Third Elf Speaks


“So Foxy, where’s Elf?” I said. We were relaxing after dinner. Fox had some nice Cuban cigars. Woodsy was doing whatever it is that wood nymphs do.

“Where do you think? North Pole.”

“North Pole!”

“Where else are there any elves?”

“Yeah, but he tried that before. That Santa’s an abusive bastard.”

“Elfy’s got it under control. He unionized the elves.”

“Unionized them?”

“Yup. CUPE.”

“CUPE?”

“Canadian Union of Pissed-off Elves.”

“I’ll be damned. So I guess I better get back to Geneva and get the cats and shlep them up to the North Pole. Which way is the North Pole from here Foxy?”

“That’d be north, Joe.”

“North?”

“It’s way up at the top Joe.”

“Maybe I could ski across Finland,” I said. “Like Diane Keaton in Reds.”

Diane Keaton was hot in that movie, but now she looks like my grandmother.

“Could do that,” Fox said.

“I’m going to need some kind of sled so I can haul the cats. Maybe some kind of boat for the last part.”

“Could do that, but there’s no need,” Fox said.

“What? What do you mean?”

“It’s taken care of. Woodsy’s people already delivered the cats to the North Pole.”

“When?”

“Right after we left the alley.”

“I’ll be damned. So Woodsy has people?”

“Oh yeah,” Fox said. “In a manner of speaking,” he added.

“Still I’d like to see Elf. What made him take off like that Foxy?”

“A dame.”

“A dame?”

“What else?”

“Was it that fairy in the absinthe ad Foxy? She was hot. For a fairy.”

“Nah. It was Aggie. It was always Aggie for Elf.”

“That can’t be, Fox. Aggie’s down on Elgin Street. She does crafts and stuff. And shopping. She’s their muse you know.”

“Not her.”

“What?”

“That’s not her.”

“How can that be, Fox?”

“Did you read my post about the words you’re going to need to know?”

“I skimmed it.”

“You skimmed it.” 

“I don’t have a lot of time for reading, Fox. I have to work out and practice my yoga and everything. Look after the cats. Work on my tan.”

“Doppelgänger,” Fox said.

“Doppel what?”

“Evil twin, Joe.”

I gasped. I was completely knocked out. Aggie not Aggie? Aggie Aggie’s evil twin?

“It’s better to say doppelgänger,” Fox said. “Doppelgängers are mysterious. They’re not necessarily evil.”

“Which one has Elf got with him Fox?”

“That’s Aggie,” Fox said.

“How can I tell if it’s really Aggie and not her doppel… doppel… doppelgänger?”

“You can’t,” Fox said.

“I can’t?”

“No,” Fox said. “But I can.”

I woke up with a dog licking me. That was typical of life in an alley down by the docks in Geneva. It was just like Third Elf’s life out back of Sugar Mountain, all candy and booze and kitty litter. I shoved the dog away and rolled over to try and get some more sleep.

I’d been trying to keep up with my yoga, but the booze got in the way. My health was beginning to suffer.

But… if you were living in an alley in Geneva, waiting for a blog post that might never come, from the best friend you ever had in the whole world, wishing Shelly — Shelly! Married! — had been able to have a little faith, to see you more clear, to look past your toned, tanned, muscular facade into the real truth in the heart of a man such as the kind of man you truly in your heart know yourself to be, well… you’d be socking back a few too.

They drink Schnapps over here in Switzerland. Some kind of pepperminty Euro swill. It does the job.

The dog was back. I shoved it away again. I was thinking about dames. Those Swiss dames, man, they’re something else, all blonde hair and sexy little dirndls. They look like something off a cuckoo clock.

But they wouldn’t come home with me. Said I lived in an alley. Which I did.

I just didn’t get what Foxy was up to. What was all that crap about black cats and weepy eyeballs? What was he trying to tell me? Why wouldn’t he get back to me? 

I was afraid he’d lost his mind. He never had that much mind to begin with. Salt of the earth, that Fox, but no intellectual.

The dog bit me in the ear. I rolled over to punch him. It was Fox. He had a couple of coffees and a bag of pastries.

