Santa was beside himself. It was two days until Christmas, and three of his elves were out with the flu. So he had little choice but to hire Jingle, the very unusual, not to mention very horny little elf who will ultimately turn another elf’s toy-making life around.
NOTE: This story appears in Rob Rosen's best-selling collection, Short Spurts.
Santa was beside himself. It was two days until Christmas, and three of his elves were out with the flu. He could lend a hand in the workshop, but even then, the toys would never get finished in time.
“What can we do?” he asked his wife, who was busy sorting out the good and the bad girls and boys on her Mac.
She scrunched up her nose and strummed her chubby fingers on her equally chubby chin. Staring at her computer screen, her eyes suddenly lit up. Quickly, she Googled her search and came up with a solution. “Elf temp,” she soon replied, pointing at the monitor. “Right here on the North Pole Craigslist.”
Santa scratched his wooly, white head. “I thought only we made lists up here, good wife. Who is this Craig fellow?”
She laughed at her behind-the-times husband. “Never you mind, Santa. I’ll just email this temp and see if he’s available.”
Santa shrugged and let her have at it. She typed lightning-fast and waited for a response. Seconds later, they heard the lilting you’ve got mail. She smiled big and bright as she read the reply. “He’s free,” she shouted, her voice filled with glee. “And if we all pitch in, the toys will get finished just in the nick of time.”
Santa’s grin stretched from east to west, the jowls beneath his chin jiggling like Christmas pudding. “It’s a miracle, wife,” he proclaimed with a relieved sigh. “An honest to goodness miracle.”
The miracle arrived the next morning, and only twenty minutes late.
“Jingle’s the name,” he said with a bow, “and toy making’s my game. From China to Uzbekistan, and all the sweatshops in between. I can make a yo-yo with just one yo and a Slinky that hops down stairs two at a time.”
“Oh, no,” laughed Santa as the little elf bounded in, his head nodding up and down as he did so. “No cutting corners here, Jingle. Our yos come in pairs.”
The elf winked and grabbed his crotch. “Yeah, Santa, I got your pair right here, and they’re itching to get to work, if you know what I mean.” The wink repeated itself.
Again, Santa laughed, not sure what to make of this strange, little elf. Still, beggars couldn’t be choosers, and he happily showed Jingle around and then planted him at his station. “Here you go, Jingle. The work is hard but enjoyable enough, especially when you see the smiles on the happy children’s faces.” And with that, he was gone.
Jingle glanced around, adorable elves on all sides, diligently working away, their sinewy arms and sweat-covered brows glistening in the ambient factory light. “Man,” he groaned. “Something’s hard alright, and it ain’t the work.”