A christmas story. Be careful what you ask for, especially if you have dodgy handwriting

Santa rubbed the bridge of his nose. Checking the list was fine, but for some reason the obligatory checking it twice always gave him a headache. Still, at least it was done now, and he was certain that the three lists on his desk were all present and correct – Nice, nice and fat; naughty, no worse than usual. He sighed as he looked at the third. Normally he managed to keep the list for his brother, Krampus, down to a single post-it note, but this year it was a whole side of A4, with a certain Mr Trump at the top.

Not that those on Krampus’ list didn’t deserve it, mind you, but it did make for such an unpleasant family dinner on the big day.

Mrs Claus had asked her brother-in-law not to bring a packed lunch every year since the beginning of time, insisting there was enough roast goose and Yorkshire pudding to go round, but every Christmas poor Santa got it in the ear about his brother’s disgusting table manners and dodgy meal choices. Every year, at least one little elf would pass out when Krampus let out a post-prandial belch. Every year, he had to buy the missus a new tablecloth because she insisted she’d never get the bloodstains out.

Still, family, eh? what was he supposed to do?

He allowed himself a weary “Ho, ho, ho”, stretched, and decided that he’d better go and check on the elves in workshop three. They were ever so enthusiastic, bless ’em, but they did have a tendency to get carried away at times. This year they had begged for the honour of sorting out the main gift for the child at the top of the nice list. Unfortunately they’d begged after Santa had one too many crème de menthes, and once he’d sobered up they’d gleefully pointed out that there were no backsies at the North Pole, so he supposed he’d better keep an eye on them.

It was nice and bracing outside, just the way he liked it, and he waved cheerily to the elves who rushed by muttering, “work, work, busy, busy, work, work, work” as they went. Santa had tried to introduce a PA system to play carols and Christmassy pop tunes to brighten the elves’ working day, but they’d sabotaged it by pouring hot cocoa into the speakers. When he’d cornered the ringleaders there had been a lot of political guff about him trying to obliterate their traditional folk songs and erode their traditional leisure activities. He had pointed out that unless ‘getting on Santa’s tits” was a leisure activity then their only claim to such was making toys, and the only song they knew was “work, work, busy, busy, work, work, work” but they’d told him to bugger off. These days Santa left the mardy little gits alone and wore noise cancelling headphones; it was easier all round.

On his way he stopped to inspect the North Pole, noting as usual that his Boxing Day chore was going to be putting up a new one. The wife was always nagging the elves not to lick the giant stick of rock that marked magnetic north but they didn’t listen, and every year the pole ended up a sticky, eroded, well licked stump by December. Santa didn’t know why Mrs Claus tried to stop the elves licking it year after year; he could only conclude that she must like the sound of her own voice. He certainly didn’t; it was the main reason he’d started checking the list a second time.

As he was about to continue his journey, Rudolf ambled over and nudged his pockets, cadging for gingerbread as usual. Santa pulled out a raw sprout and offered it to the reindeer. Rudolf sighed, but ate the sprout anyway – they both knew that December’s 100% raw sprout diet was the only way to give the crew enough jet power to launch on Christmas Eve.

Rudolf wandered over to the pole, and idly began to scratch his arse upon it.

“Rudie, mate, don’t do that. You know the lads lick it!”

Rudie stared insolently at his boss, spat out the half chewed sprout on Santa’s boot, then turned around and farted casually in Santa’s face before wandering off again.

Santa threw up, wiped his mouth, and made a mental note not to forget his gasmask when making the deliveries this year – one reindeer was bad enough. Nine of them doing jet powered sprout farts would be enough to kill a lesser immortal. If the rest of the world ever found out the true reason behind greenhouse gasses he was going to be out of business, and then what would become of the elves?

Even from a distance he could tell that workshop three was buzzing with activity, but he was rather surprised when he couldn’t open the door. Assuming that the idiot elves had violated health and safety by piling presents up against the fire door again, he thumped loudly on the ancient oak. To his surprise, however, instead of the rustle of packages being moved, he heard a heavy scraping sound as something very large was dragged the short distance necessary to open the door. He squeezed through the tiny gap, regretting that second dozen mince pies he’d had for elevenses.

