The elves are restless


On Thanksgiving, after the turkey, I accompanied my family — or the portion able to join us to visit my youngest up in Pennsylvania — to see "Fred Claus." (Vince Vaughan cracks me up, OK?) Anyway, we enjoyed it for the light entertainment it was.

The next day, we bopped up to NYC because my youngest had never been there. Yes, we visited the shopping capital of the world on the busiest shopping day of the year. We weren’t buying; looking was overwhelming enough. And it turns out that, while "Fred Claus" exposed certain problems with Santa’s toy production process, it failed to reflect the deep unrest among some of the elves — or at least, the elves we found on the sidewalk outside Macy’s. (Like an explorer drawn into the heart of darkness, I couldn’t resist leading the kids that way in awe and fascination, after we got off the New Jersey Transit train across the street at Penn Station.)

They were very angry — and unexpectedly tall, I found. Maybe they were Middle Earth elves, rather than the kind from the North Pole. In any case, they didn’t seem to have the ol’ Santa spirit.

In case you went shopping on Friday and think it was hectic, I share with you this video, which still doesn’t quite show what it was really like to be in that bedlam. As one of my daughters said looking over my shoulder at the portion of the video inside Macy’s (the part right after the angry elves), "You had to be there." A very different scene from during the parade the day before, but just about as crowded.

I really spoiled the hectic effect by throwing in some restful parts — the skaters at Rockefeller Center, for instance — because I’m a big believer in giving The Full Picture.

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