Shelf Elf and Its Evil Spawn

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It had to happen, folks. We brought this on ourselves. Since the Advent advent of the famed Elf on the Shelf (and its Hannukah cousin, the Mensch on the Bench), a whole twisted family tree of diminutive, grinning-yet-lifeless behavior Nazis has sprung up. As a public service, we offer this guide so you’ll be prepared and know what that creepy thing in the corner of your eye is.

The Dude in the Nude. This shocking fellow hangs out (yyyyeesh) in your closet as a potently negative reminder to dress with a little restraint. Often found leering near the yoga tights you probably should have replaced last year.

The Guy on the Fly. When you see him, he’s always leaving. Master at escaping responsibility, confrontation, intimacy (except on his schedule). He’ll call you.

The Bro in the Know. Except he’s not telling. Craves the aura of being a step or two ahead and letting everyone know he is. Profoundly annoying, until you realize the depth of his “secret” is that he knows the valet parking guys at the restaurants where all the key Christmas parties will be.

The Teacher Who’s a Creature. Poses as a golf instructor, but just likes to reach around women’s waists a lot. Won’t help you with your swing, but will offer to teach you to swing.

The Fellow Who’s Mellow. Or boring. Depends on your point of view.

The Chap Full of Crap. Common around the bar at holiday parties. Knows a lot about nothing and is happy to tell you. Loudly.

New mutations crop up daily, so be on your guard against these holiday cheer-killers. (However, reports of a Blogger Who’s a Mind-Clogger remain unconfirmed.)

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