Opening Statement



Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Just Supposin' -A Christmas Blogger's Tale!


Welcome dear readers! All of you! The teachers, the curious, those who just like the pictures, flash games, feeding Steve the Spider and so on!


At school and the union office papers pile up on my desk like the leaves in November. Reports. Marks. Reports. Reports. Marks. More reports.....A teacher knows the routine. We begin to huddle down for the long cold Canadian winter ahead. The trees will soon be barren, and the sun mostly hidden from the sky. Brrrrr. The crisp snow will be nice at first, then turn into dirty black ice as we slip and slide through the school year until Spring provides hope of brighter days ahead. Sob. Sigh. Alas! Summer where are you!?! I miss your sunny promises! Where are the birds chirping in the trees? The sandy beaches? The swaying palms? The Tropicola on the rocks with a twist of lime? Yes all this and more mon amis. All this and more. Gone.


So maybe it's time to light a few logs in the cyber-fireplace, and spin a few tales, to amuse, inform, mortify, or delight. We settle in for the long winter nights ahead. My mind drifts off to places improbable far, far away in space and time. Just supposin' type places. Like just suppose, and we are supposin' here, that there was a little Santa's village unionized shoppe, way way up near the north pole. "Ho ho ho?" you say? No! No! No! Most of our own union shops are usually pretty happy places, as you probably gathered from my last post. But here lots of the lil' elves are beginning to tremble in fear that this might indeed become.......yes! THE YEAR THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!!! .


"Huh?" you say, "How could that be!??" Well you see this Christmas way off in never never land even Santa was getting worried! Now Santa, as we all know, is usually a pretty jolly old soul. He loves his pipe, his bowl and his fiddlers three. Everybody loves Santa. Me too, when I'm not feeling grumpy. He's usually just a very likable and affable fellow. Somehow though, things had changed since last year. The Grinch suddenly arrived to everyones surprise at this far out Santa Claus Village. Yes, it was the Grinch! A real bonafide Grinch! He'd seemingly learnt his lesson now, and was one of the good guys, you see.


The Grinch had promised the elves that he knew how to make Santa Claus village the best little union shop in the whole wide world! The elves held an election. Guess what? The Grinch won by a vote! Now some say it was too smugged with soot to really tell but these things happen up north sometimes what with all the burning yuletide logs and what not. Who can really say? And so the Grinch arrived to live and work with all the happy elves, preparing for Christmas day.


"Move over! Move over!", the Grinch growled as he stretched out and began to make himself feel at home! Now nobody ever gets too grumpy in Santa's village. Maybe Davey the elf when he was feeling fit to be tied, which wasn't wasn't too often but often enough these days. Still the Grinch was a pretty big union man as he was oft heard to say, so all the other nice little elves just kept moving over and over again until finally, yes, somehow there was nowhere else to accommodate the Grinch except right in Santa's palace.


Contrary to popular opinion, Santa actually has an executive suite. Pretty nice digs but nothing fancy. There was Claus, Mrs. Claus, and an elf or two or six. Turns out that five was just enough votes for the Grinch to get them all to play his games late into the autumn night. Games, games and more games. It was enough that the elves had to make games in the workshop every day, but now there were even more when they came home, mostly the Grinchy kind. The games were agreed upon by secret ballots, rather than having elves just say out loud what they wanted to do. The Grinch assured everybody this was more democratic. He'd smile a lot, a big dumb grin after an non-alcoholic eggnog or two or three at the Santa's village watering hole. It was odd but for awhile the Grinch seemed appeased, and everyone sighed with relief. All was well again. Or was it?


Before you could say "Trick or treat" October was over. Everyone was very busy now getting ready for the big day. Still, Santa was feeling antsy. Things had somehow changed in Santa Claus Village. All day at the workshop the Grinch went on and on about how he just wanted to improve the way things worked. He had all sorts of ideas that he'd whisper into Santa's ear and those of anybody who'd listen. He  knew what to do, if only everybody would just listen to him!


One typically busy day, Santa looked about the workshop for the Grinch. "He must be a very busy man", he thought, "for me to have to do all this work on top of my own just to keep up with him. He never seems to get tired like I do. Oh boy! The phones aren't getting answered, let alone the Christmas letters from the little children, and the orders for more and more toys just kept piling up on my desk!"


