A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
This column is for you old geezers to read to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren on Christmas Eve before you tuck them into bed. Just fill in the blank spots with the names of your little ones.
Santa sat in his big chair at the North Pole staring at his list. He was very sad and ever so worried. It was almost Christmas time and he didn’t have enough toys to fill his sleigh.
What was he going to do?
I guess every little boy and girl knows Santa has to work very hard to make toys for all the children in the world.
Oh, he doesn’t just make them for the good little boys and girl. Oh no. If they are really bad, like Billy who chases the girls with snowballs, or Myrtle who put bubble gum in Mary’s hair, or Albert who tied a tin can to his puppy dog’s tail, Santa may not give them quite as many toys as he gives to the good little kids like ______, ______ and _____.
Some little girls and boys have grown up and don’t want toys anymore. Big girls like Mommy are a problem too, because some days she is a little girl, and the very next, she is big. Well not huge big, but big.
It certainly must be hard for old Santa to know what to make for her. Big girls want dresses and make-up and bikini bathing suits. (So does Daddy, but that’s a little secret that doesn’t leave this room.)
But we must get back to our story:
Poor Santa wasn’t going to have enough presents for all his boys and girls and Christmas was almost here. So he called the elves and fairies into the toyshop the morning before Christmas for a big meeting.
All the workers knew something was very wrong, because elves and fairies never work on Friday. That’s the day they stay home to help their mommies bake cookies and clean up the house. It is just amazing how messy a house can get when mommy is working all week and doesn’t have time to vacuum or scrub the floor.
Daddy can’t help of course. He has to watch a hockey game, or lie on the couch, or any one of a hundred things that daddies can think of to get out of doing things like that.
Did you know that it is really the elves doing most of the hard work at the North Pole? Oh they do. Not only that, elves have to pick up their own toys, and dust the furniture, and take daddy’s bottles down to the basement, because elves aren’t too magical.
Now the fairies… fairies have magic wands, and whenever the dishes are dirty, they just wave the wand over the sink and “poof” all the dishes wash themselves and even put themselves away in the cupboard.
Sometimes though, the dishes get lost. Once some fairy dust gets on them, all the plates and soup bowls start sneezing and acting silly. Then they run away and hide.
That’s why you find dishes under your bed, or behind the cushions on the couch, or on top of the TV set, or in the backyard. At least I think they must run away and hide. I don’t think little girls and boys would just leave their dishes all over the place, do you?
“Well men,” Santa said, (Santa always called everybody in the toyshop ‘men’, even though half his workers were lady elves and fairies. Santa has been called up before the Human Rights Commission more times than he cares to remember.) “I’ve got bad news, men. We haven’t enough toys for Christmas. I don’t know what happened. I read all the letters from the little girls and boys. I wrote down all the toys they asked for on my big list. But last night, when I was checking it twice I counted all the toys in the toyshop. Then I counted all the toys on my big list, and do you know what? I don’t think we have enough for everyone.
All I can think of doing is to phone all the little kids in _____ and ask them if they would mind if we flew right on by their house this year. Then next year we will leave them twice as much. What do you think of that idea?”
Everyone was quiet. Not a soul said a word.
Finally Danny, the elf, said, “I don’t know, Santa, but I sure wouldn’t want to phone ______ and ____ and tell them that there won’t be any presents this year.”
“That’s right.” piped up Lanolin, the Queen of the Fairies.” And I don’t want to call _______ and ____ either. We have to come up with something better than that.
“What can we do? It’s almost Christmas.” sobbed poor Santa. He had been delivering toys every Christmas for hundreds of years and this year he wasn’t going to have enough. He hadn’t slept a wink worrying about all his little children.
“I know,” said Danny the elf. “We can use my Gloppitta Gloppitta machine.”
“My stars,” laughed Santa. “What in the world is a Gloppitta Gloppitta machine?”
“It makes toys and skates and skis and dolls and just about anything. I invented it.” beamed Danny.
“My fairies can help. We can make doll clothes and paint the toys, and do all sorts of things with our magic wands.” said Lanolin, waving to all the fairies flitting around.
Danny ran out the door and very soon the big barn doors of the workshop flew open. In came Danny, the elf, pushing a great big box that almost reached the ceiling. It was made of wood and shiny pieces of tin, and it had flashing Christmas tree lights all over it. The sides were painted bright red and had big dials spinning round and round and lots of lights just like the ones on your mommy’s stove, or the ones in your daddy’s car that say, “Service engine soon”.
On the side was a big handle as big as a baseball bat pointing to the word “STOP” printed at the top of the box, and a big arrow that ran down the side to the word “GO” at the bottom.
