t really remember much after that. But I was told the fire brigade was out here for a solid 72 hours getting the inferno under control.

Well. These are the lengths you have to go to as a business owner.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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