Adapted from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, after the ESRI Building C fridge needed a complete clean-up (thank Fred Woods for initiating that and inspiring this)...


Every Who down in Who-ville hated The Fridge…

But the Odor who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!

The Odor loved The Fridge! The whole Fridge! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But, whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes, he stood there in front of the Fridge, hating the Whos, staring down from his vent with a sour, Odory frown at the warm lighted glass doors below in their offices. For he knew every Who down in Who-ville around was busy now, leaving old food in the Fridge.

“And they’re adding more food!” he snarled with a sneer. “Tomorrow is Clean-up Day! It’s practically here!”” Then he growled, with his Odor fingers nervously drumming, “I MUST find some way to stop The Cleaner from coming!” For, tomorrow, he knew…

All the Who girls and boys would wake bright and early. They’d munch all their food! And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast. And they’d feast! And they’d feast! And they’d feast! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast which was something the Odor couldn’t stand in the least!

And then they’d do something he liked least of all! Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, would stand close together with The Fridge Door open. They’d stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start sniffing. They’d sniff! And they’d sniff! And they’d sniff! SNIFF! SNIFF! SNIFF! And the more the Odor thought of this Who-Sniff, the more the Odor thought, “I must stop this whole thing! Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop The Cleaner from coming! But HOW?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea! THE ODOR GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

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“I know just what to do!” The Odor laughed in his throat. And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat. And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Odory trick! With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick!”

“All I need is a reindeer…” The Odor looked around. But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found. Did that stop the old Odor…? No! The Odor simply said, “If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!” So he called his dog, Max. Then he took some red thread and he tied a big horn on the top of his head.

Then he loaded some bags and some old smelly socks on a ramshackle sleigh and he hitched up old Max.

Then the Odor said, “Giddap!” And the sleigh started down toward the offices where the Whos lay a-snooze at their desks.

All the offices were dark. Quietness filled the air. All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care when he came to the first little office in Building C. “This is stop number one,” the old Odory Claus hissed and he walked to the door, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid through the door. A rather tight pinch. But, if Santa could do it, then so could the Odor. He got stuck only once, for a moment or two. Then he stuck his head out of the sliding door where the little Who electronic gizmos strewn through all their offices. “Gizmos,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”

Then he slithered and slung, with a smile most unpleasant, around the whole building, and he took every Gizmo! PDA! And Mobile-phone! IPOD! GPS! Laptop! External drive! Memory stick! And DVD! And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Odor, very nimbly, stuffed all the bags, one by one, on the sleigh!

Then he slunk to the Fridge. He took the Whos’ leftovers! He took the new food! He took the old! He cleaned out that Fridge as quick as a flash. Why, that Odor even took their last can of Who-lash!

Then he stuffed all the food in the sleigh with glee. “And NOW!” grinned the Odor, “I will take out the Fridge!”

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And the Odor grabbed the Fridge, and he started to carry when he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove. He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who! Little Brenda-Lou Who, who was not more than four-foot-two.

The Odor had been caught by this tiny Who who’d got out of office for a cup of cold water. She stared at the Odor and said, “Odory Claus, why, why are you taking our The Fridge? WHY?”

But, you know, that old Odor was so smart and so slick he thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick! “Why, my sweet little tot,” the fake Odory Claus lied, “There’s a light on this Fridge that won’t light inside. So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear. I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”

And his fib fooled Brenda-Lou. Then he patted her head and he got her a drink and he sent her to her office. And when Brenda-Lou Who went to the office with her cup, he went to the door and took the Fridge out!

Then the last thing he took was the Xerox in the hall! Then he went out the door, himself, the old liar. On their walls he left nothing but thumb-tacks and some tape.

And the one thing that he left in the office was a diskette that was even too small for a Podcast.

Then he did the same thing to the other Whos’ offices leaving only thumb-drives much too small for the other Whos’ Music-downloads!

It was quarter past dawn… all the Whos, still in the office, all the Whos, still a-snooze when he packed up his sled, packed it up with their discs! The tapes! The elastic bands! The extension cords! And the adaptors! The pens! The note pads!

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Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Gorgonio, he rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it! “Pooh-pooh to the Whos!” he was Odorish-ly humming. “They’re finding out now that no Cleaner is coming! They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do! Their mouths will hang open a minute or two. Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!

“That’s a noise,” grinned the Odor, “That I simply MUST hear!” So he paused. And the Odor put his hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow…

But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY! He stared down at Who-ville! The Odor popped his eyes! The he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, was singing! Without any stale food at all!

He HADN’T stopped The Cleaner from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Odor, with his Odor-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? It came without Wax-paper! It came without Brown-bags! It came without Saran-wrap, Tupperware or Zip-lock!” And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Odor thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe the Fridge,” he thought, “does need to be cleaned. Maybe The Fridge…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

And what happened then…? Well…in Who-ville they say that the Odor’s small heart grew three sizes that day! And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight, he whizzed with his load through the bright morning light and he brought back the Leftovers! And the Odor-eater for the Fridge! And he…

…HE HIMSELF…The Odor sprayed Deodorant!