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Downcast Elf

Updated on May 20, 2013
Downcast Elf
Downcast Elf | Source

Don’t believe any of that annual Holiday hype and hoopla beginning to go ‘round.

You know what I mean. All those seasonal movies and TV commercials and specials that will soon start popping up, about Santa’s little helpers, the North Pole, the great good cheer of the Yuletide, helpful yeti, solemn uplifting tales of selfless gift-giving, green grouches growing bigger hearts, anthropomorphized reindeer and — most ubiquitous and misleading perhaps — scores and more of jolly knee-high toy factory workers singing in unison while happily hammering and sawing away.

It is human nature yoked to tradition, I suppose, that as we wend our way through the increasingly windy weeks of October, and on into the chill days and biting nights of November and December, we become suffused with cheery anticipation of the coming joyful Christmas interlude and its attendant good times with friends, family and neighbors.

But all is not so cheery right now in elfdom. In fact, the particular specimen we see here — the depressingly dejected and downright downcast elf — is far more common than one might at first expect, and certainly more prevalent than his happier counterpart.

Consider, if you will:

Could this subdued and somber gnome be deflated at the thought that he alone will be expected, single-handedly, to turn out no fewer than 64 fully functioning shiny little red wagons, throughout just the next 50 days or so? For union scale? With but one hot cocoa break per shift, no less? (And, considering all of the cutbacks of recent years, there aren’t likely to be too many of those mini-marshmallows about, either.)

Or is he merely disconcerted that the snugly fitted peaked cap of his standard-issue elf uniform chafes upon his tender pointed skull so badly that he too — like his father, uncles, cousins, grandfather, great-uncles, and great-grandfather before him — is falling prey to premature elf-pattern baldness?

Could it be that the morning duty roster posted on the wall of the northeast dormitory stairwell happens to bear his name, scrawled in the elfmaster’s tight and precise penmanship, along the line adjacent to: “Reindeer stalls, mucking out and re-haying”?

Does this height-challenged and chronically anonymous line worker take umbrage at the fact that this year — like every single one of the preceding years fading back into the deep and forgotten mists of time — all of the Christmas glory and glamour will be hogged by that 6’-1” portly gent in the screaming red suit? Is it the big guy’s presumptuous booming bonhomie and rosy-cheeked “Ho-ho-ho!”-ing that is making this poor wimp so despondent?

Maybe he is instead merely in distinct gastric discomfiture due to Mrs. Claus’ 17th consecutive nightly repast of simmered seal-fluke stew with lichen garnish? Is he pining for those long ago days, when a hard-working elf’s dinner was occasionally leavened by the odd sweetberry pie? Or a few warm winter-wheat muffins with whipped yak butter? Or a steaming mug of spiced pumpkin cider?

Can you see now why it has become so difficult for our elfin friend to crack a single smile?


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    • rickzimmerman profile image

      rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks, Suzette! (If you haven't already, you might check out my 'Little-Known Santas, No. 1 through 19 . . .)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 6 years ago from Taos, NM

      This left me in stitches. A little reality for the holiday season. I love the alliteration you use in this article. Excellently written! Again, I don't know why you aren't writing for SNL. You gotta do that someday. I can see these hubs of yours as SNL comedy sketches and scenes.

      Your illustrations are a riot.

    • rickzimmerman profile image

      rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for the kind comments, P. Hope to keep turning out stuff for you to enjoy (just like a hard-working elf . . . ) ;—)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Aw, I love the elf, grumpy or not. I always wondered about the Elf part of the Santa story. Didn't Lincoln free the slaves? I wouldn't be so jolly, either, if I had to churn out toys, day after day, with the sweat of my brow. And I bet the reindeer wish Santa would lose a few pounds, eh?

      I love your stuff. You have a terrific imagination and great illustrations and copy to go along with it.