As I sit here in the solitude of my little office, here in the very center of Mount Perry, Florida, I have become acutely aware of the rapid approach of the Christmas Season by the great number of ladies walking past the window with plates piled high with Christmas cookies.
Naturally, as time goes on and the number of ladies carrying cookies increases, I began to wonder exactly what it was they carried with such pride. I stopped several of them and asked to see the cookies. I was somewhat disappointed to find they all had the same cookies on their plates. It was as if they had all used the same cookie cutter to make their cookies. The only original aspect was the kind of condiment sprinkled on the cookie and the length of time in the oven.
It didn’t make much sense to me, to exchange cookies with anyone if what you got back was exactly the same cookies you handed out, with the possible exception of cooking time and condiment.
This didn’t seem quite right to me. Christmas is a holiday season to be enjoyed by all and there should be some originality in the thinking when it comes to Christmas cookies. Obviously the very fact some of the cookies had been baked a little too long, meant the racial issue had already been addressed. The various condiments alluded to the different attire the figures could be dressed in. This left only the shape to be considered.
There were snowman cookies, reindeer cookies, sleigh cookies and a host of other shapes immortalized in the many stories of Christmas around the world. It seemed to me the shape of the cookie was the only area of improvement left.
I began to consider what other kinds of Christmas cookies could be made. Naturally the very first shape that came to mind was legend of the Mount Perry Christmas Alligator of many years past. Our beloved Christmas Alligator flies down from the snow capped peak of Mount Perry distributing toys and candy among the good little children of Mount Perry, Florida.
One year our elected officials even tried to demonstrate how the Christmas Alligator was able to fly about distributing toys and candy, by sending a real alligator with a bag of toys over the Mount Perry Ski Jump. Unfortunately, the alligator sensing what was about to happen, dug its claws into the ice at the top of the jump and reduced its velocity to a point where it simply dropped off the end off the jump.
It was quite cold at the top of the mountain on the night the town fathers planned to send the alligator on its way. The alligator froze solid on the way down, its frozen claws etching long deep trails in the ice on the jump for the entire length. It simply fell over the end of the jump and onto the many great rocks at the bottom of the jump, where its frozen body shattered.
Toys and alligator parts were scattered over a rather large area and the many children finding the parts, were convinced the Christmas Alligator would never return. It took many years for the good little children of Mount Perry, to get over this traumatic experience.
I carefully designed a cookie cutter depicting the Mount Perry Christmas Alligator. It was a thing of beauty but as I looked at it I had a vision of the entire world making Mount Perry Christmas Alligator cookies, all in the same shape with green condiments sprinkled on top. It would be worse that what we had now and it probably explains why the story of the Mount Perry Christmas Alligator never really caught on in other parts of the world.
There seemed no unique way of making an entirely new cookie, one which could be fashioned in an infinite number of different designs. I spent hours puzzling over this conundrum. Then it came to me like a bolt of lightning out of the blue. Octopus Cookies were the answer. Here was a creature able to fit its giant body through a two inch hole in a large box. Of course, the box contained a skin diving tourist, and was placed out at the three mile marker where Tentacles, the giant man eating octopus lived.
With eight legs the tentacles could even be fashioned to read. “I love you” or any other eight lettered sentiment. The large bulbous head could be filled with whipped cream or whatever else one might desire, possibly some black cream filling to imitate the octopus ink, jettisoned when the octopus is frightened.. The color combinations on the outside of an octopus are infinite.
There would be a great number of holidays and celebrations an octopus would lend itself to. Consider if you will the, Mount Perry Valentines Day Octopus. How about the, Mount Perry New Years Octopus? The options are absolutely unlimited. Even the, Mount Perry Happy Birthday Octopus, comes to mind.
The idea of Tentacles slipping silently down a chimney into someone’s house to distribute gifts would be an easy sell on a critter able to pass through a two inch opening. Now all I had to do was overcome the knowledge, Tentacles was a man eating octopus, and Mount Perry would be the new home of the, Mount Perry Christmas Octopus.
As for displacing the legend of this other Christmas icon from the North Pole, just how much faith can you put in a person who slips about in the middle of the night giving toys and candy to little children? Not to mention the fact he beats those eight tiny reindeer with his long black whip to make them pull his heavy sleigh. Then again, what else would you expect from someone with a name like Sandy Claws?
Copyright ©2001 Robert P. Herbst. All rights reserved.