“Foxy!” I yelled, but he shushed me. He didn’t seem to want to talk, but his tail was wagging like a puppy’s and he couldn’t stop bouncing and grinning. Me neither. 

We drank the coffees and ate the pastries, and then I packed up my climbing gear and fed the cats and before I knew it I was following Fox high up into the Swiss Alps, loping along easy in the bright spring air, through mountain meadows like emeralds bursting with wildflowers, higher and higher, Fox in his element in the wild and me, Sherpa Joe, me in my element too, dammit!

No more Schnapps for me. I swore it. I swore it out loud.

After five hours of hard climbing we arrived at the most beautiful meadow of them all. It was shrouded in mist, but when the mist lifted it was as if you could see for a million miles, all the way to Swaziland I bet.

“Sherpa Joe,” Fox said. There was mist swirling all around him, and it was glowing a faint golden colour, like amber or a cat’s eyes. I couldn’t help noticing that he was walking upright. How did that happen? He was taller, and he seemed to be wearing clothes. Some kind of robes.

“Allow me to present my beloved,” Fox said. “My lady the wood nymph Woodsy.”

Somebody was yelling, “No!! Not you!!!”

I stepped inside and a cat slammed into me. 

It clung onto my head, hissing and clawing, and then another one hit me in the chest and stuck like velcro. I tried to shake them off but they stuck their claws into me and hung on. As soon as I got one off another one came flying.

There was a stack of cages against the wall. Somebody was opening them and hurling cats at me. As fast as I could grab one and fling it off, another one struck, hissing and clawing and caterwauling.

My arms and hands were bleeding from all the clawing. I’d had enough. I faced the hail of cats head-on and charged the mystery cat-chucker like a linebacker for the LA Rams. The crowd roared, “Joe! Joe! Sherpa Joe!” and I made the tackle.

It was Fat Neck. He was naked and crying. I tied him up with my climbing rope and hoisted him over a chandelier.

You don’t want to see Fat Neck naked. Especially not upside down.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled. “What’s with the cats?”

“Not mine!” he blubbered. “Third Elf’s cats!”

“I don’t care whose cats they are! Why are you throwing them at me?”

“I thought you wouldn’t let me have the blog. I thought you wouldn’t let me be the Grammar Gestapo,” Fat Neck said.

“You’re the Grammar Gestapo?” I couldn’t help laughing. That made Fat Neck cry even louder. “That’s ridiculous,” I said. “Anyway, you can’t have the blog. I’m holding it for the BSIs.”

“But I was learning how to knit,” Fat Neck said. He was whimpering like a bulldog puppy.

He was starting to get on my nerves. Dangerously on my nerves. I defanitly didn’t have time for this. I needed information.

“I think you know more than you’re letting on,” I said. “Where are they? Where’s Fox and Elf and the Autonomous Eye?” 

I broke one of Fat Neck’s fingers to let him know I was serious. You would have done the same thing. It was just one of the little ones. He screamed a bit and then he went back to his blubbering.

“S! S! S!” Fat Neck blubbered.

“Cincinnatti?” I said. “Cincinnatti, USA?”

“Sw! Sw! Sw!”

“Swaziland? Swaziland, Africa?” I twisted another finger. Anybody would have.

“Sw! Sw! Sw!” Fat Neck screamed.

“Sweden? Sweden, Scandinavia?”

I wouldn’t mind going to Sweden. I like the blonde dames they have there. Tall ones with blue eyes and pale skin. Freckles.

“Sw! Sw! Sw!” Fat Neck whimpered.

“Switzerland?” I said. He tried to nod while he was hanging upside down. It was comical. “Yes? They’re in Switzerland? Switzerland, Europe?” He nodded again. “What the hell are they doing there?”

Fat Neck passed out. He probably didn’t know anything anyway.

Most of the cats had gone back in their cages. That’s where the food was. Some of them were just milling around sniffing at each other. They seemed like a decent bunch of cats when they weren’t being used as missiles.

I grabbed Shelly’s panties, popped Fat Neck between the eyes, loaded the cat cages into a taxi, and set the bloggery on fire. Then I headed for the docks. 

Me and Third Elf’s cats had a freighter to catch. A fast freighter for Switzerland.

