Friday, December 19, 2014

Rudolf's dead

The air was thick with the smell of burnt venison as I pushed my way through the crowd of elves and reindeer. I broke into the clearing and shuddered at the scene. It was Rudolf alright. His nose was a charred mess, wiring was melted, and the battery pack had slagged down. "All right, did anyone see what happened? Let's back away from the scene a bit" I bellowed, "I don't want those pointy shoes and hoof prints to muck up the scene." A swarthy elf in green camo elbowed himself forward.

"I'm Marley, head of security, and no it's not Rudolf, he died years ago and was buried next to Burl Ives. This is Gustaf. Everybody was inside the workshop when we heard the screaming. Ever hear a reindeer scream? It's bad enough they have a foul disposition and smell like wet mildewed burlap. But their scream sounds like a banshee being slowly dropped into a pot of boiling oil. When we ran out we found him just laying here still smoking."


I knelt down and examined the critter's schnoz. It was a mess. Melted plastics, a burnt out incandescent bulb, and wiring that had overheated and shorted. "What's the hell is up with the light bulb contraption on its nose Marley?"

"It's an FAA thing. The fat man got cited after Rudolf died for no longer having a position location light on the sled. NORAD said they wouldn't do the tracking thing if we didn't get into compliance ASAP.

"Okay, which vertically challenged elf cobbled this piece of lighting crap together?" I yelled to the crowd. After a moment of collective jostling, a surly dirty looking elf was shoved into the clearing. He was clutching a cup of eggnog that had the distinctive odor of rum emanating from it.

"Who are you, and are you responsible for this clap trap device? "Wunworse Openslog is the name buddy, and yeah I made the thing. I've been cobbling for over 400 years in this dilapidated excuse for a sweatshop."

"You experts are all alike, look around at this place. It's the freaking North Pole. We don't have electricity. We have to use oil lamps to see what we're doing because it's dark all of the time, and we only have crappy hand tools," spat Wunworse.

"You think that's bad? It gets even better. The big guy has outsourced almost everything. The toys are made in China and the orders are fulfilled by Amazon. In the end we sit around up here at the North Pole freezing our butts off cobbling lame wooden toys for kids that really want iPads."

"And where is the Claus guy you ask? He was alway whining it was too cold. He lives in Palm Springs now with his mistress. His wife now lives in a condo in Miami Beach. A couple of hundred years of marriage will do that to you. He flies here on the twenty fourth of December in his Gulfstream jet and takes the old  junker of a sled for a tour with a fake bag of toys in the back, and bails out the next day back to Palm Springs. It's a full time job managing his Christmas licensing and royalties empire."

"Sure I feel bad about the reindeer. But stupid thing kept pushing his nose into the snow and it must have shorted out. I would have used better stuff if I had it. But the Big Kahuna said, "Use what you got, you're a cobbler aren't you?" So I Macgyvered something together from defective toys that were lying around."

"Gosh Wunworse, I had no idea things were that bad up here, I'm really sorry. Say, do you have anymore of that eggnog?" "You betcha Buddy, and we cobble some really good venison jerky up here at the North Pole too. Merry Christmas."

The Santa Claus Land photo was taken by wikipedia user Paul Chapman

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