I Am Elf, Hear Me Roar

M. Sandra Babcock 

© Copyright 2001 by M. Sandra Babcock 

What better way to celebrate the holidays then to be one 
of Santa's finest? Unfortunately, my journey to elfdom 
was foiled by the wonders of technology.

It began innocently enough. A newspaper article, some encouraging words, a bit of elf magic and before I knew it, I was elf-hooked. 'They won't just hire anybody' the article read. I was positive I wasn't just anybody ­ I am elf, hear me roar!

 So on a Friday evening in early December, I convinced my daughter to jet down to the Spokane Sports Arena. The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert was looking for a few good elves and snowmen, gingerbread men and toy soldiers. I knew I would be chosen among the throngs of other would-be elves to spread my elf magnetism among the Spokane crowd come Saturday evening. Oh, I had the words - "I wanna be your elf!" - I had the moves, I even dressed in green knowing my true calling would be recognized. Besides, one hundred smackers is good elf money.

 Outside the darkened Northeast Entrance to the Arena, we shivered as the flags waved in the brisk wind. Soon, over fifty hopeful elves stood along with us. The threat of "actors" and "Whitworth Drama Club" spread faster than butter on hot pancakes. Competition was getting fierce. Despite the cold, beads of sweat sprouted on my forehead. In a moment of elf frenzy I turned to my daughter.

 "If they ask why you're here, you tell them you wanna be an elf with your mom, you got that?" I used that dreaded 'mother's glare' for emphasis.

 "Uh-uh," she sneered at me, "I only agreed to drive you here."

 Ms. Smarty-Pants soon joined in the revelry as elf fever began to take over her persona. I saw my twenty-nine year old, smart as a whip, professional wireless tech industry person turn elf-green right before my eyes. She jumped in her SUV "to do a search," she said.

 It was 6:00 and still no life form in the Arena. The alleged elves checked their watches. A chorus of Santa Claus is Coming to Town began and, as elves do, we joined in. Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer followed in unison. It was a hot time in elf town tonight!

 My cell phone rang and every elf in elf-ville turned a pointed ear. "There's an open door behind the Arena," Ms. SP said, "I'm driving up right now, get in!" We roared down to the back of the Arena, found the illusive "white door" and tromped up to elf central for our official elf form.

 "I want to thank all of you for coming," the elf coordinator for the Steamroller concert said after we sat down. "I truly appreciate it."

 "You're welcome," I whispered to Ms. SP, "now where's my elf outfit?"

 "Everyone under 5'6" is eligible to be an elf. Your job is to greet the public and always stay in character! You should be thinking about an elf name and what your elf duties are in the North Pole."

 Ms. SP and I glanced at each other, obvious confusion written all over our faces. This elf stuff was turning into something more than we anticipated.

 "All eligible elves please come down to the floor and line up."

 It's amazing how a herd of purported elves can create such a deafening sound similar to buffalo or elephants or horses. We lined up, put on impressive smiles and waited for the index finger to find us.

 "What's our names?" Ms. SP asked.

 "Let's see . . . Ice and Crystal? Ben and Jerry? Abbott and Costello?"

 "Get serious Mom."

 "How about Poin and Settia?"

 She liked the sound of that.

 "What do we do in the North Pole?"

 "I'm Santa's legal advisor" I said, "I take care of averting potential personal injury and property damage lawsuits like hooves crashing through roofs and clearing up reindeer droppings." Damn, I'm good.

 "In fact," Ms. SP said, "you dispatch elf crews during Christmas Eve to take care of any problems." Damn, Ms. SP was better.

 "Exactly! And don't forget the Neoprene soles we shoed the reindeer with this year to eliminate roof damage."

 "Exactly!" Ms. SP responded. "What do I do?"

 "Ummmmmm . . . ." The old elf imagination was failing.

 "I'll walk down the line and if I point at you, please step forward," the coordinator said, "don't take anything personal we're simply looking for those who fit the costumes."

 I am elf, hear me roar, I thought.

 "I'm Santa's wireless communications specialist!" Ms. SP whispered to me. "I make sure he's in constant communication with the North Pole."

 "With the advent of Internet and e-mail, you also keep the DSL up and running!"

 Everything was falling into place. Elf life was a finger point away and we waited with a child's anticipation as the coordinator began her quest, stopping briefly here, pointing a finger there. I put on my best elf smile; Ms. SP followed suit. I visualized that cute elf costume and already entered the imaginary world we created. Elf life was only five people away.

 Then, my cell phone, tucked neatly into my backpack behind me, rang true and clear, just like in the commercials.

 One wonders, at times like these, why, similar to hindsight, foresight can't be 20/20.  Instead of glaring at my phone wishing the cell tower had met its demise right then, elf ingenuity should have taken over, "Santa's Workshop, Poin Elf speaking. How may I help you?" Instead, I stared dumbfounded at my backpack.

 The coordinator moved slowly up the line. I peered behind me, hang up I thought ­ but no, not this time, not this day, not this hour and definitely not this minute. The cute little Star Tac kept ringing like a demanding child. I plucked it from its pouch. "Hello," I whispered, watching the finger of destiny move along the line - three! two! I slammed the phone shut, put myself in an 'at ease' position and smiled the best elf smile I could muster.

 Then, Ms. SP's phone began its torrent wailing.

 Visions of elfdom that danced in our heads moments before, ruined by a technological nightmare. Destiny's finger bounced past us landing on one cute pixie-ish looking young woman. Our dismissal was imminent.

 As we left our elfin world, sorrow crossed my brow.

 "Super models," Ms. SP said to me.


 "We looked like super models ­ that's why we were passed by."

 "Yeah!" We smiled at each other.

 We are super model elves, hear us ring!

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