The Little Red Hen Saves Christmas
Setting: Doctor Little Red Hen’s office
Characters: Doctor Hen, Collywobbles the Elf (foreman of Santa’s Workshop, LLC)
Doctor Hen: Bug, bug bugaawk, welcome Mr., uh, Cablewaders.
Collywobbles: That’s Collywobbles, COLLYWOBBLES!
DH: Oh my! Why so testy, Mr. Wollycobbles?
CW: Are you messin’ wit’ me, hu, chicken? Don’t mess wit’ me, you’ll be very sorry.
DH: Excuse me for a minute. Bug, bug, bugaaawwk, bugaaawk. (She reaches underneath herself and pulls out an egg) Mess with who? Are you trying to threaten me? (throwing the egg violently at the elf’s head) Take that you little shit!
CW: OOOOWWW! What the…dammit! You hit me with a friggin’ egg!
DH: Sit down, and take one minute to tell me why you’re in my office, threatening me. Do you think you’re tough, you runt?
CW: Okay, lady, er, Ms. Chicken, I get it. I’ll just sit right here.
DH: My name is Doctor Hen, Little Red Hen if you want to be formal. You pay me for an hour of my time not to threaten me, intimidate me, or vent your hatred in my general direction, but to gleefully accept my guidance and advice on how to make yourself a little less loathsome.
CW: (wiping egg off his face) Yeah, I get it.
DH: Why are you here?
CW: I’m a little low, you know, feeling kinda heavy.
DH: Well, you’re abnormally short, and pretty fat. You should feel low and heavy. Do you have any feelings other of the expected self-loathing that is natural to someone as squat and unattractive as yourself, Mr. Cobbywaddles?
CW: Wow, you are one tough broad.
DH: Very good. That’s the first thing you’ve gotten right so far. Now that you seem clear about my boundaries, go ahead and tell me, what problem brings you to my office?
CW: Well, ya see, things aren’t going so well at work. There’s a lot of tension. A LOT of tension.
DH: And, where do you work?
CW: Well, this is all very top secret stuff. Can I trust you?
CW: Please don’t let this get out. If I blow Santa’s cover…erp!
DH: Oh, Mr. Clobberwadder, I think I understand now…are you an elf? Are you one of Santa’s helpers? Bugaaawk! Hot damn! I have an elf in my office. HA!
CW: Oh geeze, Mrs. Doctor Chicken, please don’t let this get out. It would be really bad for us…us elves.
DH: No need to worry. I suspected it anyway. Who the hell else wears pointy green slippers with bells, and speaks like Richard Simmons sucking helium? So, tell me about the tension at work. How does it make you feel?
CW: Believe you me, it makes me feel very, very pissed. You see, I’ve been kind of agitatin’ the other elves, you know, reminding them that Santa…uh, the large fat guy who employs us, doesn’t pay us what we’re worth. They’re all gettin’ shafted by big fatty, and they don’t even realize it!
DH: Reality Therapy is one of my specialties, so let’s get real. You are extremely short, fat and malformed. You have a voice so irritating it gives me a rash just to hear you talk. Think about it, who else would hire you? SERIOUSLY! Santa Claus is your god-send. You would be working in the circus or in production at MSNBC if it wasn’t for the kindness of the old guy.
CW: Oh, you don’t know the half of it. Let me tell you about the hardships I endure for San…ugh…I can barely say his name without gagging, Santa! I sew the button noses on teddy bears. Day in, day out. My back aches, my fingers are calloused, and all I get for my effort is $32K plus benefits. Who can raise a family on that, hu?
DH: And…how many weeks a year do you work for Mr. Claus?
DH: Out with it!
CW: From the end of October until January 11.
DH: Ten weeks! TEN CLUCKING WEEKS! You have it really good elf, perhaps you should leave before I change all of that.
CW: But, what about my problems?
DH: Uh, hu. I have to be straight with you, Mr. Clabberwaffle, workplace issues are not my field. I help people with their psychosocial issues. You come to me whining about getting shafted by your boss when half of the country is unemployed and 60 million chickens are on food stamps, and you want sympathy? Ain’t gonna happen. I’ll be nice and just charge you for half an hour. Please pay nurse Henny Penny on the way out.
CW: No, no, uh, Doctor Chicken lady. This ain’t really about workplace issues. It’s about my innermost feelings about making more money per hour for the toil I put in to make frigging toys day and night. Can I tell you something?
CW: Me and the other elves…we’re planning a walk-out the day before Christmas. Shhhh. Very confidential.
DH: Were you born an idiot, or did your mother use your head to tenderize her minute steak?
CW: An elf labor strike is the only way to get Santa to pay attention to the injustices of his work conditions. An hour for lunch is too short. We want fresh donuts in the break room. It’s only fair. And bigger bonuses. Yes! BIGGER BONUSES!
DH: You should be wishing for bigger penises.
