Press one#8217; for logical Christmas gifts By Cal Bryant 12/26/2007 Dear Santa: First let me apologize for this letter being so late. You, as the man who receives a zillion or so letters at this time

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dear Santa:

First let me apologize for this letter being so late.

You, as the man who receives a zillion or so letters at this time every year, and I, with readers craving for holiday news, know how busy it is for both of us by the time December rolls around.

I don’t know about you, but I need a break. At least you receive an extended hiatus from your job after your worldwide tour on Dec. 24. For me, it’s back to the daily grind come Dec. 26.

Anyway, I’m writing to ask for gifts, not for myself, but for those who sorely need them. Again, I know you’re a busy man; there must be hundreds of things on your punch list – everything from making that list and checking it twice to polishing-up old Rudolph’s nose. However, I would be much appreciative if you could find just a few precious moments in your extremely busy schedule to read my letter.

Here at home, please find it in your heart to grant our elected leaders the wisdom to conduct the business of our counties and municipalities with open minds, open hearts and open doors.

On the national political scene, please send us a real presidential candidate. This current group of Democrats and Republicans hopefuls are about as interesting as watching paint dry. And while you’re at it, please leave Hillary Clinton $25 so she can buy a clue.

At some point after he rests up a bit, can you loan old Rudolph out to U.S. Intelligence and see if he can lend a hand – oops, I mean the bright beacon that is his nose – in finding Osama bin chicken? He, like the late Saddam, has probably crawled under a rock. If you really want to so all of us a favor, after locating Mr. Chicken you can drop the rock on his head. If that’s beyond your realm of fair play, then strap him into a remote control aircraft and aim it towards a mountain. We’ll listen for the boom.

Santa, is there anything you can do about straightening up this trade deficit dilemma? Like so many true-blooded Americans, I am growing tired of seeing our fellow countrymen and women being forced out of their jobs, losing their homes and, more importantly, losing the respect they’ve built over the years because their employers go running in a mad frenzy towards cheaper labor in Mexico and China. Is there anyway you can convince our leaders in Washington that it would be in the best interest of the United States to double the tariffs on foreign products made with American materials? That should lead these money-hungry business executives to leave their American plants open. I, for one, wouldn’t mind paying an extra buck or two for a product proudly made in America by Americans.

St. Nick, will you please convince firms that conduct business through an automated telephone system that they do not need to have a menu item requesting us to “press 1 for English.” We live in America…we speak English here. There doesn’t need to be another choice. If you can’t learn the language, maybe it’s time to return to your native land.

Here in the News-Herald office, two of my reporters, Thadd and Jennipher, strongly believe that a US 13 bypass of Ahoskie is a good thing. I can see why, they both live in Windsor and it’s the Windsor folks who, in their twisted logic, believe that bypassing Ahoskie will benefit their town. Maybe that logic is connected with a belief that if the motoring public misses Ahoskie, they’ll stop in Windsor instead. Santa, please invoke wisdom into the minds of Thadd and Jennipher. Make them understand that being able to drive faster between the two towns is not a logical reason to support a bypass, especially when numerous homes, huge tracts of fertile farmland and livelihoods will be lost.

While in our office, please send some of that North Pole snow our way. One of my reporters, Amanda VanDerBroek, is from upstate New York where it snows all the time. I like the way Amanda works and I don’t want her to become homesick. I think a little snow every now and then in the R-C area will satisfy her “flake” cravings.

Santa, thanks for taking the time to read this. Give my best to the wife and family.

Your pal,