Shin­gle-Schmucks and other lies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - Camp­bell Web­ster Camp­bell Web­ster is a writer and pro­ducer of live en­ter­tain­ment. A book of Camp­bell’s Gau­r­dian col­umns can be pur­chased at­bell­web­

I lie a lot to my two chil­dren, Louis Romero, aged five, and So­phie Rigob­erta, aged four. In­deed, many, if not most par­ents, do as well. Most of the ly­ing hap­pens around Christ­mas, but it ex­tends to the rest of the year as well.

The ly­ing in our home is of­ten around the fan­tas­ti­cal stuff con­cern­ing Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and other made up guys, like elves, and Shin­gle-Shmucks.

The Shin­gle-Schmucks are spe­cific to our home, as far as we know. They live on the Planet Raspo, which is en­tirely made of pizza, where all the trees bloom with Oreo cook­ies, ex­cept for one tree, which con­sists of cho­co­late chips.

The Shin­gle-Schmucks are cu­ri­ous tiny crea­tures, cu­ri­ous be­cause of their var­i­ous unique char­ac­ter­is­tics, in­clud­ing the fact that when they want to travel, they ac­ti­vate the tiny he­li­copter blades lodged on the in­side of their el­bows. Whiz, whiz, and up they fly.

All im­por­tant facts to know when early this past Tues­day morn­ing, Louis Romero darted into his par­ents’ bed­room, con­cerned. For his mother, my wife, Si­mone Claudia, was nowhere to be found.

Usu­ally in the early morn­ing, Si­mone Claudia can be found traips­ing about the kitchen, pre­par­ing for the day. But she was ab­sent. En­tirely, from the en­tire house. And the car, also known as Al, was also gone.

“Mama’s gone, Papa,” Louis Romero pro­claimed. “And so is Al.”

Be­cause Papa, that would be me, had for­got­ten that a few days ago, that Mama had told me that she would silently slip out to a 7 a.m. ap­point­ment this par­tic­u­lar morn­ing, with­out wak­ing any of us up, I too be­came alarmed. But only mildly. For Si­mone Claudia does not do this of­ten, or ever.

Ex­cept when we are oc­ca­sion­ally short of milk for break­fast. So I told Louis Romero that maybe Mama had gone for milk. “No!” he shouted, “I looked in the fridge, and there are many bags of milk there, for to­mor­row and other days.”

The ever vig­i­lant Louis Romero had al­ready launched his own in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

So then I be­came some­what wor­ried. What of my wife and his mother? Be­fore I had time to think, Louis Romero ex­claimed, “Papa, you have to phone some­body!” Good point, I thought, so I coun­tered, “Who should we call Louis?”

The an­swer was clear and cer­tain, “Santa! Call Santa!”

“Maybe not Santa,” I of­fered, “Be­cause he is far away in the North Pole.”

“No, Papa, you are wrong, so wrong! Santa can see all the way to here. Call Santa now, Papa.”

So I called Santa. And as I did, Mama Si­mone Claudia mirac­u­lously re­turned from her ap­point­ment.

A bunch of ly­ing and mys­ter­ies were ex­plained. And the very real Santa had a big part in it. As did Al. Sadly, the Shin­gle-Schmucks did not have a role. But no doubt their he­li­copter-el­bows be­gin to whiz at the happy re­turn of Mama.

Lies, lies, beau­ti­ful lies.

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