The Almost Daily Thread

musings from the blue chair

My Christmas gift to you

on December 21, 2015

I am offering you a rest.  Get yourself a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a nice beverage of some kind and take a few minuted to snuggle into your favorite chair and enjoy my Christmas short story – Rondo and the Purple Play Mobile.

The story is a result of my granddaughter’s Santa being broken.  A child who is happy, very easy going, easy to please and a joy to be around!  Here’s to you, girl.

The story says that even Santa can get too caught up in preparations for the big season!

So have a “time out” on me this year.  As I attempt to be the Peace I seek for the world in this crazy time of year.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  And may the blessings of all this is king, compassionate and brings joy come to your world.

Enjoy the show!

RONDO AND THE PURPLE PLAY MOBILE

By Susan Rea Caldwell

 

Rondo came zooming into Santaland one August day on the snappiest purple moving vehicle ever seen by any of the Elves gainfully employed by S. Clause Industries, which by all opinion far and wide was the very jolliest place to work in the whole of the North Pole. The boss was reputed to be a “right jolly old Elf” himself although his clothing and size did not exactly fit the genetic dispensation.

Rondo went straight to Human Resources, knocked loudly on the door and presented himself boldly.

He said to Carla, the clerk, a cute, dark-haired, red-cheeked Elf, “I am here to revolutionize the world of children’s outdoor wheeled vehicles. Stop the toy makers until you have seen my plan. Please look outside at my Purple Play Mobile and see what you think.”

Carla walked to the window, looked out, “Sir, you can’t just come buzzing in here all souped-up about your Purple whatever and expect the Santa Industrial Machine to come to a screeching halt.”

“But, I have the newest innovation ever to hit the South Pole.”

“This is the North Pole, sir.  Maybe your Purple what’s it needs a newfangled thing called GPS.  The Get Places Safely system.”

“My dear, little clerk Elf, I’d like to speak to your manager. I’d really like to speak to Mr. Santa Claus, CEO, CFO, Owner-Operator Himself.”

“I bet you do, hot shot.  What is your name?”

“Rondo.”

“Please take a number and have a seat.  Someone will be right with you, just after all these others ahead of you are seen.”

Rondo looked around to at least ten others waiting very quietly on red and green benches.  Each carried cases or boxes holding their presentation.

Rondo sat next to one very eccentric looking gentle elf who spoke in whispers about the toy camel he was presenting.  The camel had a bendy straw out of its mouth.  The hump raised up to hold water.  He told of his plans to create a variety of animal water bottles beginning with African animals and, depending on the success, perhaps going from country to country.  “They can learn geography while collecting!”

Seriously, thought Rondo, hoping he had not said that out loud.  “Seriously?” he burst out.  “Kids today want to ride.  They have places to go.  Kids today move fast and they are smart and they want to crank a lot into this life.”

“Then they will need to know where they are going and they will need a drink of water,” the man said dryly.

The door opened suddenly, blowing in sun kissed snow crystals.  “Rondo, I thought I would find you here.”  A bedraggled Elf, shoulders stooped, grey hair uncombed, stood before him.

“MOMMMM???”

“Rondo, you know your purple riding toy concept has not been fully tested.  Why just today, trying to follow you, I had a flat tire in mine and the fuel fill up meters didn’t have the equipment to fix it. I had to go back to Bob’s Basics.  I had to get the tires completely unscrambled and then rescrambled back into working order by a very confused tube inflater Elf.  He says the verbonic valve vibration will not withstand the Starlight Shrinking process required by Santa Industries specific guidelines.”

Rondo’s face got redder and his cheeks got puffier and his ears turned greener as she talked.  “Mother, I told you I have fixed all that. The Purple Play Mobile you are riding hasn’t been upgraded.”

“Well, thanks for doing good things for your mother,” she said in that aggravating Mother tone.  “Your mother always did the best for you and what does she get in return?  The old, inferior version of Purple Machine.”

“Mom, Mom, can’t you see I am busy here in a crowd of people ready to present my latest and greatest to Mr. Santa Clause, himself?  Do you have to do this now?”

“Son, I have watched you invent many a thing that has worked, shall I say politely, less than perfectly.  I want to make sure you have considered every single-bingle thing that could possibly go awry.  You are dealing with Christmas here and Santa and you know that I know that you know how AWFUL it is to be a disappointed kid.”

“I did, Mom.  I fixed all the problems.”

