A Christmas Coat-Tastrophe by Brion J Humphrey

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


SNICKETY, a stuck up, arrogant elf in a green Christmas Elf uniform, sweeps across the stage and tersely begins to gather his recruits.

SNICKETY: All right, all right. Enough of the merry making! Line it up, elves! Let's go, let's go! We don't have all season!
As he calls their names from a clipboard, recruits in red uniforms - tights, elf hat, elf shoes, etc. - scurry into a kind of a military drill formation.

SNICKETY: Let's see what miserable trainees those cocoa drinkers in Elf Resources sent us this time...Letty!

LETTY: Aye! Top o'the morning!

SNICKETY: Stow the Leprechaun act, tiny! No one's buying your Lucky Charms today! Tinsel, are you here?

TINSEL: With holiday cheer!

SNICKETY: Right. You're the rhyming one. And your twin?


SNICKETY: Hmph. I was expecting another rhyme.

LAMETTA: It's harder for me, most of the...moments of the day.

TINSEL: Time! She means time. Lametta, time rhymes with rhyme.

LAMETTA: I just can't think as fast as you.

TINSEL: Don't feel bad, not many do!

SNICKETY: Fine, enough! Fleet!
There is no answer, but a long-haired elf with a silver cape moves stealthily through the ranks avoiding SNICKETY'S gaze.

SNICKETY: Fleet! (Snickety moves from one end of the formation to the other glancing up and down the rows) Has anyone seen Fleet? Going once, going twice.
Fleet pops up behind SNICKETY.

FLEET: Gone!

SNICKETY: Get back in your line! And capes are not a part of the official Elfling Corps uniform! Especially silver ones! Neither are Viking helmets Yule!

YULE whips off his helmet and takes his folded elf hat out of his pocket. He snaps it open and places it on his head defiantly.

SNICKETY: Listen up Elves! Your uniform is the most important identifying clothing you own. If one piece becomes damaged, creased, or otherwise imperfect, that would be cause for early dismissal and you will be sent to the “other elf colony” to go live in a tree in the dark forest baking cookies that you don't get to eat! Forever!

LETTY: Not the cookie-elves! They don’t even get holidays off!

GARLAND: We don’t get holidays off!

COCOA: We get Boxing Day.

LETTY: What’s Boxing Day?


CHARLIE: (runs in frantically and tries to find a place within the formation) Hi! Sorry, excuse me, sorry I'm late, I missed the first narwhal across the gumdrop lagoon and...

SNICKETY: Charlie is it? As I said...cookie-elves!
A collective shiver runs through the group. Charlie is shamed and silenced.

SNICKETY: All of you have been assigned to a training department. I spent a good deal of time making sure your assignments were perfect, so don't let me down. Complete your tasks brilliantly and you will someday get to wear the Christmas uniform and become real elves. (Looks at Tinsel) Some of you show great potential. (Looks at Charlie) And some of you do not. Take your assignments seriously. I'll be watching you!
Snickety begins handing out holiday cards.

SNICKETY: Holly. Garland.

HOLLY: Garland, look! I got Decoration Division!

GARLAND: That's great Holly, me too! I always thought I'd be working outdoors, but they put me in the Hallway group.

HOLLY: Wait. Mine says porch and patio? But it's so cold on the porch, I should be decking the halls. Garland, are you sure we have the right cards?

SNICKETY: You have the right cards, get moving. Fleet.

FLEET: (opening card) Building blocks!? What do you mean building blocks? I should be in something earthy and dangerous!

SNICKETY: I don't want to hear it, Fleet, get going. Yule, wooden toys. Noel, coal mine. Cocoa, Bakery. Ginger, Hot Beverages.

COCOA: Who shuffled these cards up?

SNICKETY: Tinsel, Lametta.

LAMETTA: (looking over Tinsel's shoulder) Oh no! Carol lyric composing. But Snickety, I can't rhyme! How am I supposed to help with writing Christmas Carols?

SNICKETY: Here's a rhyme for you Lametta, you're a terrible "elf," if you can't learn to rhyme, you'll go back on the...

LAMETTA: (thinks hard) ...wood ledge nailed to the wall?

TINSEL: Ugh! Shelf! Seriously! Lametta, as in "elf on the." You're hopeless, come with me, I'll teach you, you'll learn.

LAMETTA: I'm afraid if I try then we'll just crash and...
Tinsel freezes waiting for Lametta to say her first rhyme

LAMETTA: Explode? Into tiny little fiery pieces?
Tinsel drags Lametta away. Snickety is handing out more cards while Charlie waits patiently off to the side. Finally, everyone has left the stage except for Charlie and Snickety who ignores him.

CHARLIE: Um, Snickety?

SNICKETY: What do you want, Charlie?

CHARLIE: Is there a card there for me?

SNICKETY: (smiling devilishly) Charlie, what is your talent?

CHARLIE: My, my talent? I'm sorry, I don't-

SNICKETY: Exactly. You don't.

CHARLIE: I don't what?

SNICKETY: You don't have one. A talent.

CHARLIE: I'm sorry?

SNICKETY: Unless, of course, you count incessant apologies and excuses. I do, however, have one very special assignment for you!

Snickety hands Charlie the last card.

CHARLIE: Frosty's dry cleaning service?

SNICKETY: That's right.

CHARLIE: You want me to pick up your dry cleaning?

SNICKETY: Not mine. His. The Big Guy, the head elf. Every year, Santa's coat needs to be cleaned before the big night. Pick up the coat from Frosty's and deliver it to me. And only to me. Think you can handle this...very important task?

