“Excuse me,” I said rather crisply to the little guy standing near me on the bed. “Who are you and why are you wiping snot on my pillow case?”
“My name is Gilbert. I’m obviously an elf. And I’m wiping my nose on your pillow because you are apparently too cheap to buy tissue.”
“True, I’m not fancy,” I said. “You can blow your nose on toilet paper.”
“You have no manners,” He said with an eye roll.
I yawned and sat up, studying his glittery red jump suit, tiny black high-top tennis shoes and a green baseball cap with “Team Santa” embroidered on it. He was a little bit bigger than my hand.
“Gilbert, I’m happy to meet you,” I said. “But I am wondering why you’re here.”
“Well Mr. Claus assigns the tougher cases to me,” Gilbert said. “He sent me here to help you get your act together.”
“That is rather amusing, but I don’t need an intervention or whatever you were planning.”
Gilbert continued to sneeze and hack.
“Do you have allergies?” I asked.
“Do you have cleaning supplies?” he snapped back. “When I thought I could just hop from the bedside table to the headboard, I was forced to wade through the dust instead. You’re really a mess.”
“I work a lot.”
“Yes but ...”
“When I have free time I don’t want to spend it cleaning,” I said with a sigh. “Not that my daily routine is your business.”
I swung my legs over the side of the bed and carried the elf with an attitude to the kitchen.
“Do you want to hang out while I scramble some eggs?” Without waiting for an answer, I gently placed him on the kitchen counter.
“My foot is stuck,” he growled as I placed a couple of eggs on the counter.
“What do you mean?” I squinted as Gilbert tugged on his tennis shoe.
“You plopped me down in the middle of a Pepsi spill,” Gilbert shouted. “And look at all the crumbs!”
When I reached for a towel one of the eggs began to roll. Even though Gilbert ran, the egg pinned him against the toaster.
“Ridiculous!” he shouted after I rescued him. “I should have a helmet. I should get combat pay.”
“You’re a little bit of a drama baby, Gilbert,” I said.
When the doorbell rang I carried him with me to the door.
My nosy neighbor was smiling on the porch. “May I borrow some sugar?”
“I don’t have any sugar,” I said quickly. “Sorry, I’m busy cleaning.”
“Oh Sherri, you know you haven’t cleaned your house since 2009, ...” muffling the rest of Gilbert’s comment by folding him into the sleeve of my pajama top.
“I thought I saw Santa’s sleigh on your roof,” the neighbor said.
“That’s silly. Santa isn’t here,” I said nervously while closing the door.
“You tried to smother me,” Gilbert screamed when I freed him.
“Oh stop,” I said with a laugh. “I didn’t hurt you.”
When I returned to the kitchen, Gilbert smoothed his clothing and glared at me.
“I’m telling Santa that you are insubordinate,” he said.
“Well Gilbert, if Santa really does all that “see you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” stuff, I bet he already knows that about me.”
Sherri Coner is an award-winning journalist and humor writer who speaks to women’s groups. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.