After yesterday’s calamity, I headed over to The Pretzel Palace expecting the worst. The bakery was demolished, we hated Baker Frank’s beautiful but medicine-y cookies, and while Frank was determined to bounce back after all of this, I was pretty sure he would not be much fun to hang out with today. I put on my steel-toed boots and gloves, and headed over to help put together the pieces. Imagine my surprise when I found this at 6:00 am.
Carol: Good morning, Frank! Hey! The bakery looks amazing. How did you get this all done so quickly?
Frank: It’s Lego, Carol. Jeez. You just put it back together. Duh. The Donnersaurus Rex comes by every now and then. We’re used to his destruction. He belongs to a vet down the street – well, more like a mad scientist vet. He was working on a medical experiment and Donner ate some of the substance. Unfortunately, he sometimes grows big – kind of like the Hulk. As this is a civilized town, we will patiently wait for the vet to find the antidote. Donner is a very nice kitty when he’s little. Not to mention cute.
Carol: Oh. Of course. Well, no hard feelings, then. Who is your helper this morning?
Frank: This is Paul. He sells Christmas trees. He’ll be dropping by with some trees for us closer to Christmas Day.
Paul: Hi Carol! Well, I’ve got to get back to my Christmas trees. I’ll see you both later. And let me know what you want to do with the two big sticks you found out front. That’s so weird.
Frank: I know. I don’t know what the heck is going on. We don’t have any trees like that around here, so I have no clue how they got here.
Carol: That’s odd. Wait. Do you hear chains rattling? What IS that?
Carol: EEEK! Who are you guys? I’m calling the cops! Why are you rattling chains? Someone help! HELP!
Frank: Wait, no, Carol, I’ve heard of these two before! They live in Europe, and on December 6th, they bring treats for the good boys and girls. They also bring twigs to spank the bad kids. They rattle a chain for sound effects – to really scare the bad kids.
Sinterklaas: Yes, I am Sinterklaas and this is my helper, Black Pete. He’s shaking the chains. I’m here to administer your punishments.
Frank: Wait? Why are we being punished?
Sinterklaas: For being the Christmas Bandit and Joy. You have been very bad!
Black Pete started to shake the chains and cackle.
Carol: Wait! NO! That’s not us! The Christmas Bandit* is in jail. And Joy took a plea bargain. She’s free, but goes to visit The Christmas Bandit from time to time. Look!
Black Pete put down the chains. “Crap. We’re not beating these two, are we?” He let out a big disappointed sigh.
Sinterklaas: Oh dear. I’m so sorry. I seem to have confused you with the wrong people. I’m awfully sorry about this. Also, I’m not quite sure what I’m doing in North America. On google maps, this bakery looked like it was in the Swiss Alps. And I was pretty sure we made a wrong turn at Banff.
Carol: Aren’t you here a day early? I thought you visit on the 6th?
Sinterklaas: It is the 6th…where I come from. You know, the International Date Line?
Carol: Oh. Right. Of course.
Sinterklaas: Well, I’m so sorry to have scared you like this. We won’t be hitting you today. Instead, I’ve got special treats for you! Chocolate letters! One for all of you!
Carol: Hey Mike! Oscar! Donner! Sinterklaas and Black Pete brought us treats! Huzzah!
Sinterklaas: I brought dark chocolate for Frank and Mike and milk for Carol and the kitties. I hope you like them.
All of us at once: Hooray! Thank you Sinterklaas! Thank you Black Pete!
Frank: Oh, Sinterklaas! I’m so happy you visited us. I have something for you, too. I was up early this morning and made something. Weird. It was like I somehow knew you would be here.
Frank stepped into the bakery and brought out…
…a fresh marzipan pig.
Sinterklaas: Ich habe Schwein gehabt! I have a pig! I am so lucky to have a pig! This is very nice. Thank you so very much, Frank. Black Pete and I will enjoy our lucky marzipan pig on the long trip back to Europe.
Sinterklaas: Carol, would you mind taking a photo of us to show my friends back home? They’ll never believe I got a lucky pig from you!
Carol: No problem.
Carol: Here you go, Sinterklaas. Have a safe journey home!
And with that, the European duo headed back to their Motherland.
*Just in case this is your first year with the Advent story, The Christmas Bandit was last year’s story. He & Joy were very, very bad.