“It doesn’t seem like testing time has been adequate to have worked through any problems.  You just dreamed this up four weeks ago when the snow apples were ripe and you claimed to be too busy to help me pick them. Being brilliant is your greatest gift.  Being patient is not.”

“I did test it.  I did. I want Santa to have the Purple Play Mobile for this year.  Then I will be rich and I can get my own factory and live in my own house and hire someone to pick snow apples and cook them and clean up after me.”

“I am your warning system, Rondo.  I always have been, whether you like it or not.  Don’t fool yourself.  No creation is finished before its prefect time.  Think it out. Think it perfect.”

“This is all I have been thinking about for four weeks, Mom.  All.  Nothing else.  I am ready to be famous and successful.”

This conversation went on while the others in the waiting room were called back, leaving only Rondo and his mother, Matilde alone.  Rondo’s rage was subsiding as his mother blathered on and on listing the projects he had started and did not complete or that didn’t work properly.  Like the glow in the dark flashlight that was too hot to hold for a flashlight. Or the snow apple picker that broke the branches off the tree.

“Rondo, I am begging you to be sure you are prepared. This is your big Santa moment.  Is your Purple Playtoy ready?  Let’s not disappoint the big guy.”

“Mother, go home.  I am 143 Elf years old.  Most Elves leave home at 144 or 145.  I can make my own decisions.”

“Then I am going home.  I have snow apple compote baking for dinner.  You are on your own.”

“Rondo, you are next,” the Carla clerk called out.  She looked at him, “This is about responsibility, Elf.  This is creating Christmas for others, not just for the glory of yourself.  I hope you are being honest.”

“Why is everyone challenging me?”  Rondo said under his breath.  “Is the world full of mothers?”  Yet, Rondo knew full well why.  He did have many failed projects and he wasn’t completely sure about the capability of the verbonic valve to withstand the vibrational pressure of the Starlight Shrinking process necessary for all the toys to go through in order to fit into Santa’s sleigh.  And, of course, then expand back to original upon delivery.  Santa-shrink is what the Elves called it!  It is what makes the magic possible in one night around the globe.

Rondo followed the Elf clerk down a hallway lined with pictures of toys from the past and present.  Lincoln Logs. Train sets.  Davy Crocket hats and toy rifles.  Red wagons.  Gerber babies.  Cabbage Patch kids.  The first Barbie and Ken.

“I know mine works.  I know that when the tests come back from the famous and expensive ‘You-build-it-we-test-it’ Shrink laboratories over in Flake City they will prove me right.  The tests were due back day before yesterday and did not arrive. I couldn’t wait another day without telling Santa.  So…here I am,” he whispered walking down the hallway.  “My mother is right,” that voice in his head kept repeating.

And he walked into a glorious room filled with toys moving about, twirling from the ceiling.  Ticking.  Jumping.  Rolling across the floor.  All colors.  Lights and sound.  Toy heaven.  And at a huge wooden desk with papers all around him was a giant bearded Elf dressed in green and blue flannel with black fuzzy boots.

Rondo made his presentation to Santa, invited him outside for a ride.  They drove around the factory of Santa Clause Industries passing his Mother whose  Purple Pain Mobile (she was now calling it) was being pushed by a handful of Elves.  Rondo and Santa even drove through the peppermint milk shake plant for a tall drink with a blinking straw.

Santa was thrilled.  He asked to drive and drove so fast through the fields he scared the reindeer.  Blitzen shook his head, “Santa is the biggest kid of all, heh, Vixen?”

“The biggest!”

They got back to the office and Mrs. Clause had a contract ready for Rondo to sign.  In it Rondo agreed that all the appropriate tests had been passed and all was in perfect work as a Santa approved toy.  Rondo closed his eyes as he signed and his mother’s voice inside his head was screaming, “Don’t do it.”

“You seem a bright fellow and if this Purple Play Mobile becomes a favorite with the kids, well maybe we will have a place for you to work next year at Santaland.”

Rondo was so excited he barely remembered doing cartwheels to the Purple  Play Mobile.  He passed his Mother about half way and waved at her gleefully.  She was at the fuel fill up meter again.  Probably just for a fill up, he thought.

He got home in time to hear the timer go off for snow apple compote.  He saved as much as he thought his Mother should eat.  She had been talking about losing some weight.

Meanwhile, back in Santaland . . .

Christmas Eve and the builder Elves became Starlight Shrinker experts.  Taking the toys and putting them on the Shrinker conveyer in alphabetical order so that when Santa called the name of the child requesting the toy it could eject through the modified Starlight Shiner reverse module attached to the special magic expand-a-Santa bag.

