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Core business

The man in the red suit shuffled uncomfortably as I said the words "core business".

"I'm not core business?" he exclaimed.

"Yes," I said, "and we have to focus on our core business at the moment. Take Lego for example."

"I do take a lot of Lego," he said.

"No, that's not what I mean. The Lego company used to run Legoland. They made clothing and girls jewellery too. They discontinued those, they sold Legoland to the Madame Tussauds people. They decided to concentrate on their core business. Look at your suit, for example."

"What of it?" he asked.

"It's red. It used to be green."

"Coca cola branding initially. Now everyone thinks it's normal. It's just a colour. Anyway, what is core then?"

"A baby," I said. "For this occasion our core business is the baby."

"Do you know my other names?" he asked. "Saint Nicholas. Saint as in saint, as in something to do with the baby." With that he leaned back.

"Yes, putting money in stockings."

"Presents you see. As in wise men. There - you can't deny presents aren't core."

"Who got the presents though? Me, anyone else? No - the baby."

"You can't give presents to the baby these days though. So people give them to each other."

"Oh, so you aren't involved then? People give them to each other."

He looked worried now. "But..."

"If presents are core then you aren't even essential for presents."

"OK, what about fir trees then? They aren't core. Tinsel, crackers, mincemeat - all non-core. Are you thinking of getting rid of them?"

"Hmmm," I said, "now there's an idea..."

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