Thursday 28 December 2017

Me vs The Creeping Inevitability of Elves

For 7 peaceful Christmases, I've avoided Elf on the Shelf. For 7 wonderful Decembers I've managed to skip moving a little doll around in the hopes of scaring my kids into behavioural submission. For years now, I have not needed an omnipresent elf to report back to Santa in order to keep my kids in line. If they're being shitty, I just channel Alan Rickman and scream CANCEL CHRISTMAS and exit stage left. It's been very effective. 

And now, that is over. 

On December 6th I got a text from my kind neighbour, who drives my daughter to school on days I work. She felt I should probably be made aware that my daughter had written a letter to Santa and given it to her kid's Elf on a Shelf, so it could be delivered directly to him. She kindly offered to make up some excuse along the lines of "all the elves have already headed out for the season", but I declined. This was my life now.

I can only imagine that my 8 year old went this route to avoid past situations where I had made some excuse or another as to why we didn't have an elf and would not be getting one.  Skip the dissenting middleman and go right to Santa. Honestly, I have to applaud her tenacity and single minded determination; I can only hope that skill set can be applied to something besides forcing my hand in the future. 

This is the note:

Highlights include "Pleas (sic) don't be
scard (sic) of my family"
and "...if you have a girl elf can I have it"

I was now left with the Sophie's Choice of letting my daughter think that Santa doesn't care enough about her to let her have an elf so that she can experience the magic of Christmas like her neighbours do, or I become tethered to this Christmas themed Chuckie doll every year for the foreseeable future. 

I think it's fair at this point to ask that the makers of Elf on a Shelf kindly go eat a buffet of dicks for creating this nightmare. 

Sadistic elf creationists aside, I still had a deeply irritating problem. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't simply ignore her letter and I needed a response: either yes, a fucking elf was coming, or no, Christmas is ruined. 

I wanted something else, so I created option 3........ it wasn't a misery elf, but something was coming.

And so, Hickory Von Fluffenstein was born. More accurately, he was the cutest Christmas themed thing I could find at our dollar store, and he would do. Don't look too closely, as his antler is a bit loose.

Hickory does not feel bound by the same rules as your average elf. He moves every night but that is all, no reporting to Santa, no letters outlining behavioural improvements, and for the love of all things good, there will be no dressing up in stupid, tiny elf clothing, no fishing for sugar cubes in the toilet, and no whoring it up with Barbie. No. 

Hickory sits on things and watches you, peeking out over his off centre red nose. That's all. 

And so for the remainder of the Christmas season, Hickory's life became an alarm on my phone. He was a constant reminder that if I missed a move, my kids would know, which would in turn require urgent storytelling creativity as to why he had settled for a single spot for more than one day. He haunted me. 

But we survived, and so did he. The dog didn't eat him, the cats didn't knock him over mid-day, and the sugar gliders didn't pee on him the night he sat on their cage.  The kids on the other hand, lost their everloving minds when he showed up, which was adorable. Every morning it was a hunt to find the reindeer, and true astonishment that we had our very own Christmas creature.  Hickory was....tolerable. 

See you next year, old friend.

Monday 11 December 2017

Me vs The Systematic Failure of My Appliances and the Subsequent Erosion of My Sanity

I've lived in my house for 3 years and 41 days at the writing of this post. It's a new house, so my appliances have been operational for approximately the same amount of time.  I feel like it is reasonable to expect that I wouldn't have run into any major home repair issues being only 3 years and 41 days in. 

It has however, become painfully apparent that in this assumption, I am prodigiously wrong about this. 

The space where my microwave
should go is empty, like my soul when
I think about how fucking much I've
spent on fixing stupid shit in my house.
In the 3 short (but feeling increasingly interminable) years we've been in this house, our original well has all but failed, our new well has given us the finger, and our appliances have more or less joined a cult that requires they sporadically drink the koolaid and give up the ghost.  To date, I've replaced the fridge, fried a fuse in the microwave, repaired the dishwasher because it couldn't seem to decided if there was water in it or not,  I need to fix the dishwasher again because it leaks (really, it's kind of a jerk), and then, last week, the microwave went. Again. Only this time, it's going to cost more to fix than it's worth. Because it's Christmas, and my whole house is basically an ass backwards Christmas miracle. 

I once had a hand-me-down Electrolux vacuum cleaner. It was odd looking, and definitely older than I was (I am not exaggerating this fact), but still kept my floors more or less clean. It ran for a few years after I got it, until one day I realized that if I touched any of the metal bits while it was on, it would electrocute me.  This was disturbing, BUT IT STILL SUCKED SHIT OFF MY FLOOR LIKE A VACUUM IS SUPPOSED TO! My bloody microwave can't make 6 months between critical repairs, and this Stepford Wife vacuum cleaner outlived my cat. 

So Samsung, because of how categorically bad you are at your one job, you and your shitty appliances can basically go eat a bowl of glass. Fuck you.