Read time: 2 minutes

The SantaLand Diaries

If you've never heard essayist David Sedaris describe his very funny stint as a Macy's Christmas elf, this is your big chance.

Some people don't find David Sedaris funny, but I'm not one of those people. Here's your chance to hear him read his classic essay:

I've met elves from all walks of life. The recession has hit New York very hard. Most of the other elves are show business people, but several of them had real jobs at advertising agencies and brokerage firms. Bless their hearts. These people never in their wildest dreams figured there was a velvet costume waiting in their future. They are the really bitter elves. Most of the elves are young, high school and college students. They're young and they're cute, and one of the job perks is that I get to see these people in their underpants.

The overall cutest elf is a fellow from Queens named Richie. His elf name is Snowball, and he tends to ham it up with the children, sometimes tumbling down the path to Santa's house. I generally gag when elves get that cute, but Snowball is hands-down adorable. You want to put him in your pocket.

Yesterday, Snowball and I worked as Santa Elves and I got excited when he started saying things like, "I'd follow you to Santa's house any day, Crumpet." It made me dizzy, this flirtation. By mid-afternoon, I was running into walls. By late afternoon, Snowball had cooled down. By the end of our shift, we were in the bathroom changing our clothes, and all of the sudden we were surrounded by five Santas and three other elves. All of them were guys that Snowball had been flirting with. Snowball just leads elves on, elves and Santas.

Later on, we were in the elevator and I heard him say to his friend, "I don't know what these guys all want with me. It gives me the creeps, the way they stare." Snowball is playing a dangerous game. It's one thing to get a child fired up, but you really don't want to be working under a jilted Santa.

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