Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Supply Chain Salvation

Well, you’ve done it again, haven’t you? Christmas is right around the corner, and once again you’ve procrastinated your shopping list. In normal years, you’d be screwed, as usual. But not this year! This year you can blame the evil “global supply chain problems” with absolute impunity.

To help you out, I have created a letter you can use. (I will, in no way, be using this ploy myself for my lack of planning with regard to my wife’s gift). Just come up with a great gift idea and fill in the appropriate blanks. Bing, bang, boom.


Dear __________,

We regret to inform you that we see no way to get you the __________ you so thoughtfully ordered many, many months ago, before the Christmas rush.

We know from your previous earnest communications that this incredibly expensive and rare __________ is a gift for your __________. While we regret not being able to help you fulfill that amazing act of Christmas generosity and thoughtfulness, we hope that your __________ can take some solace in the fact that you are probably one of the greatest and most selfless people we’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter.

As you know from our previous correspondence, your __________ is still aboard the Hapag-Lloyd container vessel Mauritania, in Wan Hai container number WHLU0473956. Also, as you know, the Mauritania has been anchored off the Port of Long Beach for two months now, is still thirteenth in line, and has no estimated time for docking.

We want to commend you on your valiant effort three weeks ago of chartering that yacht and personally sailing out to the Mauritania. We were so sorry to hear that the Coast Guard wouldn’t let you board. We were also very sorry to hear about the ensuing kerfuffle, the sinking of your chartered yacht by the Coast Guard patrol boat, and the resulting short stint in the brig at the U.S. Coast Guard Base Los Angeles.

On the bright side, the captain of the Mauritania said he really appreciated the EXPENSIVE bottle of scotch you brought him, even though he couldn’t help. He also said that he and the crew were pulling for you during the whole chase.

Sadly, we can’t offer you a refund, since your __________ is technically “in transit,” still being on the ship and all. Unfortunately, if the Mauritania gives up and sails back for her home port of Panama, as we suspect she will, that could delay things for many more months or even years.

Our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience this global supply chain catastrophe has caused you. Again, your ___________ is very lucky to have such an unprecedentedly amazing gift giver as you in their life.

Best wishes for the happiest of holidays,

Edwin R. Straithmoore III

Director of Global Logistics

__________ Corporation


There you go, folks. Just fill in the blanks and include this letter with the five-dollar Starbucks gift card you’ll pick up for them later, and you’re all set.

See you soon,



Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen


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