Elves freak me out. You can just never be sure what you’re getting when you meet an elf. They might be the kind of elf that bakes delicious cookies inside of a hollow tree or they can be the kind that fight the Orcs to the death in those Lord of the Rings movie. Or they can be the kind of elves that help Santa make toys for all the boys and girls, even though I hear that one of them wants to get into the field of dentistry. You just never know about elves.
My wife was talking with my mother the other day (I’ve found that almost nothing any good ever comes from a sentence that starts out with those words,) and somehow their discussion got around to the subject of those little “Elf on the Shelf” dolls that you’ll see in peoples homes around the holidays. My wife talked about how cute she thought they looked and that she was thinking about getting one for our house. My Mom mentioned that my wife didn’t need to buy one because she had some of the old original ones locked away in her storage room.
I’ve been reading up on the tradition of the “Elf on the Shelf” and it sounds all nice and innocent. The story goes that the elves will sit in people’s homes during the day (evidently on a shelf) taking mental notes of all the deeds, both good and bad, that they witnessed that day so they can make a full report to Santa each and every night after everyone in the house has gone to bed. Usually when they come back from the North Pole, they will pop up in different spots each morning. I guess that’s part of their endearing charm.
Mom’s story is that her elves came as part of a promotional package when she bought Zest soap back when I was a little kid. I really don’t remember. I probably subconsciously blotted it out of my memory for reasons that soon will become apparent.
We found the box they were hiding in underneath a couple of plastic totes full of ornaments that no longer fit on my parents’ tree. I was fine with them being hid away from the world because all I know is that they were creepy back then and they’re still creepy now. They just sit there staring at you with their big, never-blinking eyes above their pointy little noses. There’s something about them that just gives me the heebie-jeebies. And now they were coming to my house.
The two elves that we took possession of are extremely mischievous. They are a couple of bad little dudes. I don’t think they have time to make their reports to Santa every night because they’re too busy messing up our home after all of us fall asleep. One is dressed up in a green and white suit while the other is dressed in a similar red and white striped suit. The green-striped one seems to be the leader of the terrible twosome. I call him “Butch” while I’ve named the red-striped elf “Sundance.”
So far, in the week that they have lived with us, Butch and Sundance have wreaked havoc to our humble abode. The very first night, they squished toothpaste all over our bathroom vanity. Who knows what they did to the toothbrushes?
Since then, they have broke into my daughter’s picture frame and turned her picture upside-down. They decorated our Christmas tree with toilet paper. They have gotten into our refrigerator and drank out of our water bottles. They took two of my daughter’s doll pets out their doll bed, taped them together and secured them under the Christmas tree while the elves took their place in the bed. They even taped the doll pets’ mouths shut so they couldn’t make a ruckus. Just last night, they built a zip line to ride on from our living room ceiling fan to the front door. This was all in just one week.
I shudder to think what will happen during the week we still have left before Christmas. Their pranks seem to escalate in deviousness a little bit more everyday. My daughter thinks that it’s all hilarious but I’m afraid that nobody is safe. The other day I think that I caught them looking at the family cat. I could swear that I heard giggling. Poor Chubby.
So as I sit here at work writing this column, trying to enjoy the holiday season, a part of me can’t help but be fearful for what Butch and Sundance have planned for us tonight. Anything is possible.
They’re probably going to leave the toilet seat up and leave my dirty clothes lying in the middle of the floor. Again. Those darn elves.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.