Labor shortages, supply bottlenecks and other problems we face this holiday season:

  • Long lines waiting to enter Walmart stores as shortage of greeters creates bottlenecks.
  • Due to a severe shortage of crèches, demonstrators forced to wait until March to protest public Nativity scenes.
  • Retailers changing their names to reflect shortage of inventory. For example, Dress Barn is now known as Dress Shed.
  • Labor shortages hit the North Pole, as elves who worked remotely last year, refuse to return to Santa’s Workshop.
  • “Rock, paper, scissors” is now played as “rock, scissors,” due to continuing paper shortage.
  • Container ship stuffed with nutmeg runs aground in the Suez Canal forcing bakers around the world to substitute cinnamon.
  • Due to a scarcity of microchips for car computers, automakers are going back to installing carburetors, crank windows and tail fins.
  • “Maskne” is a new dermatological disease caused by excessive mask-wearing. Doctors are not concerned about a cure, as the blemishes are concealed by masks.
  • Long lost Beatles Christmas album discovered in Liverpool basement, containing such instant classics as “I Want to Hold Your Bag,” “Santa Claus’ Garden” and “Hey Yule.”
  • DSW asking customers to be patient, as only left shoes available in most styles. Shipment containing right shoes is stuck behind the nutmeg ship.
  • “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has been considerably shortened, as 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, and 10 lords a leaping are all protesting mask mandates.
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond is now Bed, Bath and Meh.
  • Many young professionals are opting for early retirement package — on the day they’re hired.
  • Despite attractive salary and benefits, there is still a vacancy on the Forest Park Public Library Board of Trustees.
  • Year-round outdoor dining has come to Chicago with gazpacho soup increasingly popular.
  • For the first time in automotive history, Amazon delivery trucks outnumber passenger cars.
  • Landmark study by education experts finds that students learn more when they’re in school.
  • Companies that make “Help Wanted” signs frantically hiring to keep up with demand.
  • Labor Department reports that two over-the-road truck drivers were added to the workforce last quarter, with a third thinking about it.
  • Retired Forest Parker bombarded with job offers — No, I’m not going back to Uber.
  • Realizing that nobody wants to work anymore, Social Security Administration considers starting benefits at 35.
  • Infrastructure bill can’t come soon enough to rebuild Circle Bridge, resurface Desplaines Avenue and … can anything be done about Village Hall?
  • Shortages of hugs, absence of handshakes, no kisses on the cheek — what a relief!
  • Someone said that wars help Americans learn geography and the pandemic is teaching us the Greek alphabet.
  • There’s an acute shortage of pockets, with clothes manufacturers eliminating the front pocket on men’s dress shirts and eliminating all pockets on women’s exercise pants.
  • Because of a lack of paper and ink, publishers only coming out with abridged versions of books, including a three-page version of “Goodnight Moon.”
  • Due to the rising cost of food, sirloin steaks are now sold with payment books.
  • Because of a shortage of fresh ideas, this column has to stop now!

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.