Janesville68.8°

It’s back to the shop for this holiday option

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RickHorowitz
December 22, 2007

How they scurry!


How they hurry!


How they skitter to and fro!


The big day is drawing ever closer, and up at Santa’s workshop, they’re going 24/7—selecting and sorting, wrapping and ribboning. The festive sounds of holiday carols are floating through the air, mixing with the sounds of happy chatter from every workbench and loading dock. It’s a wonderful time to be an elf.


Except in one little corner of Santa’s workshop. In one little corner of Santa’s workshop, the elves aren’t very happy at all. In fact, they’re walking around with grim little expressions on their little elf faces.


They’ve got a problem with “Elect Me Hillary.”


“Elect Me Hillary” was supposed to be the runaway hit of the holiday season. It was supposed to be flying off the shelves by now. “Inevitable”—wasn’t that the word that Santa used?


But here we are, just days away from the big day, and “Elect Me Hillary” is back in the shop for an overhaul.


“It isn’t selling the way we expected it to sell,” whispers one of the elves.


“Oh, woe!” cries another. “If ‘Elect Me Hillary’ doesn’t do well, Jolly Old Saint Bill will have our heads!”


Jolly Old Saint Bill can sometimes turn Not So Jolly when things don’t go the way he wants them to. But what to do? What to do? The elves are in a tizzy.


“Is it broken?”


“Maybe it’s broken!”


“Are the modules working right?”


“Check the modules! Check the modules!”


“We’d better check the modules.”


So they check the modules. One of the elves unrolls the product specifications—they’re every bit as tall as the elf himself!—while two other elves hoist a giant marking pen shaped just like a candy cane.


“‘Experienced.’”


“Check.”


“‘Hardworking.’”


“Check.”


“‘Tough.’”


“Check.”


“‘Knows its way around the White House.’”


“So does the pastry chef.”


“Don’t let Jolly Old Saint Bill hear you! He’ll…”


“Check.”


“That’s better. ‘Deadly Laser Ray’?”


“That’s not this model—that’s ‘Don’t Cross Me Hillary.’”


“Didn’t they merge those? I thought they merged those.”


“Here it is—right behind the eyes.”


“I wouldn’t want to get in the way of that thing!”

“Check.”


And on and on they go, until they work their way through every line of the specifications, and put a neat little check mark on every line. All the modules are there, and they’re all operational. Yet something is still missing.


“Something is still missing,” says one of the elves.


“I know! ‘Likeable.’”


“‘Likeable’?”


“Exactly! Warm and human. Approachable.”


“A mother.”


“A daughter.”


“How about a mother and a daughter?”

“And a friend—it has to be somebody’s friend. With anecdotes.”


“I always said we needed ‘Likeable,’ but nobody listens to me!”


“‘Likeable…”


“And genuine—it can’t look programmed.”


“We can do that. We can put ‘Genuine’ in. And the ‘Mother/Daughter’ stuff.”


“And ‘Friend.’”


“Fine. If we have the parts.”


“But will we have enough time? Did we wait too long?”


Suddenly the little corner of the workshop is silent. The elves look at one another in horror. The big day is drawing ever closer, and there’s still so much to do!


Did they wait too long?


The only sound anywhere is the distant hiss of sand running through Santa’s hourglass.



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