was lunch time at the North Pole. Mike and Ike Jingle, two
elves from the Nintendo division, slipped outside the toy
factory and quietly raced behind the reindeer barn.
"You got it?" Ike asked as Mike pulled out a
sheaf of papers and smiled slyly. "Yep," he
said. "Got it." They huddled together as Mike
unfolded the papers.
"So who are we reading about today?" Ike
asked anxiously, trying to peer over Mike's shoulder.
Santa had never installed satellite TV at the North Pole,
which meant entertainment was mainly limited to watching
reindeer games and playing hockey. Mike and Ike were tired
of both. So the two had hacked into Santa's recently
computerized "Naughty and Nice" list to read
about the lives of the faraway people who awaited the
red-suited gentleman's visit every year.
"Let's see. Today we've got... some folks from
Florida," Mike said.
"Wow! They've got sun there!" Ike said. Ike's
dream was to live in a sunny place. "I bet this one's
gotta be good."
Mike's eyes skimmed the paper. "Sorry. Don't think
so. Doesn't look too exciting."
Ike's face fell. "Well, might as well read it
anyway. We don't have anything better to do." He
leaned against the reindeer barn and stuck his tongue out
to catch the snowflakes that had started falling.
"Let's see," Mike said. "John, Maureen,
Shane and Kyle are their names. They all have a few marks
in the Naughty column, but still got overall rating as
"Darn. Nice people are always so boring," he
"Well, it's not all bad. ... Says here that they
took a trip this year - a cruise to Alaska, just shortly
after John Retired from the U.S. Navy. Seems they all flew
to Seattle then on to Vancouver Canada where they spent
one night prior to boarding the Cruise ship. They spent a
week cruising and visiting Alaskan waters and cities with
some of the best weather of the season.
"Hey, that's cool. What else? You said John
Mike's eyes continued down the page. "Yes, and he
isn't that old so to feel younger he tells everyone he
'transitioned.' It seems they had a huge party with lots
of family and friends from all over the country that came
to congratulate John. After 20 years in the Navy he
decided to move on to find a new career. He did take time
to relax and enjoy his brief unemployment while
looking at new career opportunities. He was getting
bored of the slow life though and it appears he is already
hard at work as a consultant."
"What?!" Ike yelled, forgetting all about
catching snow on his tongue. "I've always wanted to
Ike went back to his snowflake catching. "I guess
these people aren't as boring as I feared." He leaned
his head way back to catch a snowflake and his green elf
hat fell into the snow with a soft jingle from the bell on
top. "What else?"
"It says Maureen is getting quite a good name in
the local real estate circles. She really enjoys it and
her enthusiasm truly shows as she is sought after,
particularly for helping first time home buyers and
transferring military personnel. She is also president of
the PTO at Shane's school and spends lots of time
chauffeuring the boys around." "Gee, that makes
me tired just thinking about it" said Mike.
"Shane is a junior now and is still practicing his
drill techniques for NJROTC competition, before and after
school and hopes the Orange Park High School NJROTC Unit
will achieve national ranking for a third straight year.
He is driving with a permit and has his own (used) car
which he looks forward to buying gas for when he does get
"Kyle had a great year ... he is finally the
tallest in the family and while the youngest, is often
mistaken for much older. A freshman, he finds that
enjoying high school is a full time job. He is in the
Future-Business Leaders-of-America and has quickly learned
how to speak in front of large. . . no, HUGE groups. Kyle
is also an active participant in the high school drama
department. He did the technical support (sound &
lighting) for school plays at the high school and he even
went back to his old middle school to help them out."
"The dog, Kelly still eats too much people food but
is a great noise alarm for visitors and lets everyone know
if any truck comes within 5000 yards of the house.
Ike took a break from trying to catch snowflakes and
looked at his watch. "Hey, we better get something to
eat before we get back to the toy factory. Anything else
before we grab some grub?"
Mike skimmed the list. "It also says Maureen's
sister Crystal moved to Jacksonville last year and lived
with the Harmon's until her new home was built. They miss
her a lot and the house sure seems empty now that she has
her own place ... but she visits often and they really
Ike swiped at one more snowflake with his tongue.
"Think you can get another one tomorrow?"
"Sure. No problem. Santa will never know." He
and Joe turned and headed off to the cafeteria to get
They never even saw the man in the red suit who
was quietly adding names to his Naughty list.