(Skriver gärna, givet tid och någon rolig idé, en jul- och/eller nyårsnovell av mer roande slag. Nedan årets upplaga. Då jag är med på div engelskspråkiga listor blir det på engelska, och det här med Wikileaks är ju dessutom ganska internationellt. Enjoy! --Ahrvid) SANTALEAKS "This is a disaster!" Mr Kringle said to his chief Elf. "Do you really mean that our entire Naughty List has been published on...wassits name...the Interwebs?" "Internet, boss," the Chief Elf Said. "You know, that's why our client wish lists these days have a lot of computers, game consoles and so on. You remember we had to beef up our electronics workshop! Now this Wikileaks has the Naughty List. Our security service is presently investigating who leaked or possible left the list on a reindeer sleigh seat." "Anyway," Santa - a k a Kris Kringle - continued. "Our Naughty List must be secret. The business depends on that the little boys and girls have a element of surprise. Will Santa come? Will I get what I wish for?" Mr Kringle sighed and turned to the huge stock of paper on his desk. "Look here. Here we for instance have one Julian, Australia.... Hm, that's strange, it doesn't say if he has been naughty or not. Apparently his case has been appealed. Have a look into that, Chief Elf!" "Will do. And here's another strange wish list. One Little Teddy, for instance." "Bear with me. As far as we can see it's just a grumpy old fool, who just *behaves* like a child. It doesn't count. Now, what I would wish for, if that's even allowed for Santa, are some ideas of what to do with our Naughty List. The whole thing isn't much of a surprise now. Not when all the kids have these computers we have delivered." "We're looking into it, boss." "Fine, Elf! Meanwhile, I need to take a leak... No, I shouldn't say that, should I?" Mr Kringle went out of his North Pole office and crossed the snowy yard enroute to his nearby mansion. He passed the reindeer stables, where Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen were busy chewing the genetically modified hay - implanted with bird DNA - the cause of their surprising high-flying abilities. Santa stopped for a moment. The Aurora Borealis overhead was strong this night. He did indeed have a magic, undisturbed realm up here. A nice little home, with no disturbing neighbours, if you didn't count Superman and his Fortress of Solitude, somewhere over that mountain ridge. But Supie was seldom there and he was a Good Guy anyway. He had even given the reindeers some flying lessons. Near the horizon far away in the snowy desert Santa thought he saw some flickering lights. It could be these IPCC guys again, he thought, putting cigarette lighters to their thermometers when they though nobody looked. Santa found the bathroom to the left of the mansion's entrance, did his thing (no, he didn't actually take a bath!), and went to the kitchen. Mrs Kringle was busy preparing all the Christmas food. The elves were a hungry bunch. "Is everything alright, dearest?" she asked as she put some ginger cookies into the owen. "Not exactly, sweetheart. I got some disturbing news. It seems our entire Naughty List is out there on this...Internets. I think I need a stiff one." Mrs Kringle nodded and sighed. Santa went to the shelf for Christmas Spirit and contemplated the eggnog or the mulled wine. Finally he settled for some dark Christmas Brew. You shouldn't get too juiced up when these important holidays were coming up. "A leaked Naughty List doesn't sound good, dearest. I know you work hard, and then something like this..." "Well, I don't have to work as hard as some silly calculations claim. It's only in the Anglo-Saxon world that the little boys and girls must have their presents on December 25th. In Scandinavia or in Spain for instance, December 24th is The Day. In Russia, from the Julian calendar, it's January 6th. That's also the date for France and Austria. Some Orthodox Churches favour January 7th, the Armenian ones even January 19th. Parts of Slavic Europe even do their christmas gifts on New Year's Eve. And then we have Holland, when the presents are presented on December 5th. So I actually have more than half a dozen working days, which is further extended by operating in different time zones. And since I do have to go pretty fast, time dilation is on my side too." Mr Kringle opened his beer. He took a deep, silent gulp and then brushed off some foam from his long, white beard. What was he to do with the Naughty List? "This Wikileaks stuff worries me," he commented to Mrs Kringle. "It's not the fact that the little boys and girls become aware of Santa's naughty assessments. I think little Bobby already knows that he has been very, very naughty. It's the element of surprise that is lost. They could even stage a sort of ambush when I'm climbing down the chimney and film how I do it, a trick I haven't revealed to anyone - except to that young Harry Boy ages ago... I think his name was Houdini." He took another gulp of the sweet, dark Christmas beer. "We must preserve the element of surprise at all cost!" Santa slept a deep but somewhat troubled sleep. He tended to sleep much to gain strength, before all these busy days in December and January when he had to perform his duty. In the spring and summer the first wish lists began to arrive, and as autumn came he had to begin collating all the info for the Naughty List. But all that was reasonably laid-back work and he had lots of elves to help out. It was now that the really busy weeks came. But now the Naughty List had been leaked. Holy reindeer spillings! Santa jerked back and forth in his bed. Mrs Kringle left him alone, and besides she wasn't yet done with all her cooking. Santa dreamt steamy dreams about a hot date with the Tooth Fairy. (Not that he didn't love his wife, but a guy can dream, can't he! Dreams are especially common when you actually sleep, scientists say.) Maybe it was the erotic dimensions of Santa's thought-paths or the wonderful smell of the roasted Christmas ham that seeped up from the kitchen, but suddenly Santa had the solution! He woke up and made some quick notes in his bedside calendar. Mrs Kringle soon joined her husband in the bed, and got her Christmas present. (Twice - it was that time of year, after all.) Next morning Santa was in a much better mode. "You know, honey" he said to Mrs Kringle. "This problem I told you about. I found out how to solve it. If the thing is to make my humble visit a surprise, nothing can be more surprising if I come when the children don't expect it." "What do you mean, dearest one?" Mrs Kringle asked. "I'll just shuffle the dates! Scandinavian Kids will expect me December 24th, but what if I come December 25th instead! And American kids could get their present another date. It might upset some people and '60 Minutes' may make a story out of it: 'New Doubts Upon the Existence of Santa Claus'. But I will come and it will be a surprise!" "Yes, it is a surprise when you come," Mrs Kringle said quietly. But in a louder voice she added: "That's wonderful. Do you think it will work?" "We already have the infrastructure, the production lines and so on to handle all the different Christmas-present dates. It's a small thing to switch them back and forth a bit." And so it happened that this year, for instance all the North American children - to their huge surprise - saw their stockings being filled already December 5th. But after all, an early Christmas was actually very appropriate! It's not only that the snow came much earlier every year, but we can easily see how all the shops and malls begin their Christmas campaigns already in September.. --Ahrvid Engholm Ps. A Blurry Christmas and a Sloppy New Year to all of you! -- ahrvid@xxxxxxxxxxx / Gå med i SKRIVA - för författande, sf, fantasy, kultur (skriva-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, subj: subscribe) YXSKAFTBUD, GE VÅR WCZONMÖ IQ-HJÄLP! (DN NoN 00.02.07)Om Ahrvids novellsamling Mord på månen: http://www.zenzat.se/zzfaktasi.html C Fuglesang: "stor förnöjelse...jättebra historier i mycket sannolik framtidsmiljö"! ----- SKRIVA - sf, fantasy och skräck * Äldsta svenska skrivarlistan grundad 1997 * Info http://www.skriva.bravewriting.com eller skriva- request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx för listkommandon (ex subject: subscribe).