Missing the Point – The Clauses

Because my office has a few people who have the senses of humor of people who say, “Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays!” I tend to spend a lot of time really bummed out by the things they say.

Most of the time, this results in a diatribe that can be summed up to: “I have a better sense of humor than you do, because I’m a Published Author.”

Other times, their senses of humor provoke the following. (Names and places have been changed, since I’m spineless.)

The Original E-mail

Greetings to all you wonderful, good-hearted people at [redacted],

As you will recall, last Christmas and the Christmas before you were all so helpful in getting Ted “elf-abetized” by generously giving to certain charities assigned to him by the jolly old man himself. This year, Elf Ted is being elf-indulgent and taking a break (personally, I think Santa is putting him on a required leave of absence because he was about to lose it. I hear he’s been taking aim at the reindeer with his Red Rider BB gun and doing wheelies down the aisles of the toy shop and running over the other elves.)

Anyway, this has given me the perfect opportunity to step in and ask for your assistance this year. I have a slightly shameful secret to tell you. My name is Ms. Claus, NOT Mrs. Claus. That’s right, Santa & I are not married. Now don’t get the wrong idea, we do have separate bedrooms. What kind of girl do you think I am? The fat old man is a commitment-phobe, but after hundreds of years of therapy, including a long stint with Dr. Phil, plus a threat of a tell-all book and an appearance on Oprah, Santa has finally agreed to take the plunge and make an honest woman out of me. (I was beginning to wonder if the stories about him and the elves were true). But before we get married, Santa is requiring that I take on an assignment of collecting donations for two of his favorite charities. The first one is called Heifer International. This charity works to give those in need a hand up, not just a hand out, by providing them livestock, seeds or training to improve their lives in sustainable ways. The other charity is United Cerbral Palsy of Middle TN,  which I understand is a referral often used by your organization and provides assistance to countless local residents. For more information on Heifer International go to http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.183217/#; for information on United Cerebral Palsy, go to http://www.ucpnashville.org.

I have until December 21st to collect at least $100.00 for these 2 charities, or I can kiss that walk down the aisle good-bye, at least for this year.  If I can collect over $150.00 there will be a special surprise for all of you. Please help an old lady finally have someone to snuggle up with on those cold North Pole nights and donate.   Dana Katz and Mercury Davis (on the 6th floor) have kindly agreed to collect your donations.

Thank you for your previous generosity and for the generosity I know you will show this year as well.

Merry Christmas to all,

Mary Claus
North Pole

My Response

Dear Dana,

I took the time out of my very busy, one might say obscenely busy, schedule to read your e-mail that you’ve forwarded from Ms. Claus.

After getting over the severe depression that followed from hearing of her divorce – and after Heather Nash and Rayetta Dixon consoled me by giving me a lollipop – I decided that I’d make things easier for Ms. Claus and send my donation directly to her.

I sent an e-mail to the one listed at the bottom of her helpful email, enquiring as to whether or not Western Union had a branch in the North Pole, but found that the mail server bounced my message back to me. “That’s odd,” I thought. I e-mailed my supervisor to tell her that I had some business to take care of and would be unreachable by e-mail until it was completed.

“Whatever,” she responded.

Then, I called the phone number listed and found that, not only was the number too long for the switchboard to handle, but that the North Pole in fact had an American country code.

As I’m sure you know, each country in the world has its own telephone country code. Even ones that only have one phone per entire population. Such as Lithuania.

After thinking about this for a while, I came to the conclusion that you are the recipient of a scam on par with the Nigerian prince e-mails. (I know, I only found out about them being a scam last week. I sure hope Prince William Hurtzel will honor his commitment and that he is not one of the scammers.)

I sincerely hope that you’ll send out a message soon stating that no one should donate to this fund, as Ms. Clause does not exist.


Aaron Simon, BA, MA, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Alpha Lambda

Enrollment Coordination Specialist, graphic designer