But…when the Elves switched from manufacturing to Shrink loading toys, Clyde the Controller Elf got injured.  His toe got smashed when Sammy Psycho was bouncing all over on a pogo stick instead of concentrating.  Sammy was sent to tend the reindeer and Clyde was asked to go to the kitchen and chop greens.  (Elves must have their daily portion of greens to keep that lovely green complexion, you know.  If not they fade to pale white and they disappear in the snow.)  Clyde could sit with his foot propped up and chop and then be back to work in a couple of days.

That day the Shrinking Machine made very unusual popping noises.  Frank the Freekizoid Elf heard them, stopped the machine twice to examine things which backed up the entire two mile assembly line and caused cosmic confusion and complaints.  He checked inside the Expand-a-Santa bag.  He checked the gears and conveyer of the Shrinker.  He found no problems and ordered packing to be continued.

The Santa sendoff was spectacular.  Red and green fireworks lit up the snow brighter than glitter on aluminum foil.  The fireworks banged louder than all the Elf bells put together.

And so Santa called to the reindeer and the sleigh and carrying the Santa-Expans-o-matic bag lifted off and up they flew.  Santa circled back twice to wave and cheer with the Elves, proud of another successful toy making season.

Rondo and his mother joined the crowd to celebrate.

Santa flew first to New Zealand and went about his work with ease and a tough determination.  All the toy drops worked well except at a few houses he noticed some strange hissing and popping sounds as the toys came through the Expando-matic mechanism on the toy bag.  But each time he checked the toys before moving on and they checked out.

By the end of the night somewhere over the Hawaiian Islands where he was offered coconut milk and macadamia nut cookies he realized the noise was coming from the Purple Play Mobile.

And just then the first sun ray popped over the horizon and Donner, the reindeer in charge of directions, and Vixen, in charge of velocity, brayed to Santa that the magic night was over.  They had to move, and move now.  The other reindeer pawed and pranced and Santa had no choice but to proceed swiftly back to the North Pole before being spotted by kids getting up early.

Meanwhile, back in the North Pole, the Kid Satisfaction Machine was blaring red, recording disturbed, sad, mad, unhappy children.  It glowed so brightly not one Elf could sleep.  They were waiting for Santa in the send-off yard.  When he heard, Santa was appalled.  Santa didn’t know the meter was capable of recording such a level of frustration.  But he did know the toy that had malfunctioned and before he even settled down into a long winter’s nap he called for Rondo and the manager Elves to come his office, immediately.

“This is what happens when we do not pay attention to the details.” He pointed to the button that was glowing nuclear.  “These are kids we have disappointed.  Kids!  It’s an abomination.  Have you ever seen a child cry over their Santa present?  Have you ever shared the heartbreak and disappointment of a child?”

“Well, let’s have it, Rondo.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

Rondo began to hurt so badly in his heart he had to hold onto his chest to keep it from breaking.

“I did this, didn’t I, Santa?  Because I. . .”

“Now don’t go on with that ‘feel sorry for me’ just now, Rondo.  What is done is done and we need to know how to fix it.  How are you going to fix this?”  Santa asked very loudly.  For now he was getting very sleepy and he knew that across the globe children were sad and mad at Santa and having someone sad and mad at you never makes for a very good night’s sleep.

So Rondo paced and paced.  He thought and thought.  He drew a plan and handed it to Santa.

“This doesn’t help now, Rondo.  The night of magic has passed and Santa failed some of the children.  We have to leave it into the hands of the Daddy’s now.  The dads and the stores.  We have to trust that the children are patient and understanding and forgiving.  The Dads of the world will step up to make it right for their sad children and the Purple Play Mobile will become one of those Christmas stories families tell and retell every year.  And the sad/mad at Santa will lessen with each telling.”

“And for you Rondo, to make retribution…  Well you will come up with three plans and I will come up with three plans and I will talk to you as soon as I have an extra-long winter’s nap.”

“So, take this macadamia nut cookie to your Mother and have as happy a day as you can.”

“Macadamia nut is my favorite,” claimed Rondo.

“This cookie is for your Mother, not you.  Think of someone besides yourself, Rondo. And if you eat even one crumb of this cookie.  Even one crumb. . .”

 

AND SO I SAY “JOY TO THE WORLD!”

 

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3 responses to “My Christmas gift to you

  1. Susan, hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year!

  2. amanda1mc says:

    Beautiful Funny I love it! I can see all kinds of illustrations!! Hugs!~

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