5 min

Northern exposure: working the Pole

Gavin Crawford's warm wishes & hot times

I recently got a message on my cell from an old friend of mine named Sparkle. That’s not his real name, his real name is something more like Dazzle. He is an elf, a Christmas elf currently in the employ of Nicholas Industries situated just west of the North Pole (I can’t divulge the exact location for obvious reasons). His message, marked urgent, was brief: “Nice going dumb ass, you’ve made the naughty list. CALL ME BACK!” I should have been worried but mostly I was glad to have a reason to call up the only gay elf I know.

I first met Sparkle at a bathhouse several years ago when I was younger — but no more or less attractive than I am now. At first I mistook him for a rather short 18-year-old who had seriously over applied the body glitter. He was cute — a bit pointy eared but he had a great ass and a smile that made you feel good inside. He asked if I minded that he was an elf. I thought at first he was joking until I noticed the glitter wasn’t actually on his skin, it was in it. Elves, by the way, are a lot more LOTR than RTRNR, so we hit it off.

Soon he was telling me his whole sordid tale. Sparkle was temporarily AWOL from work, having “borrowed” one of Santa’s lesser-known reindeer, Schadenfreude. He had come south looking for hot gay sex. “Lemme guess,” he muttered crankily “You thought all elves were gay?” Sheepishly I admitted I did.

According to Sparkle the percentage of gay elves is actually extremely low. As he put it, “Trying to tell who’s gay is terribly difficult in a society where everyone wears tights.” I have encountered a similar problem in Halifax, where we tape This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Everyone there seems gay to me — but only the women are.

“Nicholas Industries operates on a strict ‘Don’t ask don’t tell Santa’ policy,” Sparkle said. This was one of the main reasons he had left and was currently nosing around in my private sector. That and the relentless pumping of Christmas carols over the PA system. Last year he had given Santa the cast albums of both Rent and Kiss Me Kate in a futile attempt at mixing things up. I wasn’t really surprised to find out that homophobia existed even at the North Pole. It explained why, in younger years, my sister ended up with my coveted Easy Bake Oven and Santa left me some truckee thing that probably would have turned into a robot if I had ever cared to open the box.

Sparkle assured me with a wink that if he’d been in charge I would have got exactly what I wanted. I told him not to worry especially since, at that moment, I was.

I haven’t seen Sparkle since that afternoon but he obviously hadn’t quit his day job and I was anxious to know how he’d been getting on since we last met. But, more importantly, I needed off that naughty list.

I dialed the number thinking that there should be a toll free number for the North Pole. Perhaps that sort of cheap thinking is what landed me on the list in the first place.

“Make a swish, this is Sparkle,” the familiar voice answered, sounding much cheerier than I remembered, which was pretty darn cheery.

“I’m on the naughty list?” I blurted.

“Nice to hear from you too, lover,” he chirped. But he cut to the chase. I had written a “Nickelback’s sexy fuckin’ Xmas” sketch for 22 Minutes which Santa had apparently found “very disrespectful to the season.” At least Sparkle admitted he found the Shakira bit priceless.

“I would have just moved your name off the list myself, but my access to the NP computer system has been blocked ever since I tried to slip a copy of ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor’ into the holiday rotation play list,” Sparkle sighed. He said I needn’t worry too much. All I would have to do was shoot Santa a quick email apologizing for the sketch and I’d be taken off the list, “Zippity zap easy as that.” Elves speak like that — even during sex!

I was kind of surprised that you could email Santa, though I suppose it makes sense. Sparkle said they’ve had email for years but he finds it annoying because Santa refuses to use a proper junk mail filter, so the elves end up wasting a huge amount of time deleting the letters that start with “Mr Santa your cock three inches longer….”

Feeling reassured that I would get back in Santa’s good books my thoughts finally turned to my old friend. I asked Sparkle how things were going and why, as a rare gay elf, did he return to work for Nicholas Industries? “Oh, sweet candy! I never told you, did I?” he squealed. “Your Easy Bake Oven tragedy inspired me to take action. I went straight back to the North Pole and demanded a meeting with the jolly ole CEO himself.” Sparkle said that Santa was very upset to hear one of his elves had felt the need to flee the Pole; and even more upset that there could be so many sissy boys out there who weren’t getting what they really wanted for Christmas. “He really is a jolly old soul,” Sparkle lisped. “But the most shocking thing was that Santa wanted ME to come up with a way to make things better! That’s how I came up with the Make a Swish program.”

“Make a Swish,” according to my elfin friend, is a wonderful new program in which all the letters to Santa from boys who want dolls and makeup, or from girls who wish for hunting boots and a face tattoo, are handed over to Sparkle and his special Q division. This division is then charged with making sure all the little future queers’ Christmas wishes are fulfilled despite any protestations from their exasperated parents. “Sometimes we have to sneak them in just before dawn,” Sparkle whispered conspiratorially.

It really was a brilliant idea. My head filled instantly with visions of all the things I had really wanted for Christmas as a child but either didn’t get or was too afraid to ask for: that Barbie head that you could do real makeup on, an exact replica of the novice dress Julie Andrews wore as she spun around on the mountain tops of Austria or that boy in eighth grade math, the one with the red red lips (that one might have been especially hard to wrap). Oh, how different it all could have been.

Sparkle and I chatted for a while longer and he promised to borrow Schadenfreude and pop down for a visit sometime soon. Before he hung up, he mentioned that things had improved for him sex-wise at the Pole. Thanks to he was able to meet a hunky programmer elf named Tingle (not his real name) who had introduced Sparkle to the joys of the oversized candy cane. Elves are a kinky lot, but that’s probably not news to anyone.

Later that evening I took a walk along Yonge St feeling very warm inside as I imagined gay boys and girls all over the world actually getting what they wanted for Christmas thanks to a gay elf (not) named Sparkle. In the front window of a chocolate shop I spotted a huge, striped candy cane. I bought it. And, stuffing it eagerly into my knapsack, I pictured my name going right back onto the naughty list.