... 8 like the stand of electronics fair where my gnomes had sent me with a precise list of materials to buy.
The demands of radio-controlled models were almost increased tenfold that year. Time was running out and so it was necessary to recover the mechanisms and in a hurry.
But I was going to lose my head at that exhibition center. I only had the number of the stand, but the pavilion? After asking here and there, I was convinced that the right pavilion was the number 36. Now I had to find the stand number 8. All in all it was easier than I thought! As I entered I saw it immediately. The strange thing was that the close number was 99!!
"Dunno! - I thought - what a strange way to number!"
I was going to give my list to a very kind salesman ... but ... ohib˛ ... where was it? In the heat of asking where it was my pavilion I had lost my shopping list somewhere, surely. But ... don 't worry, kids! ... I am Santa Claus, am I not? So I began rattling off a series of numbers to a shocked young man. One after the other. He was forced to interrupt me and make me repeat all numbers while he was taking notes on his computer.
At that point he asked confirmation of the alphanumeric code. Uhhh ... I didn't know that code, at all. My friend, the gnome Cap, had written the alphanumeric code that morning and I had written the rest. My photo-magic memory could not retrieve it. But that clever clerk knew his business, certainly. He couldn't be wrong. I said yes.
While I was waiting for him to return with my order, my attention was attracted by the number of the close stand. I had read 99 a few minutes before. And now the number was 9. 9? I looked around, puzzled. By chance had I seen double? Excluded! Santa Claus can not misfire. So what about?
It was at that point that I saw him. A child with a mischievous expression was targeting the close stand. Guess what he was trying to hit ... Its number, of course. It was also good! A few shots were enough for him to hit the target and bring down one of the metal numbers. And of course, in the complete indifference for the general confusion.
I looked better the number of my stand. That kid had already brought down a number? Uhhh ... it seemed so! That was not 8 but two zeros together, hanging.
Meanwhile, the salesman had returned with a series of microprocessors and not with the microchips that I had requested. I failed the stand! It was the number ... 00, probably 100 and not 8. And now?
I generally don't get angry. Ever. It 's against my nature. But in that moment the hairs of my beard began curling. Bad sign. Oh, I was not angry with that cheeky youngster but with her parents. Where were they? A few seconds were enough for my polar sixth sense to identify them, not far from my stand. I looked back at the breaker boy and photographed the scene.
He was near a bench where there was a big bag of chips in plain sight and a backpack. But can two normal parents leave a small child alone? Even for a short time, entrusting him to a bag of chips? Seeing the belly of that kid I thought that kind of strategy was quite normal for them.
A lesson was needed. Certainly not for that kid, don't worry children! For both parents, of course! It was easy for me to make him vanish. In other words remove him out of the sight of their parents. Not for much time. But those few minutes were enough to let them very anxious when they returned to the bench ...
It was even easier to make him reappear with his little hands full of my microprocessors, followed by an intransigent salesman who claimed their immediate payment. The hairs of my beard were back to normal. I could finally find my stand number 8.
What will Santa bring to that kid on Christmas night? Be patient until December 25 ...
By the way, we are Italians, to translate better the stories. Thank you :))