This has caused panic and shudders among the organisers. It’s time to break out the back-up Elf. But, wait a minute, there are two of them.
Yes, the back-up Elf is two elves. Both are wearing the same Elf costume, of course, but here starts a problem. Both have very similar figures and both have very similar faces and both have very similar blond hair. I can’t tell them apart.
It is grotto law that in private, Father Christmas can be called ‘Santa Chris’ (in my case) or ‘Santa James’ in the case when somebody called James is taking the role. This must never be said in front of a child however! Elves are referred to by their first name and then the word Elf. My sick Elf is ‘Theresa Elf’. (Have you guessed what her first name is yet?) Elf names can be used in front of a child.
So, my two back-up Elves are ‘Shannon Elf’ and ‘Amelia Elf’.
Quite why a team of two was needed to replace my one sickly Elf became apparent some ten minutes after we opened.
The back-up Elves were fucking useless.
They seemed incapable of controlling the queue, kept giving me the wrong presents, or none at all, and let children mill around rather than wait at a barrier some distance away from my grotto.
It became obvious that one of them was not too bad, and the other was the waste of space. But, try as I might, I couldn’t tell which was which. I’d be carrying on a conversation with ‘Shannon Elf’ thinking she was ‘Amelia Elf’ and vice versa. It was chaos.
In the end I had to call both in and talk to both of them and try to get them to follow Elf law and work to the proper pattern that ‘Theresa Elf’ had so effortlessly established. I could see they hated me. But, we did get back on track and the ride became less bumpy.
Well, until one of them decided to spend her time chatting-up the photographer, leaving the other one (I’ve no idea which one was which) to manage the grotto on her own. After a while there was hot Elf on Elf action as bickering and loud arguments broke out between them. This culminated in each Elf putting their face in the other’s face and saying, “Come on then. Come on then.” They were ready to rumble. Elven hair was being pulled.
Does the real Father Christmas have to put up with all this?