“This is my Gloppitta Gloppitta machine, Santa. Are you ready down there?” shouted Danny.
“All set at this end, Danny.” giggled Lanolin. Lanolin and all the other fairies were waiting at the big door at the other end of the Gloppitta Gloppitta machine, trying to peek inside.
“Vrooom vrooom.” roared the Gloppitta Gloppitta. “Vrooom vroom.”
Lanolin and Anusol and Iodine and all the other fairies scattered when they heard the noise.
The Gloppitta Gloppitta started to whirr and thump and burp. Faster and faster it whirred, until it hummed away just like your mom’s mixer when she’s getting ready to burn a cake.
“Whirr…thump…burp…whirr.. thump… burp… Whirr. Thump. Burp. Whirrthumpburpwhirrthumpburpwhirrthumpburpwhirrthumpburp.
One by one, the fairies crawled out from under the chairs, and from behind the door, and from behind Santa.
“Are you ready?” shouted Danny over the noise of his big machine.
“We are ready down here.” called Lanolin peeking out from under a big wash tub where she was hiding.
Danny pulled the big handle and “GLOPPITTA” the big door at the other end opened wide, and out popped a dolly.
Lanolin waved her wand, and all of a sudden the dolly was dressed like a princess with a long white dress and a golden crown, just like princesses wear when they get up in the morning.
Danny pulled the handle again, GLOPPITTA, and out popped a big wooden fire truck. This time Lanolin’s little sister, Ozonol, waved her wand and “poof” the truck turned a bright red with lights on the roof and a ladder and even a big long fire hose coiled along the side.
GLOPPITTA, there was a dollhouse. Little Maalox waved her wand and suddenly the house was white with pink shutters, and on the windows were yellow lace curtains, and on top of everything was a lime-green roof. (Maalox was colour-blind , but still hoped to some day go into the fashion industry.)
GLOPPITTA, swoosh GLOPPITTA swoosh GLOPPITTA swoosh.
Danny’s machine ran all day pumping out toys, hockey sticks, and real ovens that ran on batteries not included. It made all kinds of games and puzzles for the children, and wigs and hair dye for the grown-ups and bones for____ the dog, and Cat Chow for ____ the cat, or whatever she is eating these days.
It wasn’t long before Danny’s arm was getting tired from pulling the handle up and down and the twins, Visine and Blistex took over. Soon they were tired too and cousin, Neosporin, had to pull a while. But Neosporin was a bit goofy and they had to replace him with a gnome named Ex-lax and Neosporin was sent out back to sweep the floor.
GLOPPITTA swoosh GLOPPITTA
Danny’s machine ran on and on.
GLOPPITTA swoosh GLOPPITTA.
The toys were stacked up the walls and on the roof and under the tables and chairs and in the refrigerator and on the windowsill and outside on the lawn and in the reindeer stables.
Finally Santa hollered “Stop! Ho, Ho, Ho. I’ve got all the toys I need for this year, and even some for next Christmas and probably the year after that. I think it’s time to shut off your Gloppitta Gloppitta machine.”
Danny reached for the little switch on the control panel and clicked it to “OFF”.
The elves stopped pumping the handle.
GLOPPITTA swoosh GLOPPITA. GLOPPITTA swoosh GLOPPITTA.
The toys were flying out the door. Hockey sticks and Tonka trucks were piling up all over the toyshop.
Danny’s machine started going faster and faster.
Danny couldn’t get it to stop. The elves and the fairies and the gnomes all ran for the door or climbed out through the windows. The walls of the toyshop were beginning to bulge.
Santa and Lanolin and Danny were really frightened. They didn’t know what to do.
Just as they were starting to run, in walked the smallest of all the elves, little Rosybum Rachmaninoff Rigley.
“Whatcha doing Santa?” she asked quietly.
“Run.” yelled Santa. “The Gloppita Gloppita machine is going to blow up.”
“Why don’t you pull out the plug?”
With that, little Rosybum Rachmaninoff Rigley pulled the plug out of the wall.
The big machine went,
GLOPPITTAGLOPPITTAGLOPPITTAGLOPPITTA .GLOPITTA ..GLOPPITTA…GLOPPITTA….GLOPPIITTAA….GLOPPIIITTAAAA……..GLOPP ….IIITT ….. .AAA ….. GLOP……SHSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSh,
All the elves and gnomes and fairies looked at each other sheepishly and quietly trudged through the snow to Santa’s big house for milk and cookies. Well, the boy elves and gnomes and fairies did anyway.
The girl elves, gnomes and fairies, had to stay behind to clean up and wrap everything. Boys aren’t very good at that sort of thing.