The tale of the elf and the falling computer

Have you ever heard of the elf who was crushed by a computer? It’s a terrible tale of death and woe, but topped with the sweet surprise of a happy ending. Like those little glacé cherries you get on the Christmas trifle.

‘Twas the month before the Christmas of 2008, when all through Santa’s kingdom there was the patter of tiny little feet going about their business. For these were the elves of Lapland working hard to ensure that presents were designed and built and wrapped, ready for the children of the world.

Dolls and trains and chocolates were strewn all over the factory for the little children. And far away in the furthest corner was the Bank of old St Nick, where the gift money that would be given to the older children and adults was stored ready for Christmas day.

But this was a year like no other. Out were the old ways of keeping track of children’s lists on scraps of paper and spending hours filing them once they had been dealt with. This year, they had a computer. Not a small computer that wouldn’t be able to handle the huge number of lists that were being processed, but a big one designed for performance work. This computer was just the right size. It kept all of the digital records in the big black box where you plugged in the screen, keyboard and mouse, so took up quite a bit of room on Santa’s desk.

One day, one of the elves called Jimmy was in a hurry. Santa was busy on the factory floor inspecting presents like the task master that he truly is, and Jimmy had been asked to return to the computer to check what one Master David Jones, aged six, from Inverness had asked for. But something was about to go wrong.

In his hurry, Jimmy tried to climb up onto the office chair but because he was too short, it accidentally twisted and sent him flying. With his limbs in the air and his head facing the ground, he managed to grab hold of the edge of the table, but in doing so put too much weight on the dodgy leg (the one that Santa had meant to fix three weeks earlier).

The table leg faltered and down came the desk and its contents, including the computer, onto poor little Jimmy. Well, let’s just say his story ends there.

Time went on, and all over the factory the elves grieved for our friend the elf. Meanwhile, Santa, that task master, weeped for his broken computer and missing productivity. In 2010, though, he decided to replace that computer, but decided that just to be safe he would go for one that would be light enough to fall on an elf without crushing them at all – a bump to the head, maybe, but an unaffected soul.

Out to the shops he went and after getting advice from the leading technology specialist he opted for a MacBook Air – light, but with more than enough processing power.

The elves call it Jimmy.

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