Bill's Blog

Will Rudolph Be Replaced By a Drone?

Posted on December 12th, 2013

 As every child knows, Santa delivers his presents on Christmas Eve in a sleigh led by nine reindeer:  John, Elena, Sonia, Samuel, Stephen, Ruth, Clarence, Anthony, and Antonin. 

               Wait a minute, that’s not the list of Santa’s reindeer.  Those are the current members of the Supreme Court.  I often get the Supremes and Santa’s reindeer confused since Justice Scalia, like Rudolph, has a very shiny nose.

               Santa’s reindeer are, of course, Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen, not to be confused with the law firm by the same name.

               When I was a child, I was actually terrified by the idea that on Christmas Eve, Santa and his reindeer would land on top of my house before I was asleep.  For some strange reason, I was convinced that Santa would never come down our chimney as long as I was awake. 

               This meant that on most Christmas Eves, I suffered from insomnia as if I had spent all of Christmas Eve day sipping Starbucks venti holiday lattes.

               I do not know if Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen have a 401K pension and profit sharing plan.  They should, as I understand they are all members of the Teamsters Union. 

               For their sake, I hope they do have a retirement plan, as it appears that Santa may soon be replacing the reindeer as part of his Christmas Eve delivery system.

               No, Santa is not outsourcing the deliveries to FedEx or UPS.  Instead, it appears Santa soon may replace his reindeer with drones.

               Santa’s Christmas surprise was unveiled a couple of weeks ago by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

               Bezos revealed that Amazon is now developing a service called “Amazon Prime Air,” that will fly packages via “octocopter” drones directly to your doorstep.

                As Bezos described the project for 60 Minutes, the Amazon octocopters will pick up packages in small yellow buckets at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and then fly through the air to deliver items to customers thirty minutes after they hit the “buy” button at

                At this point, the drones are not ready to fly down your chimney, exit through your fireplace, and deliver the presents at the base of your Christmas tree.  However, it is only a matter of time before this will no doubt be accomplished.

               Well, so much for silent night.  Mom in her kerchief and I in my cap will not be able to settle in for a long’s winter’s nap with Amazon drones landing on our doorstep or zooming down our chimney for a crash landing into a stocking hung over the fireplace.

               And pity the poor air traffic controllers on the night of December 24th!  They can now easily track Santa’s sleigh on North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) radar.  But what if they have to keep up with a million octocopter drones?

               Frankly, I’m hoping the Teamsters will come to the aid of Rudolph and his fellow-reindeers and stop this Christmas Eve nonsense before somebody gets hurt.

               I believe that Rudolph, his fellow reindeer, and Teamster elves should surround Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and laugh and call him names to make it clear to him that his drones will not be allowed to join in any reindeer games. 

               I am certainly going to do my part to stop this nocturnal Christmas nonsense. 

               When I visit Santa Claus at the Enchanted Forest this weekend, I am going to tell him that when he is making his list and checking it twice, he can take me off the drone delivery plan.

               I am not going to shout with glee when drones go down in history. . .through my chimney!


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