Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yes, Virginia, Santa's Coming Back This Year


Santa's annual Christmas deliveries have become an eagerly anticipated annual tradition around the world. But one little girl is worried that Santa won't come back this year due to a mishap during his visit last year.

When reached for comment at his home in the North Pole, Santa Claus said, "Ho, ho, ho. Of course I'm coming back this year!" A spokeself for Santa's Workshop announced earlier today that Santa has once again selected December 25th, exactly 11 months from today, as the date of his next visit. Experts recommend staying on Santa's Nice List until then, as Mr. Claus is expected to load lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.

William Hardy and Billy Moore wrote Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney in 1950. The song was originally recorded by jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. You can download her version for just 69 cents at Amazon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Penguin Awareness Day

January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day!

Many astute readers of my book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus, have asked me how is is that my family has a penguin for a chef.

As everybody knows, penguins are found in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands -- NOT in the North Pole.

Well, it's a short story. Literally. Shortly after my book came out, I released a collection of short stories by some of my closest friends. Chefy's story of how he came to live in the North Pole is one of those. Here's a taste:

The First Welcoming Feast (Excerpt)
by Chefy

An oral history of Chefy, as told to Candycane Claus.

Chefy, the Claus family's penguin chef, from North Pole High. Penguin Awareness Day.
My story? Why, thank you for asking. I am beyond flattered. Nobody here ever wishes to be regaled by my glorious tales from the south lands, much less comes straight out and requests to hear one.

Let me see. Where to begin? I was hatched by my father many, many years ago on the South Shetland Islands, where I developed an interest in cooking at an early age. I simply could not stomach my parents’ food preparation methods. You see, first they’d eat my meal themselves—to ensure it was not poisonous, they’d say—then regurgitate the already digested food into my beak. Now I ask you, is that any way for a young chick to enjoy the sumptuous taste of a fine kettle of fish?

Are you getting all of this? Please do let me know if I am going too fast.

Anyway, by the time my adult feathers came in, I had already invented a number of signature dishes out of little more than snow, ice, rocks, calling bird feathers, and magic algae from the floor of the sea. One day I waddled up to my parents and said, “Excuse me, please, but I have decided to be a chef.”

My older brother fell in the snow and rolled about, laughing.

“And just whom, pray tell, do you plan to chef for?” my mother nay-said, slurping a mollusk off her webbed foot. “Not everyone in the South Pole is a fussy eater like you. Most of us are fine with our food the way it comes.”

“If our baby wishes to spend his life wearing that funny hat and an apron,” my father began, in his grandest attempt to sound supportive, “what harm could it do?”

To show my commitment to my new occupation, I decided to change my name. “From now on, I want you all to call me Chefy.”

To my delightful surprise, they agreed to comply with this instruction, though that may have been more because my given penguin name, Ejarkthamaptonaraaliey Yennnnisferiptidognoman, was so difficult to pronounce. The ‘g’ is silent.

“And to answer your question, mother, it is my dream to one day cook an immense feast for His Honor, Mr. Claus.”

* * * * *

I guess it's not that short a story. If you want to learn the true story behind the South Pole Flying Seal Think Tank and the subsequent North and South Polar Trade Agreement and how it all led to my father discovering Chefy and bringing his talents to the North Pole, then celebrate Penguin Awareness Day with North Pole High: Beginnings, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.
North Pole High: Beginnings, a collection of short origin stories compiled and edited by Candace Jane Kringle, author of North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus