(Video features elfantastic art and narration by Simon Drew)
One day a few months ago I arrived home from the gym, hoping to relax with a jam sandwich and a copy of
Pedant's Weekly, but was disappointed to find that Walter had invited about twenty of his mates around
for a political rally.
"And what's more comrades," Walter orated. "We will no longer stand idly by, allowing this trend towards
simple Swedish furniture. I suggest an immediate keeping of all loose change that falls out of people's
pockets, as well as keys, bank-cards, lighters and small shreds of paper with attractive girls' phone numbers
"Right on Walter," agreed the multitude in high-pitched harmony.
"We're right behind you!!" they added.
" Walter!!" I interjected. "What the hell is going on? Who are this lot? And who said you could invite them here?"
"These are my comrades from the Terribly Reasonable Union of Furniture Elves, or TRUFE for short. Sorry.
We were meant to meet at Gary the sideboard elf's place but he had to cancel at the last minute. Isn't that
"OK, OK," I said. "Fair enough. But I was hoping for an early night. How long were you planning on carrying on for?"
"Carrying on?! CARRYING ON???!!" said Walter, clearly offended."We're not 'carrying on'. This is deadly serious.
We've got families to think of, you know!"
"No you haven't. You all live alone inside pieces of people's furniture."
"Well, yes. Technically that's true. But some of us put it about a bit. Take Dave the washing machine
elf for instance. He has three kids to three different imaginary woodland characters. That takes a bit
of keeping on top of, let me tell you."
"Yes, Walter," I said. "You don't have to tell me about how expensive children are. But isn't that kind of his
own problem? Hang on a minute! Washing machine? That's not furniture. That's a household appliance!"
"Yes it is," answered Walter. "He used to be part of our sister union, the Big Union of Technical Equipment Elves.
We amalgamated about nine months ago. Now we just use either name. They're interchangeable."
"Oh, shut up! OK, then. One for elf and elves for one."
"Hmm. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?"
"Look, Gulliver, will you just stop taking the bleeding piss? How would you like it if your home was threatened
with being changed from plush leather to stressed pine and cotton covers stuffed with foam? That's what's
happening, you know! What do we want?"
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