Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Save the Sugar-Plum Fairy!

St Charles, Missouri is the town which  fired the Sugar-Plum Fairy. 
The Sugar-Plum Fairy,  like all fairies, is a naturally upbeat and ebullient character. Or she was. Now she's a tearful little fairy, stripped of her wings.
Why? because, the employers of all upbeat and ebullient fairies, who seem to mostly be mean and grumbly trolls and ogres, are extremely suspicious of effervescence and enthusiasm, given that a grumbly troll or ogre can rarely attain even a faint upturn of the lips, let alone a smile.
So suspicious, that they make their fairies pee into a cup, and hand their fizzy yellow fluids to Ogrelab, for drug testing.

Laura Coppinger has played the fairy for the last six years,  as part of a group of characters who add fun and magic to the city's centre during the run-up to christmas. As such, for a few weeks of each year, she's a city employee. And city employee applicants, have, it seems, to be drug-screened.
By submitting a urine sample with the grinch listening to her tinkle.
And this year, she filled her cup, and, as we all do when we've peed in the porcelain bowl, she flushed.
Oh dear. Flushing is forbidden. (This is because the sample provider might just use some flush water to dilute the sample). Therefore her sample was rejected.

Laura was told she'd have to stay until she could provide another cupful of warm pee, ("Note: The collector should also tell the employee that the temperature of the specimen is a critical factor and that the employee should bring the specimen to the collector as soon as possible after urination. The collector should inform the employee that if it is longer than 4 minutes from the time the employee urinates into the container and the collector takes the specimen temperature, the potential exists that the specimen may be out of range and an observed collection may be required.")
An observed collection!!!!
She had another job interview to go to that afternoon. So, frustrated at the delay, she muttered a naughty word.
And the fairy code that the city council uses says “Christmas characters don’t know naughty words".
Surely, the fairy code applies only when on duty, interacting with townsfolk and shoppers, whilst in character?
(Doesn't Snow White, for instance, ever get a break, where she dares fart?)
Laura said a bad word. In the ladies room with only one other person present, that person being a town employee charged with conducting urine collection on city employees, that person told her she need not bother waiting, because swearing precludes fairyhood. Snip. Off with your wings, disgraced mortal.

Three separate campaign pages have been created on Facebook: Save the Sugar Plum Fairy, Bring Back the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Save the Sugar Plum Fairy on Main Street. More than a thousand people have added their support to the effort.

Many of the businesses have spoken out in her favour, asking that the fairy be reinstated, but the mayor says the decision stands.
I, for one, shall be boycotting St Charles Missouri this christmas, and I promise not to vote for the current Mayor in any upcoming election.

Footnote: Because I was wondering why flushing is taboo, I googled  drug test procedure, and found out far more than I ever needed to know. Did you know there are companies which sell 'synthetic urine' and strap-on bladders in which to conceal it?
Oh yes. they do... And I found the (no doubt apocryphal) story of the guy who was told that drugtests were being held the day after he'd smoked a heap of weed, so he asked his girlfriend to help him out with a ziplock baggie of clean pee that he could hide in his pants. "good news", the drugtester quips, "You're clean of drugs, and congratulations... You're pregnant!"

The Handbook on Pee-Testing, as used by the United States Department of Transportation.

Via Arbroath.


  1. The pee-collecting employee should be bombarded with plenty of irate emails. Find his/her facebook page, twitter account, blog and spam him/her to death. This is what happens when PC goes overboard, and the 'little man' is given too much power to wield.

    Poor Laura.

  2. This was very interesting. A lot of things I didn't know. I didn't know there was a St. Charles, or that it did Christmas. Cool. Not so cool for the fairy.

  3. RDG: You know me, I'm mostly very tolerant. The pee-collecting employee, well, I'm sure you didn't click on the link and read the procedude for pee-collectors, because you'd have known the gender requirements... the pee-collector for a female employee must be female.
    Sheesh, it's humiliating enough to have to pee into a cup, already.
    Anyways, that person was 'just doing her job'. What peed me off about all this was the fact that it's the first time the actors employed for the christmas retail season had had to undergo this ritual humiliation, which seems a pointless activity.
    It would be interesting if everybody in, for instance the u.s. senate had to do it too....

    And if she'd turned up a positive for hard drugs, then okay, no employment.
    But all she did was get pissed at a pissy piss-collector who was screwing up her day. No misbehaviour in public, and a six year record of doing the job well.
    Fiuckwits. And mean ones too.

  4. Max: I never knew there was a St Charles City either. I looked it up on google earth. Like so many 'cities' in the U.S., it hardly deserves the description. We've had this discussion before, in British-speak, a city is a place of some consequence, usually, though not quite always, boasting a cathedral...

    Whereas in the U.S., it seems three houses and a gas-station can call itself a city if it wants to.
    St Charles is, in fact, subsumed into the north-west suburbs of St Louis.

    It's done itself no favours by ousting the fairy. Or maybe.... maybe lots more out-of towners will visit just to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe the Mayor's a cunning p.r. genius?

  5. Hey now . . . St. Charles was the first capital of my fair state, but no longer. They made tanks during the "great" war.
    But it always was kind of an anal place as I recall.

  6. Hey Goatman!; my email just pinged...
    St Charles was once the big deal? And now it's down to sacking fairies? How the mighty are fallen.

    Every little thing, I just love learning new snippets of information. A couple of weeks back I'd never heard of St Charles, now I know it made tanks. "Tanksgiving"?

    Before long, I expect to be an honorary citizen!


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