Once inside he paused to allow his eyes to adjust to the bright twinkle of electronic lights draped over the massive grey shape that filled every inch of the workshop. “Erm…”

Santa thought about it for a moment, not entirely sure what to say, so he tried “erm…” again.

The elves ignored him, being too busy climbing over the massive structure.

Eventually he bellowed, “What in the name of shivering snowflakes is that?!?”

The workshop supervisor, who went by the name Not-very-bright-twinkle, stopped at his feet and squeaked, “Minnellium Falcon boss – you know, off that War Stars the kids is all madfer.”

Santa rubbed the bridge of his nose and silently counted to ten. “Yes, Not-very-bright-twinkle, I can tell it’s the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars, but what’s it doing in workshop three?”

Not-very-bright-twinkle rummaged in his pockets, pulling out a bogey-stained hanky, a fluffy gobstopper, and several live mice before finding a crumpled ball of paper smeared with what might have been chocolate.

Santa hoped it was chocolate.

The elves had a nasty tendency to use official paperwork as bogroll when they got caught short. He’d tried to put a stop to it by ordering some nice hard scratchy paper for his office, but the order had been “corrected” by the secretarial pool and he’d ended up with a hundredweight of the blasted fluffy stuff again. He eyed the crumpled ball suspiciously and decided not to risk it. “Well…?”

Not-very-bright-twinkle coughed officiously, unravelled the ball, and held it up for him to see, squeaking, “Little Gareth’s letter. Top of the nice list this year- you sez he was to get everyfink he wants, Boss.”

“So?”

Not-very-bright-twinkle pointed to a scrawl on the paper. Little Gareth might be nice, but he had the handwriting of a future doctor. “Minnellium…Falcon…See?”

Santa put on his glasses and bent down to take a closer look, being careful not to touch the paper, which on closer sniffing definitely wasn’t smeared with chocolate. He pointed to the single word scrawled just above ‘Millenium’, asking, “And what does that say?”

Not-very-bright-twinkle put on his own specs and peered hard at the scrawl. “Lemur…yes, definitely lemur. Lemurs isn’t our department, Boss, lemurs is the puppies and kitties department in workshop twelve. Mind you, he doesn’t say what sort of lemur he wants, and there’s allsorts. Oiyou in workshop twelve is a right stickler for detail, he won’t like that. I likes the ring tailed ones meself”

Suddenly, all work ground to a halt as dozens of elves gathered round to announce their favourite kinds of Lemur, and before he knew it Santa was breaking up a bout of fisticuffs prompted by a heated disagreement over the merits of the pocket-sized mouse lemur as opposed to the more glamorous ring-tailed variety.

“LEGO!” Santa bellowed over the hubbub. “IT SAYS LEGO!’

Half a dozen senior elves put on their own glasses and inspected the list. “Nah, Boss, s’definitely lemur, that.”

“Nah,” said another, “that sez lentils, that does.”

“It says Lego.” Santa, gritted his teeth. “Lego…Millenium…Falcon. See? All the kids have been asking for them this year. Workshop four have made little else for months.”

“Iz you sure, Boss – it looks like lemur to me.”

“Yes, I’m quite sure. It says Lego.”

“Iz you positive?”

Santa gave Not-very-bright-twinkle a hard stare that would have made Paddington proud.

Not-very-bright-twinkle shrugged. “Well, that’ll do, won’t it?”

Santa stared even harder.

Not-very-bright- twinkle had the grace to blush, but persisted. “It’s a Minnellium Falcon. He won’t mind. It’s close enough, innit?”

Santa massaged the big vein on his temple that was beginning to throb, and swore quietly never to touch crème de menthe ever again. “Not really, no.”

“Are you sure it won’t do? It’s got lots of play value?”

“Positive.” Then Santa’s curiosity got the better of him, making him ask, “How were you even going to get it out of the workshop?”

The elf grinned, obviously proud of himself. “That’s got a working hyperdrive, that has, it can outrun an Imperial cruiser.”

