I just got a call from a guy who said his name is Bill, and he’s one of Santa’s elves.
“Sure you are Bill. May I ask your last name?”
How do these people get my number? About this time last year a man pretending to be Santa Claus phoned.
“We don’t have last names,” Bill replied. “No need for them really. We’re the only ones up here on the North Pole , Santa, Mrs. Claus and us. So we’re all on a first-name basis, except when things get hectic and we have some last-minute orders to fill right before Christmas Eve. Then we tend to call each other names that I won’t repeat.”
The guy was probably breathing in helium, because he sounded the way elves sound in the movies. I decided to play along and see how long it would take before he needed another draw off the balloon.
“So how many of you are there, exactly?”
We know, for instance, that there are seven dwarfs in Snow White’s contingent and eight reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh , nine if you count Rudolph. But nobody’s ever gotten a head count on the number of elves who make toys for good little girls and boys at Christmastime.
“There are exactly 76 of us, but we had to hire temporary help starting in October to get through the rush,” he said.
“Really, where do you find them? Did you run an ad?”
“No. Keebler’s is mostly automated now, so we know a bunch of elves that got laid off, and they were willing to lend a hand, you might say. We’d like to hire them on, but they don’t want to live at the North Pole. They say there are openings coming up for elves at Disneyland.”
“I see, Bill, and now if you’ll please get to the point, I’d appreciate it because I have a tourism column to write before I go home.”
“Oh yes, I’m calling to let you know that the Hotel del Coronado will have a beachfront skating rink on the Windsor Lawn open daily from 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. starting on Nov. 23 and running through Jan. 2. For a three-hour session, the cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children, ages 10 and under, and skates may be rented for $5.
“And that’s not all. The Del is going to kick off the season by transforming into a winter wonderland. On Nov. 30, the big guy and the rest of us will be at Santa’s Village, where there will be holiday booths with games and prizes. We’ll be available between 5-7 p.m. for photos. So, why don’t you pop on over and go ice skating and get your picture taken with the gang?”
“I haven’t been ice skating since I was a kid, Bill, but I’ll stop by. How do I recognize you?”
“I’m rather short. I have permanently rosy cheeks. And I’ll be wearing funny pointed shoes that have been out of style forever because I don’t have any time to shop for myself.”
“OK. By the way, Bill, the Santa who was there last year , the guy with the long, white natural beard , is he going to be on duty again this year?”
“Yes, and his beard is real because he’s the real Santa.”
“Right. And if you just happen to run into the Easter bunny during your travels, don’t give him my number.”
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China, Diamonds And Gold:
Several top hotels in the county just received some china that they won’t want to use for place settings.
The gold-rimmed bone china plates emblazoned with four gold diamonds and the AAA Four Diamond Award logo were presented by the Southern California Auto Club at a gala at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage in mid-October.
Of the 56 Southern California hotels to receive the distinction, 17 are in San Diego County. Repeat winners are: La Casa Del Zorro Resort in Borrego Springs; Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado; L’Auberge Del Mar Resort & Spa in Del Mar; Oak Creek Manor, Fallbrook; Orchard Hill Country Inn, Julian; Hilton La Jolla/Torrey Pines, Hyatt Regency La Jolla and La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla; Pala Casino Resort & Spa; the Rancho Bernardo Inn; Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe; Hilton San Diego Resort, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. First-time winners are: the Hotel del Coronado, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, and the Omni San Diego Resort.
Send tourism and hospitality information to Connie Lewis via e-mail: email@example.com. She may also be reached by phone at (858) 277-6359.