I just couldn’t let it go. I’d tracked down La Chaise, mommy-blogging about diaper rash and her giant stool, and Empty Shell — married! Married, damn it! Married! — and Shagatha, out in the desert gettin’ set to take Oprah down.

But where was Fox? Where was Third Elf? Where was The Autonomous Eye?

It kept nagging at me, like an itch you can never scratch no matter what advanced yoga positions you twist your tanned and well-muscled torso into, even if you’re hardly drinking at all that day, and all the time you’re crying out to the universe “Why? Why? Why?”

I decided to drop by the deserted bloggery one last time, to rake through the ashes and dust once more, to press Shelly’s panties to my tear-stained cheek one more time. I just had to find those guys!

Not Shelly, I knew where she was. She was married, damn it! Married! When she could have had a real man, a man such as I.

I went down and listened outside the door. I could hear voices inside. I knocked on the door.

It opened, and all hell broke loose.

GUYS.

I hopped on a bus yesterday to take one of my kitties to the vet, and I saw this on the ground. Do you think it’s Pandamonia coming back to haunt us in print form??? It’s just like her to play word games.

img_6652-1.jpg

 

I’m a little freaked out!

My memory has been stunted a bit by the drink, so I’m going to write you folks an elfy profile before it all goes black and I wake up in someone else’s alley. Heaven forbid.

As was pointed out at the meeting, I already wrote a bit of a profile in my side intro. Call me overly eager, but I just had so much to share. Still, I am a simple elf. It doesn’t take much to keep me going. A little bag of cinnamon hearts here, a nicked wallet there… These things are the spice of life!  I live in an alley, as you know. I take care of many cats (eight and counting… Punchin, Bingie Bop, Sing Sing, Frito, Disco Ball, Mop, Pooper and Harold), and they are my closest pals, other than the Irrelevants, of course. I spend my days drifting in and out of sobriety and reading romance novels.

Ah, that’s where the story gets sad. You see, I am without a lady elf. Chaisey’s got Red Booth. Shagatha’s got anyone she wants. Foxy, well, he doesn’t say much about his exploits… But I know he has ’em. They call him Foxy for a reason. Even Empty Shell has her gay distinguished boyfriend Richard to hang out with. Panda was eaten, so I guess I can’t count her. I’m not sure if Eye can do things like kissing (hey Eye, can you do things like kissing?).

Then there’s me. When I ran away from Santa’s workshop, I left all my romantic prospects behind me. There are So! Many! Lady! Elves! in the workshop. And they are all handy with a hammer, which is a tremendously useful trait to have in a mate. One lady elf that I think of day and night worked in the train repair shop. Her name was Eloise. She was a vision.

Eloise

She was also an exotic elf dancer. But I know deep in my heart that she had eyes only for me.

Since settling in Ottawa, I have searched high and low for an elfy lady that could make me feel the way Eloise did (I’ve even looked in Greely, but you don’t want to know what I found there). Who knew this city has such a low elf population! Had I realized, I would have begged Eloise to come join me in my alley. It’s not much, but it’s home.

Must get back to the kitties. If you hear of a lady elf about town, you’ll let me know, won’t you?

4th Dwarf… Surely this isn’t you? Tell me this is the work of your evil twin dwarf brother, or your long lost dwarf cousin! Anybody who writes such lovely poems could not be capable of such crimes.

 Or… could they?

Dwarf crime a ‘growing problem’

Thieves are robbing long-distance coaches by sneaking dwarves into the luggage holds in sports bags.

Once inside, they slip out from their hiding places to rifle through the belongings of unsuspecting travellers.

Then they take their loot back to their hiding place and wait to be collected by another gang member when the coach reaches its destination, reports The Sun.

They have stolen thousands of pounds in cash, gems and other valuables in recent months.

Swebus, which ferries thousands of Brits across Sweden, has been among coach firms targeted.

A spokesman said: “We have had reports about several thefts by dwarves on the stretch between Vasteras and Stockholm.

“We’re thinking of installing video cameras.”

A Stockholm Police spokesman said: “We are looking at our records to identify criminals of limited stature.”

From Ananova 

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