Deciding that he didn’t even want to think about what might happen if you fired up a hyperdrive created by the numpties in workshop three, Santa said flatly, “We are not firing up any hyperdrives”

“It’s ok, Boss. I can move the oxyaceteline out of the way. I’m not daft.”

Santa snorted, but held his tongue, preferring instead to pursue a different line of inquiry. “And, how, exactly, do you propose I get it in little Gareth’s stocking?”

Not-very-bright- twinkle looked stumped by that, until his foreman, Stinky pigwhistle, suggested, “We could make a bigger stocking?”

Not-very-bright-twinkle nodded enthusiastically. “Mind you, we’d have to make a bigger candy cane to go in there as well.”

Stinky pigwhistle reached for the phone. “I’ll order it now”

Santa breathed deeply, fighting hard to stay calm. “Look, just move this thing outside…”

“Fire up the hyperdrive!” yelled Not-very-bright-twinkle.

“Firing up the hyperdrive in three…two…,” came the collective cry.

“DO NOT FIRE UP THE HYPERDRIVE!” yelled Santa, whose face was in danger of matching the colour of his suit. “I REPEAT, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES FIRE UP THE HYPERDRIVE!”

“Well, how else are we meant to get it out of here?” asked several bemused elves simultaneously.

Santa rummaged in his bottomless pocket.

The elves knew he was serious when he rummaged in his bottomless pocket so they went quiet for once. They thought it was serious because that was where he kept his best magics, which it partly was, but mainly it was because he’d once made the mistake of rummaging in his bottomless pocket in a shopping centre and before he knew it a bunch of chavs were yelling “paedo!” and trying to burn him at the stake.

Finally, he found the Patented Portable Wall Removifier he won in a drunken bet from Fred Weasley, and pointed it at the end wall of the workshop, which promptly disappeared with a satisfying “pop”.

The elves, who were all gathered to see what the fuss was about, looked mystified – you’d think they’d never seen a Patented Portable Wall Removifier before.

“You don’t expect us lot to push, do yer?” asked an ancient and diminutive elf by the name of Sproutlet.

“Call Rudolf and get the crew to drag it.” Santa was hanging on to the last shred of his patience with all his might. “And then make the kid some Lego.”

He lost that tiny shred three tense minutes later when Rudolf bounded in dressed as Chewbacca, accompanied by Donner dressed as Princess Leia and Blitzen dressed as Han Solo.

Santa turned and stomped out, muttering, “I need a crème de…I need a cuppa tea.”

Kindly Beta read by Shiv.

Written because I was dressed as Mrs Claus and a child asked why I had a mobile phone. ..and because my brain is a strange place…

~ by opusanglicanum on December 21, 2017.

14 Responses to “A christmas story. Be careful what you ask for, especially if you have dodgy handwriting”

  1. Thanks for making me smile! (and laugh!) Happy Solstice! – Cindy

  2. HAHAHAHAHA! I love it.

  3. *chortles helplessly*

  4. If I fall out of my chair laughing and break my leg this is YOUR fault! (Merry Christmas, cupcake. Loved it.)

  5. I needed this today. Thank you!

  6. You are the best!

  7. That was seriously fun! I loved it 😀

  8. I thought I would quickly read my emails while making my morning tea. Now my tea is cold and I am late before I’ve got started! But it was worth it, thanks for the first smile of the day 😀

    Oh! and Merry Christmas.

  9. Just what I needed! Hope you have a lovely Christmas!

  10. Brilliant! I woke up the cat because I was laughing too much 😄😄😄

  11. That was amazing. I hope Gareth gets his Falcon. We’ve been trying to get the big one since it came out, but no luck. 😥

  12. Love it – just my type of Father Christmas. If there still is a spare Millennium Falcon lying about I can give it a very loving home… Always wanted to do the school run in 12 parsecs.
    Have a lovely Christmas.

  13. That explains so much! Happy Christmas to you and Gareth.

  14. Thank you for that story! I had to concentrate very much not to laugh out loud and attract my daughter at the point where you explained how the “reindeer engine” worked and the rest of the story was equally great!

    (it’s too complicated to explain it all to my daughter…)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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