Santa was livid! "But your honor" he said, "I understand the seriousness of the charge and I'm well aware the lad needs punishment, but a week as a garden ornament is a bit severe don't you think? He's not a gnome for Christmas sake, he hardly has enough hair to cover his thingamajig much less to stay warm in sub zero temperatures while standing amidst clods of frost heaved dirt! Please sir, I need the fellow, you know my predicament. If I lose my rocking horse assembly foreman nine days before Oh Holy Night, some good little boy or girl is going to suffer for his carelessness; and that's hardly fair you must agree!"
Judge Wonka stared at his fingertips for a long while, finally
putting the tip of his third finger of his left hand into his mouth so as to
chew off the smallest bit of broken nail.
"Yes, yes, I know you have a
situation here Santa. But if I just let every drunken elf go free because you
need cheap labor, the north pole would be a far more dangerous place than it
already is; as if polar bears and hidden crevasses weren't bad enough. I'm sorry
sir my mind is made up. My sentence is seven days of inanimate posing in a human
flowerbed; so mode it be!"
Krublax shivered. "Seven days! But I'll die of
exposure, the tips of my ears will fall off with frostbite, my thingamajig will
shrivel and never be seen again! Please judge, have mercy on this poor
The robed elder stood and pounded his gavel three times to demand
quiet. "Alright then, cease your incessant whining you two! Let the time be
served in a California garden where it's warm year round and the residents are
so high they wouldn't know an elf from a jabberwocky!" He pointed sternly at the
prisoner and cocked his brow before adding, "Let this be a lesson to you young
man. Light beer and wheeled rocking horses don't mix!"