CHARLIE: But Snickety, I was hoping for something maybe in decoration, or toy-making. Oh, to be in toy-making and know that some child, somewhere, was waking up on Christmas morning and finding a toy that I-

SNICKETY: Yeah, yeah, very touching. Charlie, let me explain something to you. You are not what we call elite elf material. You are, in fact, so low on the elf totem pole, you are practically underground. That's why you get to be a gofer.

CHARLIE: A gopher?

SNICKETY: Yes, Charlie. A gofer. Go for this, go for that. And right now, your job is to go for the coat. Don't mess this up. Remember, cookie-elves, Charlie. Dark forest cookie-elves.
Snickety exits leaving Charlie alone on the stage. The scene shifts around him. Lights up on



PINCH, an adorable elf with glittery cheeks, is busy behind the counter of Frosty's Dry Cleaning.

BITTER, an elf with an attitude and a chip on his shoulder is bothering PINCH.

PINCH: Bitter, I told you, I'm way too busy to play those reindeer games. I have twelve orders to fill before lunchtime and I still have to get Frosty's ice packs elf-mailed.

BITTER: Come on, Pinch. Frosty's made of ice, he can wait a day or two. Just come with me for two hours, nobody needs any of this stuff anyway and the machines practically run themselves.

PINCH: I don't know, Bitter. I really need to...

BITTER: (Notices Charlie, lowers his voice to Pinch) You really need to come play with us and loosen up a little.

PINCH: Charlie! What can I do for you?

CHARLIE: Hi Pinch. Oh, hey Bitter.

BITTER: Chucko! Heard you finally joined the Christmas Elf Training Crew. Really think you got what it takes to be a part of the big time?

CHARLIE: Yeah, I mean, I hope so, right?
Bitter chuckles

PINCH: You'll be great Charlie. What do you need?

CHARLIE: Is the snowman around?

PINCH: Frosty? No, he's on vacation.

CHARLIE: Frosty goes on vacation? To where?

PINCH: Hawaii, mostly.

CHARLIE: But it's August.

PINCH: Mmmhmm.

CHARLIE: He doesn't melt?

PINCH: Why would he melt?

BITTER: Charlie, don't believe everything you hear in the Carols.

CHARLIE: Okay, well, Snickety sent me to pick up a coat.

PINCH: (taking out a ticket and glitter pen) Coat, got it, which coat?

CHARLIE: (trying to keep Bitter from hearing) It's, um, a red coat.

PINCH: Red. I'm gonna need you to be a little more specific. Is it large? Small? Fleece-lined? Snow-cycle leather?

CHARLIE: (Almost inaudible) It's Santa's coat.

PINCH: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

CHARLIE: (too quiet again) I said it's Santa's coat.

PINCH: Charlie, I'm really gonna need you to speak up.

CHARLIE: It's Santa's coat!

BITTER: Wait. What? (laughing) Are you really picking up laundry for the big guy? Is that what Snickety put you in charge of?

CHARLIE: (to Pinch) Look, Pinch, do you have the coat or not?

PINCH: Yeah, yeah, let me go take a look.

CHARLIE: Thank you.
Pinch walks into the back and Bitter is still snickering.

CHARLIE: What, Bitter? What is so funny?

BITTER: Nothing, nothing.

CHARLIE: Really! You think this is a stupid assignment.

BITTER: No, no. Someone's gotta do it! And it just makes perfect sense that it would be you.

CHARLIE: What's that supposed to mean?

BITTER: Think about it, Charlie. The other recruits, they're probably carving toy boats, hanging decorations, singing carols, and I guarantee you they are with others, friends, buddies, laughing and playing and have a jolly old time. And you. You're soft. You agree to anything. You have no one around you and you want so desperately to fit in that you'll do whatever Snickety says. Including running all the errands he doesn't want to do himself. And you wanna know the best part? When you all get your skills test at the end of the program, you'll fail. While all the others are crafting and baking and honing their trade...you are just a delivery elf. That's it. And that's all you'll ever be.
Bitter chuckles and moves to a gumball machine at the end of the counter as Pinch comes out from the back with a large red velvety coat.

PINCH: I think this is it. It didn't have a tag, but it was on Frosty's VIP rack.

CHARLIE: (still staring at Bitter, unable to find the words he wants) Thanks, Pinch. I'm sure that's it.
Charlie takes the coat by a sleeve and begins to storm out just as Pinch pulls it back to read a tag she's seen on the inside flap.

PINCH: Oh wait, here it...
Both have a hold of the coat and pull at the same time, and the coat rips in half. All three gasp in horror. Then Bitter breaks out into a raucous laugh.

BITTER: Oh, Chucko! I thought you might be a screw-up of an elf, but this is too good!

PINCH: Be quiet, Bitter.
BITTER: I'm sorry, Pinch. I just can't help it. Charlie just ruined Christmas. Like, for everyone!
Pinch falls quiet as she looks at the two torn halves of the coat.

CHARLIE: What are you talking about, Bitter? It's a coat. Santa's got a hundred of them. Right, Pinch?
Pinch just stares at the coat.

CHARLIE: Pinch? He's...he's got more, right? He has to have more.

PINCH: I don't think so Charlie. I remember Frosty saying something about the Christmas magic in certain items. Frosty's hat, for instance. If Frosty doesn't have his top hat on, he just sort of fades away until someone puts it back on him.

CHARLIE: Yeah, okay, but Santa is Santa. It's not like his coat is the source of his ability to make the sled fly, or to fit down chimneys, or move at ridiculously fast speeds…oh my elfness! I totally destroyed Christmas!

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