America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
High-Tech Saint Nick
By Dan Geddes
High-Tech Saint Nick
Saint Nicholas arrived in Amsterdam,
aboard a shiny new ship,
looking old as Father Abraham,
after his long, tempestuous trip.
“To navigate the stormy seas
is tough for any old man.
I used old maps—not GPS.
I got lost near France…or Siam.”
“So I swapped my steam boat for this!
He said: “’Twas a very favorable exchange!
Modernization is for me pure bliss;
I embrace technological change.”
The crowd gasped at the vessel.
A man cried: “Where’s the steam?”
“Nevermore with coal will I wrestle,” said Sint,
“in this nuclear-powered dream!”
“But what are those big cannons for?”
queried a kindly little boy.
“They’re not for acts of war,” Sint beamed
“but for spreading sweet holiday joy.”
“These are pepernoten cannon!”
He fired cookies into the air.
“I’ll rain them down on you like manna,
and shower them over Dam Square.”
“And where have all your helpers gone?”
asked a girl with a cookie-filled mouth.
“My org chart has been redrawn,” said Sint.
“The Petes stay home in the south.”
“And my horse now lives in Zanzibar,
where he likes to take afternoon naps.
So I’ve bought a new self-driving car,
that takes photos for Google Maps.”
“I have automated as much as I could.
Skilled craftsman I no longer employ.
Machines print objects of plastic or wood:
3D printers make every toy.”
“And we give out no more Euro coin.
Fiat currency now seems quite strange.
It’s much easier to email Bitcoin®
than give out jars filled with small change.”
“And to learn what all the children Like™
I know exactly where to look.
After Facebook and the NSA,
I got rid of my big red book.”
“Amazon’s drones will bring parcels soon.
You must have read this in the news.
Then I can stay in bed ‘til noon
while drones fill up the shoes.”
“Instead of writing poems myself,
which wastes so much precious time,
I now use software off-the-shelf,
to produce my holiday rhyme.”
“Since my logistics are now well-defined
my life has been a real treat.
I sit and explore the world online!
And I have plenty of time to Tweet!”
“I Tweet about my favourite Saints
and theories about the credit crunch.
I Tweet about my medical complaints
And what I had for lunch.”
“I’ve heard enough!” cried a girl with force.
“We want Saint Nicholas back!
The one that rides that old white horse
not in a ship designed to attack.”
“We like our pepernoten thrown,
not shot out of a nuclear Cruiser,
Saint Nicholas is our lodestone!
Not some lazy online user.”
“He’s the Saint who brought hand-made toys
And set children’s hearts a-glow.
He’s the Saint for good girls and boys.
We don’t mind if he’s old and slow.”
“The ship and everything you see,” (said Sint)
“was really something of a test,
to see your views on technology.
You’re clearly not impressed.”
“Saint Nick has heard your feelings today.
Next year I’ll reconsider:
I’ll do my job the old-fashioned way;
not waste my life on Twitter!”