Thursday, February 2, 2012

While I Am Sleeping or Why Can't I Have the Shoemaker's Elves

Do you remember the story of the shoemaker and the elves?
The story goes that there was a very poor shoemaker (it seems that all shoemakers were poor which makes you wonder why they went into the business in the first place. Do shoemakers even exist anymore? I guess they must to make specialty shoes).

Anyway, this shoemaker didn’t make specialty shoes, he just made ordinary shoes at a time when you couldn’t go to Walmart and pick out a pair for 14.99 which sounds like a good deal until you realize while you’re in Walmart that you need a new set of sheets, and a broom to replace the one the kids broke while they were playing Harry Potter, and you notice a really cute purse, and while you’re there you might as well pick up a cheap movie to watch for family night and a, okay I’m rambling…

Anyway, this poor shoemaker was struggling trying to get his work done and one night he went to bed and when he woke up in the morning all of his work was finished.

See, it wasn’t about him having a lack of work, it was more about supply and demand and he couldn’t keep up with the amount of work that he had which is bad since then you get the reputation of not being reliable and you end up losing business and so instead of hiring someone to help him retain the business he had he decided instead to do everything himself. I guess he was the “I can do it all” kind of guy and he didn’t like to ask for help and he definitely didn’t like to pay for help especially for something that he could do himself. Only he couldn’t do it all himself and he was falling behind but he wouldn’t admit it. Just like a man.

Where was I?...Oh yeah, he woke up and all his work was done, which was great for business and it continued to happen night after night until he wasn’t poor anymore.

Then he decided to find out how his work was being done. See if it had been me, I would have been wondering the first day but this guy waited until he was well off before his curiosity kicked in. I know I would have been wondering, “How did those shoes get finished?” and then I would have asked all over the place and then I would have seen if it happened again and then when it did I would have done a stake out like in the movies.

Which is what he ended up doing. He and his wife stayed up all night waiting to see what would happen. Nowadays we would just put a hidden camera in a teddy bear but they didn’t have them back then (cameras or teddy bears) so they made some popcorn and curled up in a corner hiding and waiting for the show to start.
I know these elves aren't naked but I couldn't put
 naked elves on my family blog

Suddenly these naked elves appear and start fixing all the shoes. These elves can make shoes but they can’t tie a piece of cloth around themselves and call it a toga. Nowadays there would have been a big blur or dot put in strategic places but since this was live and had no 10 second delay, there was no big blurs or dots.

So the next day his wife decides that she can’t have naked elves in her house and decides to whip them up all new outfits. Now anyone who sews knows that it’s almost as much work to make something little as to make something big.

She designs them little outfits and figures out what size the elves are (I guess she mentally measured them while watching) and she sews up all the clothing by hand since they didn’t have sewing machines back then and she has them all ready by nightfall. Which makes me wonder, if she was able to design, fit, and sew so quickly why wasn’t she helping her struggling husband by taking in sewing from rich people?

Or why didn’t he teach her how to make shoes because she could have had a dozen pairs made up to his one and then they wouldn’t have needed the naked elves.

They laid out all the clothes and made some popcorn and hid in a corner to watch the show.

The elves came, tried on all their clothes, danced around in happy delirium and left never to come back and make any more shoes.

I don’t know what the moral of this story is. If you pay someone they will leave you. Or elves can only make shoes when they’re naked. Or if you don’t ask for help someone will come and give it to you anyway. I don’t know. None of this sounds right but that isn’t the point.

I don't get elves that help me like the shoemaker did. I get the other kind of elves.

While I sleep, elves enter my home and steal single socks, hide my keys and put dishes in my sink, both clean and dirty dishes, which make the clean dishes dirty.

They overload the garbage, make the cordless phone disappear, and take all the batteries out of the remote controls that I can find. Of course there are the remote controls that I can’t find.

Elves play on my computer and store files in odd places, change my desktop, download weird programs, and put in sneaky little viruses and worms that confound my virus scan. They also make quadruple copies of spam email. They empty the ink from my printer, hide all the 100 pens that I keep on my desk and rearrange all my papers.

In my bathroom, they go into my linen closet and throw sheets on the floor, soak towels in the bathtub, make toilet paper streamers, put toothpaste on the mirrors, unwrap and wet down several bars of soap and take all the papers off of the band-aids.

In my fridge, they loosen salad dressing lids, knock over ketchup bottles and jump up and down on them, hide my leftovers so that I can’t find them until my nose does and they add chemicals to my vegetables to make them rot faster than they normally would.

While I sleep, in my room they mix my clean clothes with my dirty ones, hide the latest book I’m reading, and change the time and alarm on my clock. In my closet they shrink my clothes, tangle up my hangers, and separate my blazers from the matching skirts and pants.

In my children’s bedrooms they throw all the clothes on the floor, break all the toys, scatter legos, undress dolls, and spill nail polish on carpets.

They like to take all the movies and either mix them up in the boxes or hide the boxes and throw everything on the floor.

On my bookshelves they place Stephen King next to Louisa May Alcott.

They put strange appointments on my calendar and hide my important phone numbers.

They call my phone number and leave wierd messages or no messages at all.

I often wonder why I didn’t get the kind of elves that make shoes. I could use some new shoes. Especially since my elves hid mine.

Maybe if I made them little clothes they would go away. Of course they could always wear the clothes that they take off of the dolls.

I wonder if I could trade my elves in for house fairies. I hear they're pretty nice to have around.


Sharon Rhyason G. said...

I love the Elves and the Shoemaker notes Anna. And your blog is great. I'll read more when I have time. I've made a great breakthrough today in delivering my letter to publishers about my series of Bovee books. Nice getting to know you. Sharon RG