DH: Excuse me for a moment. Bugaaawwwk. Oh, look at that, I dropped my pen and I must bend over to pick it up off the floor. Buugaaawwwk, buugaaww, buu, BUUGAAAAWK! (while stooping over, an egg shoots out of her butt with great force and hits the elf in the head)
CW: OUCH! Son of a…what the…holy sh..you just shot a frigging egg out of your butt and hit me in the head! That hurt!
DH: Good! Now, sit still while I slap you around a bit.
CW: NO! Please, no! Look, I just came here looking for a little emotional support. This is a very stressful time!
DH: Stressful? Look, punk, I know your boss. He’s a friend of mine, we go waaay back. Now, Santa Claus knows stress. Think about it you pea-brained puke. The happiness of every child on the planet is on his shoulders. Every year he visits every hopeful kid in the world, and NEVER disappoints. Sure, some kids get toothpick dolls and some kids get ponies, but everyone gets something, all thanks to Santa. All he asks from you, you little maggot, and the other elves–who are paid very well, by the way–is ten weeks of effort to make the world a happy place for one little night. Santa is no young man. He’s old, very old. He has aches and pains, he’s a little forgetful, but he loves all those little kids, and you know what Mr. Collywobbles, he loves you too. Now suck it up. There’s nothing wrong with you but your crappy attitude and union membership. If you want a little elf-help advice from me, I say drop them both.
CW: Yeah, I guess you might be right, Doctor Hen. To be honest, maybe I’m not cut out to be an elf.
DH: What would you do if you didn’t work at Santa’s Workshop, LLC?
CW: My real passion…um, I’m a little embarrassed.
DH: It’s okay, tell me what you want to do with your life.
CW: Ballroom dancing. I really wanna teach ballroom dancing.
DH: Hmmm…Let me tell you a true story. Now this was a long time ago, you probably hadn’t been hired by Santa’s Workshop, LLC, when this happened because you obviously lack that old-timey work ethic, but hear me out anyway. Santa had a little elf who, though he worked hard and never complained, really didn’t fit in with the whole toy-making thing. You could say he was a misfit elf. His name was Hermey. Now this elf suffered in silence, while is real passion boiled inside him for years, maybe centuries. You know what this little elf really wanted out of life?
CW: Uh, Hermey? No, what did he want, Ballroom dancing?
DH: Dentistry, oral surgery, anything having to do with mouths. He loved it; pulling teeth, fillings, veneers, root canals, bleaches, crowns, implants, you name it! He even did some work on very large mammals…but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, Hermey repressed his desires for a while. After all, he was treated well, fed, housed, paid an excellent wage, and given good benefits by Santa’s company. But eventually he had to follow his dreams of Dentistry. He took a risk and left the workforce; no agitatin’, no planned walk-outs, no union shenanigans, no “Elves of the World Unite” bullshit. Hermey tendered his resignation, Santa accepted it, tearfully yes, but he loved Hermey like a son and supported his career move. Hermey eventually married a pretty little elf named Angina, fathered 10 or 20 elflets, moved to Orem, Utah, and now runs an international chain of dental clinics, “Bumble Dentistry, Inc.”
DH: Why the tears? What are you feeling right now?
CW: Oh, Doctor Hen, I feel so…so empty, like someone just cut out my heart.
DH: Those feelings are appropriate to the moment and circumstance. Think about it, you’ve lived your life being an asshole. You should feel bad.
CW: I don’t really know what to do. Now that I think about it, Santa’s Workshop is really a pretty good company. I mean, he sizes everything to us elves, and every Friday Mrs. Claus make a homemade feast for us to eat during lunch break. Maybe I’ve been petty, ungrateful. But…the other elves might mock me if I come back to work…different.
DH: Trust me, you couldn’t be anymore “different” than you already are, you’re an elf remember. Let me give you a little more advice. No more of the “Community Organizer” crap. No more whining and moaning about how hard you have it. No more hating the Jolly Old Elf who takes such good care of you. You’re going to go back to work, tell the other elves what an ingrate you’ve been, work through your contract with no walk-outs or agitation, and you’re going to do the best job you can for Santa and all the little kids he works so hard to make happy for one day. Got it.
CW: Okay, Doctor Hen.
DH: Do all these things with exactness and a good attitude, and come back to see me on January 12th. I know this guy named Arthur Murray, he’s an old friend. I’ll set you up with your ballroom dancing dream.
CW: Really? Oh my gosh, Doctor Hen! That would be so wonderful.
DH: My pleasure. You’re a changed elf, Mr. Collywobbles. Now go and do something nice for Christmas.
CW: I don’t know if you realize it, Doctor Hen, but I think you’ve saved Christmas.
DH: Bugaaawk, thanks. But it’s not the first time. Back a few years ago I had to do an intervention when Mrs. Claus got just a little too chummy with Yukon Cornelius, but that’s a story for another time.
by Marjorie Haun 12/11/13