RIDE SHARING

The Top Ten Complaints About Uber and Lyft

With more and more people relying on so-called ride sharing provided by powerhouses Uber and Lyft, not all is perfect in the world.  The LBT's resident curmudgeon Charles C. Schultz sounds off on his top ten complaints.  [More]

RIGHTIST TRUMP

Rumored Autistic Savant Barron Trump Shakes D.C. To Its Core

Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of the president, arrived in D.C. wearing a now famous T-shirt bearing the message “The Expert.”  D.C. watchers claim that this message was not a mere accident.  Barron may be bringing a powerful, far-right influence into the West Wing.  [More]

 

The LBT INTERVIEW:  KRIS KRINGLE

A candid conversation about diversity, globalization and children's changing expectations.

A belly laugh and an easygoing nature are not usual accompaniments to a man responsible for delivering presents all over the world. The truth is that Kris Kringle rises above all barriers. His stature might look downright sedentary, but his power to deliver toys to the world’s children approaches the biblical. So does his grit. The man known as “Santa Clause” was born Kris Kringle near the hardscrabble town of Sandfjorden in the upper reaches of Norway. Kringle sat down with Peter Hartwig at a toasty café near his hometown to discuss his Christmas effort in 2014 and beyond.


The LBT:

How does Christmas look for 2014, Santa?

Kringle:

Call me, Kris. It’s crunch time. That’s about all I can say.

THE LBT:

What has changed in the last 20 to 30 years in what you do?

Kringle:

It’s a different game almost entirely. It had to change. If you would have told me in 1960 that I would be expected to deliver presents to 50 million Chinamen, or Chinese, I would have told you you were crazy. [Takes a sip of his Irish coffee.]

The lbt:

What has changed in terms of your operations?

Kringle:

We closed our last toy plant in the North Pole five years ago. Some of the elves still hang around thinking more work will come up, and it is very sad. Alcoholism has become a real problem with the elves. But the bottom line is if kids want American Girl dolls or Star Wars legos, they make those already in Asia. The elves were good woodworkers but those days are over.

the lbt:

What about delivery?

Kringle:

I still will do a few states in the U.S. market, a few big cities in Western Europe and to please the Vatican a couple remote villages in Africa and South America. It’s more ceremonial.  I euthanized Donner and Prancer about 10 years ago.  Prancer had hoof disease and Donner broke his leg.  I won’t replace them, though.

the lbt:

Why not if reindeer are a big part of your brand image?

Kringle:

I have a deal with Amazon. They are logistical experts and can deliver the toys. My goal is to outsource everything until I am strictly in the branding business. That is where the value is.

the lbt:

Did you happen to see the 60 Minutes segment with Jeff Bezos demonstrating his unmanned drones that might deliver packages one day?

Kringle:

I heard about it. That would be something else.
“Have you ever seen a Mexican north of Saskatchewan? Or an African? And with a long, white beard? C’mon, who’s going to believe this nonsense?”

the lbt:

Now you have heard about the controversy in the U.S. about whether Santa is white and whether Santa should be played by black or Hispanics?

Kringle:

I have two answers to this. First, Santa is white. Period. Take a good look. Second, Santa can be played by whoever damn well wants to play Santa so long as they pay royalties. No one pays royalties, and it frankly pisses me off.

the lbt:

Have you ever requested royalties?

Kringle:

I haven’t but my attorneys have. We get promises from shopping centers, but most are owned by non-Christians if you get my meaning.

the lbt:

What does that have to do with it?

Kringle:

Let’s just say that Christian charity is foreign to them. But let me add something about black Santas or Mexican Santas. Have you ever seen a Mexican north of Saskatchewan? Or an African? And with a long, white beard? C’mon, who’s going to believe this nonsense?

the lbt:

But you have no objections to non-whites playing you at shopping malls?

Kringle:

Why should I care if they pay me my damn royalties?

the lbt:

Let’s talk about changes in children and their expectations in 2013.  Do you find that kids are overindulged or that they expect too much?

Kringle:

It is honestly a little hard for me to say. I do not spend any time in shopping centers or with kids anymore. It’s probably not a bad thing either with all the accusations that fly around. I only know from what I get emailed.

the lbt:

Email requests for toys?

Kringle:

That’s right. My data center in Utah sends up emails outlining how many Barbie-this-and-Barbie-that we need each year.

the lbt:

I don’t mean to interrupt but why is your data center based in Utah?  I would have imagined something closer to the North Pole.

Kringle:

I like to hire Mormons. You can trust them more. To answer your earlier question I do find that naughtier kids expect way to much. [...]
Next Page