My children named their elf "Harry Spotts," and registered it with the Elf on the Shelf web site.
What it says or does makes no difference, for is Santa really going to deliver coal to my children? All the threats are in vain, for if they get one less plastic rinkamadink for Christmas they will not even notice, and will continue to carry on with their "mouth farts" and other atrocities at the dinner table.
"The elf is watching!" we may exhort, and they pause. But then they continue with the "mouth farts" and other bad things, and we know, in our hearts, that they have won.
I said to my husband the other day that I need my own Elf on the Shelf. My elf will have one clear purpose: To prevent me from sending angry emails. I am an Angry Email Sender. Ever since the advent of email, I have been sending angry ones. To wit:
• The three-pager I sent my wine-sodden, fat roommate back in Stuyvesant Town to tell her she was a fat, wine-sodden bitch
• The four-pager I sent my other roommate back in Brooklyn, to explain to her that she was a nutbag whose cats urinated excessively and she needed a swift kick in the brain
• The email(s) I sent to the beloved husband some years ago, to tell him that he had offended me in various regards and I wished to explain my rightness in all things, and his wrongness
• The email I sent to certain management personnel at a particular establishment not terribly long ago, in which I used the phrase "soul crushing" to rather devastating effect, such that it is now (soon to be) a trending hashtag on Twitter
If I could have written an email to my three boys expressing my foaming furor over the continuing #mouthfart trend, I would have done so! I find email to be a very handy tool for expressing rage.
Apparently, I need an elf to stop me from hitting "send," and to kindly direct me to put my missives in the freezer for a while to cool off. My elf will be called "Mr. Jinks" or maybe "Dave."
But do I? Isn't it okay, sometimes, to say exactly what we think? Is it okay to remain silent while a coworker sits next to one at a business dinner, chewing his or her salad with a dreadful "monghgh monghgh mongrrg" sound? It is acceptable to stand by while good people get reamed, and naughty ones get rewarded? Shall we be meek and quiet while someone tells an offensive joke, or lets her cats poo on one's comforter for sport, or drinks the last dregs of the wine box? Shall we make merry with the evil poo-head who piddled on our petunias?
That's when I realized. It ain't bad to get mad. It's GOOD to get mad. It's not like Santa's going to bring me coal because I hit "send" on that email that included the words "reptilian" and "fuck-headed douche muppet" in the same sentence. And do you know how I know that? Why, Sesame Street taught me:
Happy holidays, goats! Get maaaad! But only when you're dealing with some real assholes, of course.