AN INTERVIEW WITH AN ELF
Eds: Good E…
Elf: Don’t even think about it! If I hear that joke again I’ll not be held responsible for my actions.
Eds: Sorry, Hello, we hope you are well.
Elf: Well, as it happens, I’m not in good spirits.
Eds: Oh, why?
Elf: Don’t you know what time of year this is?
Eds: Er, well yes, but we thought you might be in a good mood spreading so much childish joy over the world.
Elf: Goodness, how naive you are! How do you not see how hard we, the white fellow’s helpers, work getting presents to all the kids in the globe simultaneously. Not to mention the year round grind of producing the goods in the first place. He doesn’t like unionisation you know. He doesn’t like us to talk, to take proper toadstool breaks and sleep, generally.
Eds: So, the Elf movie wasn’t an accurate portrayal of your…type, ilk, species, creed…give us some help here, we’re running out of descriptive terms for elves.
Elf: How about calling me Ja-nine, my real name.
Elf: Here we go again. What is it with you humans that you can’t get your heads around elvish names. The exception being, of course, Tolkien’s elves. The ones who are big box office and exotic. Unlike me and my ilk, who are just earnest hardworking folk that happen to be a sickly green in colour. Ja (pause for the hyphen) nine. Like in the number or the negative in German. You remember, Nein!
Eds: Sorry, we’re sure. Didn’t mean to offend. But it must be an exotic name, even in your own circles?
Elf: Not really, but it does make humans think of the ambiguity in the name: Ja being the German for ‘Yes’ and nine (Nein) being the German for no. So, without intending we always find you humans laughing at the yes-no name I’ve got.
Eds: Well, it’s lucky you aren’t a Dickensian elf, as it would be also a character reference to your personality. Are you ambiguous or indeed ambivalent?
Elf: As luck would have it, I’m ambivalent and ambiguous, and ambidextrous to boot.
Eds: Wow, that’s a rare combination. Must get you invited to many parties!
Elf: Not really. Although I do belong to a political party.
Eds: The Gr…
Elf: Don’t say it. No-one wants to hear that joke again. Also, you’d be wrong. I’m a red! I belong to the Internationale Marxist Preservation Society.
Eds: One of the IMPS!
Elf: Yes, I’m the only elf in the IMPS. I represent my species in all realms of existence, where there’s exploitation of the small people going on, no matter where in existential realms of life, workers are taken for granted, abused and used by large conglomerates.
Eds: Good God, we could have sworn you grew while you were on your soapbox there. So, how come you ended up with Santa, at the North Pole?
Elf: We tried a co-operative but it was infiltrated by agent provocateurs and fell apart with divisions between the red elves, the pink sprites, and the subdued cherry-coloured gnomes. We couldn’t agree on our minutes even, so we disbanded.
Eds: So, you’re as atomised by the working process as we are then?
Elf: Oh yes. I’ve just come off a twenty-three hour long shift this Xmas eve. He didn’t even give us any chocolate this year. Apparently he’s watching the pennies.
Eds: Oh, austerity. We know what that’s like.
Elf: No, not necessarily. Even though our economy, like yours is as fragile as a Baked Alaska, it’s just that the great white one is as tight as a lycra leotard on a blue whale. One Xmas he charged a Pixie for inhaling near him while he was smoking and drinking his whiskey. He said the poor wee fellow was passively enjoying himself. On top of all this repression, we elvish types didn’t get credited with influencing some of your most famous icons of music and their songs.
Eds: What do you mean?
Elf: Well, it’s no coincidence that you’ve been able to create the cringeworthy joke of the elvish have left the building and such like. It’s because that famous ditty, Blue Suede Shoes, was influenced by our own song, chanted by us in the depths of a twenty-five hour shift in the Greenland factory…
Eds: You’re having a laugh, surely?
Elf: Look at my face; does it look like I’m joking? We had our work anthem, Don’t Shit On Our Greensward Shoes. Aimed at the white fellow’s approach to elf management, which was, is a notch under Walt’s. The Rock & Roll crooner’s songwriter, Carl, was a regular visitor to the factory and he took away the tune and just altered a couple of words to suit his charge. There was also that pop classic, Green, Green Grass of Home, adapted from another of our factory chants, Green, Green Ass of Gnome. We used to playfully taunt the little buggers due to their naivety in industrial relations. They were used to undercut all our T&Cs at the factory. Well, it is time this elf left the building. I’m on a 24/7 fortnight from tomorrow. Bye!