Santa managed a small smile. He watched the little elves. They'd had been happily saving up their union wages to buy these newfangled IPhone, IPads, cellphones, netbooks, laptops and home computers. Kool? Perhaps but Santa also was beginning to worry a bit. What if these darn computer wifi social media thingamabobs were burning away their brain cells, right up and out into cyberspace, hither and fro? Sometimes it seemed everything was changing so quickly nowadays that Santa didn't quite know what to think about all these new fangled gadgets anymore. Twitter. Twitter. Text. Blog. Text. Tweet. On an on it went, all day and all night, here, there and everywhere. Social media this, and social media that, on and on and on.....


"Blog. Blog. Blog." went Davey the elf, who was usually quite a nice boy, except when he was grumpy and fit to be tied. Lately he'd been getting sent to the corner quite a bit. "Blog. Blog Blog." 

Santa couldn't stand it anymore! "Enough!", he cried as he slammed down his fist.


The Grinch quickly stuck his his head out his otherwise closed office door. "Psssst! Santa!"


"Yes Mr. Grinch?", said Santa.


The Grinch frowned out of concern for Santa who seemed rather perplexed. "What are they all talking about? That's what I'd like to know! When we talk around here it should be private. The other elves up in the palace think so too. If anything is to be said it should be from you big guy. We  must speak with one voice!Now what with all these new gizmos....who knows how in blazes to control it anymore?"


"Well, Mr. Grinch, a lot of info is public information. And even the greatest minds in the world don't quite know what they can do, if anything, about the elves social media thing. It's just not something anyone could simply Christmas paper over anymore!"


"Don't you have something? Is there nothing you can do to stop this now?, the Grinch hissed. " Quite frankly, I am feeling harassed," he tapped his foot, "If the elves are concerned about something they can talk about it amongst themselves nowadays! Why they can even share village information with each other!! So what if it is of common interest and concern? They are not hearing it just from us. What is a Grinch to do anymore, let alone", he snorted, "Santa Claus and the other elves up in the executive suite!"


"Well", said Santa, "I do have this generic confidentiality agreement form. It would need to be applied to all these new social media things, and then there's the freedom of speech issue and...and..and...but..........oh I don't know what to do!"


Santa and the Grinch sat down at the table to rest. They gazed absently at the elves. "Who knows what they are doing with all those cellphones and things?", Santa wondered. 


Yes. The Grinch felt the momentum for change seemed to be building. He could feel it in the air as they gazed over the terms of the paper in Santa's hand. Information on an as needed basis only? Appropriate approved access only? No otherwise divulging any records, reports, list and notes except in the performance of assigned work?


"Maybe I can tweak it a bit and everybody will be asked to sign it", Santa said in a tired almost managerial voice drained of it's usual union charm and rigor.


"Yes! Yes!" laughed the Grinch, "Get the secretary to change it now and have everybody sign it right away."


"And if they won't?" wondered Santa out loud.


"We need discipline", the Grinch jeered, slamming his fist on the table "Surely we all agree. If anybody won't sign it they can be immediately kicked off of any elf committees they belong to. We could  shut down this darn social media thing right now", he mused, staring over at Davey, who sat in the corner fit to be tied and blogging.


"But....but...but? Where's our secretary?" said Santa."I can't get this done by myself right now. Woe is me. Maybe you can give me until Christmas? Nobody else has even seen the approved motion from our private meetings at the executive suite yet. We could still hand our form out to the elves at Christmas and tell them they must sign it then or else! "Santa paused for a moment in dismay, "Even still, what if any of the elves at my place won't sign it either"


"They must! They must!" cried the Grinch, leaning over Santa and breathing down his neck.


"What if........"


"It does not matter. Hurry!" the Grinch sneered, the eggnog heavy on his breath. "Get writing it now!"


"Blog. Blog. Blog," went Davey.....


"Ring! Ring! Ring!" went the office telephone....


"Fa la la la la la-la-la-la-la,", sang all the unknowing elves toiling away merrily in the shoppe.....


What next?!?! Santa's Big Christmas Surprise?

Coming soon but not too soon to an elve's workshop near you....?

Or maybe this blogspot if it's still around....?


Please stay tuned!!!




Yeats: "A bang not a whimper?"

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