To begin, the disclaimers: if you love your Elf On The Shelf (EOTS), you won’t like this article, so you may stop reading here. If you are triggered by this little creeper that’s slowly killing our oceans, know that we can fight this. Together. #noEOTS. Finally, this is SATIRE. I made it up. You won’t find #keywords.
How It Starts
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? I do not. I was spared the anxiety and overall terror that accompanies this pretend holiday (Christmas) tradition. No judgment.
You begin with the purchase of a $28.99 Elf and instruction manual. Shelf not included. Note that the Elf is neither machine washable nor dishwasher safe. Also, the Elf contains chokeable parts so you are advised not to consume any part of your Elf, no matter how enticing you find it.
You may choose a Female Elf or a Male Elf. No option for a gender-fluid Elf, a non-white Elf, or an Elf that represents any other group in the U.S. or abroad. Male or female. That’s it. Hurry up.
Open the Elf Nest
Carefully open the sharp-as-a-sushi-knife clamshell Elf nest. Go to the emergency room for 15 to 20 stitches to repair your festive gaping hand wound. Wrestle the Elf from his nest. Next, you, your partner, your child, or someone who doesn’t care for you must name your Elf.
Buy a Can of Raid
Once you name your Elf, he begins to stalk you. It’s right there in the manual. He follows you around all damn day like your manager or an animated illness in a pharmaceutical commercial, taking NOTES. You can’t ever find a pen because the ELF has it. In fact, he has all of your office supplies. Ha-HA! Isn’t that cute? No. He records all of your movements, your routines, what you ate for lunch, your route home from work. To send to “Santa.” That’s a jackwagon load of crap. Because he is STALKING YOU. Know the signs.
It Gets Real
After your stiches are removed and you begin physical therapy, you learn that you may not touch the Elf. I can’t make this up. You. Can’t. Touch. Him. There he is, playfully watching you sleep on your nightstand, positioned on a moldy haunted house you neglected to dispose of, and you awake at 2 AM. There he is. Staring at you. Fun or restraining order? Fun. And who put him there? The person who paid $28.99 for this a$$hole, who is a friend, family member, or another stalker.
His “pranks” continue. Oops! He’s in the pie you’re supposed to bring to the office potluck! There he is again, pumping diesel into your Prius. He’s removed all of the stickers from the sanitary napkins and stuck them to your wall. He has a cute little scythe, hiding in a potted plant. He’s running a meth lab. He found some Sharpies and there’s some obscene and misspelled graffiti on your garage door. He burned down your house. Your dog ran away in terror. How damn fun. You’re on FML for the next 12 weeks.
After failing to take him out with a can of Raid (not included), you throw him in a trash bag, with a brick, and Jimmy Hoffa him into a river.
And here comes the problem.
How to Properly Dispose of Your Elf
That little SOB is plastic. Non-recyclable, 100% environmental-destroying PLASTIC. And PETA is at your doorstep. That Elf Off the Shelf makes his way to the gigantic floating Isle of Refuse (I heard they are building a Marriott there), and along the way the Elf is intercepted by a 2,000 ton whale. Full of 75,000 other Elves on Shelves. Plus one.
Image: Prototype of Isle of Despair courtyard suite with window.
That whale is screwed. And you helped. This is a damn nightmare. Because next to the beached whale is a mattress that you failed to dispose of properly. Every grocery bag you didn’t recycle. Thousands of straws from your childhood. Some aluminum foil you KNEW you should have kept. And now everyone knows it because Oprah, Ellen, and the remaining members of The View are there tsk-tsking you along with Kate Snow, filling in for Lester Holt that night. You are an awful person.
So please. PLEASE. Before you throw down your hard-earned wages for this $28.99 (plus tax, and Raid, and short-term disability) vile creature that has no place outside a box of family-sized Lucky Charms, PLEASE stop. Halt. And think.
How much do you love your dog?