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I just received this information and thought that it should be passed around as much as possible. And, given his age, it's probably going to be a really hard adjustment for him.

Santa Claus Looking Into Assistive Technology

"You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixon
Are stressing out over Santa's condition…"
 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, North Pole

In a statement released yesterday, Rude Elf—Santa's spokeself—confirmed that St. Nicholas sustained an eye injury which will render him completely blind.

"I guess I'm the one to blame," Santa chuckled to reporters last night, leaning casually against his own stomach, which the reporters were using as a tabletop. "I'd just delivered a digital camera to Noah Sight, a blind client of mine, and collected the milk and other goodies that he left for me before his fireplace. I guess I should've given Rudolph the carrot; but thinking about blindness lead me to want the eye-improving vitamin found in every carrot. The moment I popped it into my mouth, Rudolph attacked. His paws are capable of moving at several hundred miles a second—so as we can reach every child's home and deliver presents in one night. He drove his paws into my eyes at a tremendous rate, penetrating as far back as my retinas. Of course, all the pain this caused me to feel turned my cries of `Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!` into `Ho Ho, Ho Ho, HOOOAAAAAAAARR!"

As a legally blind citizen, Santa is now faced with several unfortunate dilemmas. Firstly, Rudolph, although already subject to a formal hearing and a sentence of either death or merely a deprival of reindeer games, could not guide Santa's sleigh anymore, because his red nose simply wouldn't be adequate enough for Santa to notice. Several solutions to this problem have been attempted with no luck at all. A notetaker running up-to-date GPS software was strapped to Dasher's back, but a mistake in route creation lead Santa to "Freedom Scientific" instead of "Freda Scian Tiffany", a little girl on Santa's naughty list. Not wishing for people to believe Santa had any political motive in mind for leaving a lump of coal outside of Jonathan Mosen's office, Santa realized that there was simply too much room for error with global positioning systems these days.

Another problem relates to Santa's bookkeeping. What piece of assistive technology could Santa use to store his naughty and nice lists? It would have to have a pretty decent amount of storage—say around nine billion gigabytes—ruling out the BrailleNote and the PAC Mate, our two market leaders at this point. But there are other reasons these notetakers couldn't be used.

"Rudolph tells me that the whiz wheels on the Pac Mate look too much like small carrot slices," Santa explains seriously to reporters, "and as for the thumb keys on the BrailleNote, my thumbs are usually too sore to use after prying open all those boxes of sweets left for me by my clients."

Dasher and Dancer are commencing an all-new business venture which they're dubbing "Reindeer ware". This hopes to administer such technologies as file storing methods using carrots, Braille displays that can stand dirty grease from milk and cookie wrappings, speech synthesizers that human beings can actually listen to, new devices called Pack Mates (yes, not "pac", "pack" with a k) for "packing" all of your gifts into one small device, and of course, CNs (Chimney navigation systems)!

Santa, a two thousand and six-year-old citizen of the North Pole, is beginning to feel that he may well be ready for retirement. He's already shouted at six of his elves for feeling sorry for him, substituted his Christmas turkey for one of Rudolph's legs, cut his hand on a client's roof antennae (which he had thought was their chimney), and filed for divorce with Mrs. Claus (we're not sure why—but they must've been rocky for ages, because Santa mentioned something about being mad that he could no longer hold staring contests with her).

So between shouting at his lawyers about laws regarding obstruction of reindeer, and singing "Rudolph Roasting On An Open Fire" and "Sightless Night", let's just say that Santa's not having a great time of it right now.

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Caroline C

May 2015

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