Jolly Little Luddites

broken electronicsAs a special entry for the holiday season, there will be a break here from the normally thoughtful blog entries that convey information in an articulate, clever manner with a hint of je ne sais quoi. Whatever that is.

Instead this blog entry will be thoughtless and inarticulate and tell you nothing. Please don’t write to thank me. I’m just happy to do it. This story was reported, oddly enough, only by newspapers in northern Canada. Needless to say, it is as true as the promise of a prince or I would not repeat it.

The incident happened in early December, according to the newspaper Yukon Dogtrail Mail, and it occurred at the Creation of Magical Wonder toyshop in Santaland. Though forbidden by toyshop rules, elves have been known—often—to sneak in bottles of Old Grandelf whiskey to celebrate the end of each shift. Knocking back a few small ones after a shift would not generally be a problem, except for the fact that among elves, every shift lasts one hour, so there are many shifts during a normal work day.

It has also been reported from time to time over the last ten years that among the seasonal workforce known as “Santa’s elves” there has been a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the loss of traditional craftwork. The increasing trend toward childhood digital technology has reportedly left many elves feeling “dwarfish” and “not in the Christmas spirit”.

In early December, as one workday came to a close, the head elf, by the name of Squintle, was working on a toy that allows Barbie to send text messages with special photos to Ken.

“I’m sick of these electronic toys!” cried Squintle. “These aren’t real toys!”

His exclamation was followed by lifting the Barbie toy above his head, then hurling it to the floor. Granted the distance wasn’t very far, but the force of the fling destroyed the toy, shattering it into several pieces.

Other elves could see from the look on Squintle’s face that Rudolph’s nose wasn’t the only one turning red, as Squintle was one of the most insistent on drinking a toast to Santa’s health at the end of every shift.

The matter might have ended with Squintle, but Santa was much respected, and every elf gladly drank to his honor when shifts ended, so every hour rang out with “Here’s to the jolly fatman!” Under these circumstances, it is not a surprise that smashing the Barbie toy brought to a head the grumbling against electronic toys that had been going on for years.

“That’s right!” yelled Meeniepie, who normally worked in the Naughty or Nice Assessment Department, but who was picking up an extra shift as the deadline approached. “All these stupid buttons and red blinky things! That’s not how children should play!” Meeniepie raised a hammer he was holding and brought it down on a singing toy that allowed babies to pick their own lullabies.

Nude Barbie doll

Hi, Ken, I thought you might like the attached photo.

A small pandemonium ensued. Other elves, stimulated by Old Grandelf, squealed approval and began tossing electronic toys around the Creation of Magical Wonder toyshop. What they created was a smashed chaos of digital toys. Some elves tossed things through the air, others broke the items on their workbenches, and still others simply jumped up and down on whatever landed near them.

When the frenzy of breakage had passed its peak, Squintle looked around as supervisor and said, “Of course we still have to start packing the sleigh in a couple of weeks.”

The elves have managed until now to keep the product changes from Santa, who still doesn’t know what he will be carrying. On Christmas day, instead of toys that need batteries and a computer program, you may find yourself with wooden blocks or stuffed unicorns. Instead of an iPad you might have a Hello Kitty hotpad, or instead of an iPod, you may get a bag of bean pods (soybean, most likely, as the elves eat a lot of edamame).

For next year Santa has indicated plans to install wifi in the workshop. Making toys has its tedious moments, and elfish attitudes may alter once they are able to stream Christmas movies over the internet. So there is a small reason for hope.


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2 responses to “Jolly Little Luddites

  1. Thanks, David. I missed this report in my copy of the “Yukon Dogtrail Mail,” but being old school like Squintle, I don’t get the online version of that publication and rely instead on sled dog delivery teams. I’ll likely read the original story in January sometime. Merry Christmas.

  2. David

    Merry Christmas, Kevin. Give those dogs a treat when they come by.

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