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Journey to the Website Warlock

Have you ever thought about how the Naughty and Nice List is created? Each December, thousands of children count on that list to be correct (and some hope it isn’t). It is a big responsibility, full of careful calculations, data collection and a bit of North Pole magic too.

The snowmen in charge of the NNL Department (Naughty & Nice List) use a special computer program, called PolarExpressionEngine, to process and store the information. It is a powerful program, capable of holding information regarding millions of children’s behavior, both good and bad.

One snowy December not too long ago, that special program froze, and that is where our story begins…

It was a cold December day way up at the North Pole, and Flurry the Snowman was putting the finishing touches on the Naughty and Nice List. All of the other snowmen from NNL had already gone to the Toy Department for the Cookies and Cocoa meeting. But with only 1 week till Christmas, Santa would be expecting the completed list any moment, so Flurry had to hurry.

Santa always needs at least four days with the list to ensure it is checked once for accuracy, and twice for good measure. How awful it would be to mistakenly give a good child a lump of coal!

Flurry was entering the last of the information from Eastern Iowa into PolarExpressionEngine, when all of the sudden the page froze. Normally this wasn’t anything to worry about; it just required some help from the IT department: a hard refresh or computer restart. But Flurry didn’t have time to call IT, so he clicked the top-hat shaped restart button on the computer monitor hoping to bring the program back to life.

After what felt like hours, the monitor hummed on and Flurry eagerly, and repeatedly, clicked the PolarExpressionEngine icon so he could finish his work. But when the program finally opened, the page was white and the snowflake cursor sat swirling in the middle of the screen over and over and over again.

Generally the “snowflake of doom” (as the NNL had nicknamed it) only lasted a few minutes, although Flurry was trying not to think of the horror stories he’d heard about the computer crash of ’13. But this was different. The computer was working fine; it was PolarExpressionEngine that wasn’t responding.

In a panic, Flurry ran to the Cookies and Cocoa meeting, hoping one of the other NNL snowmen would know what to do. The Toy Department was on the other side of the workshop, so Flurry was dripping icicles when he finally arrived.

Flurry didn’t want the word to get out that the Naughty and Nice List still wasn’t finished, or the possibility of it not being finished in time, so he pulled aside the oldest member of the NNL Department, Chilly the Snowman, hoping for an answer.

Chilly told Flurry the exact news he didn’t want to hear. The PolarExpressionEngine program was one of a kind and only its creator, The Website Warlock, could truly fix it. Chilly went on to explain The Website Warlock lived in a far away ice cave, and to find that ice cave Flurry would have to follow a special star called the Terro-star, a small four-pointed star in the western sky.  

Not knowing where he was going, or how long he would be gone, Flurry decided he needed some help emotionally and technically. He explained to his IT friend, Jingle the Elf, what had happened to PolarExpressionEngine and the secret mission required to fix it.

Jingle was both delighted and afraid by the mission. Where were they going, and how would they get there? How long would it take? And would they get back in time? But the knowledge gained from the Website Warlock would make him Head IT Elf for sure, so he agreed to help.

Flurry and Jingle snuck out of the Cookies and Cocoa meeting through the door farthest away from Santa. He definitely couldn’t know where they were going!

Once outside, the cold North Pole air filled them with excitement and adrenaline. It was getting dark, and the stars were shining through the dusky sunset. Flurry spotted a small four-pointed star way off in the western sky. It was the Terro-star Chilly had described, and they were off… 

Tune in next week to see where this wintery journey takes Flurry and Jingle!