(2018-12-03) Mindless Elf Indulgence
Xavier, Prisha, Cassidy, and Vyv run into each other at a snow sculpture contest downtown. But is it art?

The snow has died down for the moment, and the stars twinkle over head, muted only a little by the street lights. The formal lighting of the lights has not yet happened, but the tree itself has been erected, and the dimmed lights can be seen strung around it. Tonight, though, there's a small event going on - the University Art Department is sponsoring a snow sculpture contest! Several teams can be seen to be working feverishly on their creations, dotted around the square. There are some food stalls from local restaurants, and a few trucks, selling hot cider, roasted nuts, hot cocoa, and various foodstuffs. Xavier is here, although from the puzzled expression on his bruised face, it doesn't look like it's on purpose. He's properly besuited, with a hat pulled down over his ears, gloves, and a warm wool overcoat against the chill. Since he IS here, he starts moving towards the hubbub, curiously.

Hidden beneath layers of clothing, dark eyes peering out from behind large glasses between scarf and beanie, is Prisha. Still getting used to this cold! She has a food stall here, not far from her Indian restaurant, but leaves it in the capable hands of staff so she roam around looking at the various scupltures. A hot chocolate clutched tight in her icy, even though gloved, fingers. She stops to peer at one of the works; it looks like Christmas elves after reading the kamasutra - that can't be right.

Vyv emerges from the Station House, pulling on his second glove and speaking over his shoulder to a companion. "—reasonable, but I think Liane can do better. We'll have to keep an eye on anything new they try." He's also properly besuited, in a chocolate-brown three-piece suit with a dark teal pindot shirt, and when his camel overcoat swings open enough for it to show, a peacock-feather patterned silk pocket square in the breast pocket. He'll probably want to fasten things soon, in this weather. A scarf's hanging around his neck, but hats are still not a necessity he's willing to accept, apparently.
He pauses, a few steps out the door, to survey the scene. "Do we know what's going on here?" he asks, which one might assume defines 'we' as 'you', under the circumstances, and he immediately starts toward the familiar (and properly attired) figure he spots observing.

Cassidy is a half step behind and to the right of her boss, wrapped up in a pale blue wool coat. Black tights and ankle boots are visible below the coat's hem, but whatever other fashionable attire she is wearing is hidden under coat, scarf, and gloves. Her ever-present tablet is tucked under one arm securely. "I'll be sure to check in with Liane daily until you're satisfied with her progress, sir," she notes to Vyv. She stops beside him as he looks at the chaos in the square. ""Snow sculpture contest, I believe. It was in the paper this morning. Is that Mister Westin over there?" she gestures with her free hand towards the man.

Xavier pauses near Prisha, as taken with the emerging sculpture as she is. His head tilts slightly one way, then more the other way, like he's trying to rearrange the shapes in a less…suggestive way. "Can you arrest a sculpture for indecent exposure? Or corrupting a minor?" he muses to the bundled up figure next to him, and never mind that he doesn't know the woman from Adam.

One of the sculptors looks up and frowns at them. "It is a reasoned critique of the prostitution of religious iconography for the purposes of commercialized capitalism," he says, with a huff. His partner grins. "And an excuse to sculpt elf wang and get away with it," he says, cheerfully. The other sculptor rolls his eyes, but doesn't disagree.

"Well, can't fault either of those bits of reasoning," Xavier says, with a brief smile. He looks around, and seeing Vyv and Cassidy, raises a hand in greeting and invitation.

Prisha has to pull her scarf down a little to reply to Xavier. "Didn't they put a fig leaf on the statue of David because it was too racy?" Her eyes go a little wider at the mention of elf wang and she studies the sculpture a little more. "Hmmm…glad I don't date elves then. And I wouldn't worry about miners. They're already corrupt." She's only teasing, offering her gloved hand to the friendly stranger. "Prisha Patel. Magic of India." A pause. "Not a boast, the name of the restaurant over there I own." A gesture towards said place before smiling at the sculptors. "I hope it doesn't melt before your message is spread."

"That is, indeed, Mr. Westin," Vyv confirms to Cassidy, continuing on his path toward the man in question, "You can tell by the way he's the only other person around with a decent coat." Also by some other things, presumably. He lifts a hand in response to the man's, giving him a small smile as they approach, and then gets around to fastening his own coat, the scarf positioned both decoratively and warmly in the neckline.
"Good evening, Xavier," he greets once he's close enough not to have to raise his voice, and takes a moment to survey that nearest sculpture, lifting a brow as the contours resolve. "I know Christmas elves are known for their packages, but I can't say I'd ever interpreted it quite like that." At least the students can be proud of their representative skills. "I can't wait to see what sorts of toys they've been building."

Cassidy follows along with her boss, offering Xavier and Prisha a faint smile and a nod of her head in greeting. Her eyes sweep over the sculpture, then her eyes almost roll out of her head. Outwardly at least. Inwardly she's snickering like a 12-year old, but that wouldn't be good for Vyv to see. "I see we clearly need to donate more towards the arts," she quips.

Xavier takes the offered hand with a brief, firm shake and a warm smile. "Xavier Westin. And, ah! I saw the notice of that place opening; I was planning to go there at the earliest convenience - I have been dying for a decent goat curry." The smile is turned with equal warmth as Vyv and Cassidy approach. "Good evening, Vyv. Have you met Miss Patel? Miss Patel, Vyv Vydal, also in the business of delicious food, I believe." His gaze on Cassidy is more curious. "And you…you were the Councilwoman's assistant at the charity ball, weren't you? How are you doing?"

The sculptors eye this unexpected popularity with hope. One of them pipes up, "You can cast your votes for your favorite piece over there," he waves at one of the booths. "The winning sculpture gets to stay in the Town Square until the New Year!"

"Or until someone knocks it down," the other sculptor replies, a little more cynically.

"Then you should definitely drop by. Goat curry is on the menu. Plenty of goat suppliers around this town too. Not used to that" Prisha smiles before a nod of greeting as she is being introduced. "You are a chef?" she asks the man who is much too well dressed to be a mere cook.
A little laugh for the sculptors. "I really don't think it will last until the New Year but I am sure you will get your message out. I think there's a news crew around. You wouldn't want me to vote without seeing the others, would you? Though yours does have a…large…headstart on the rest."

"She was," Vyv confirms, "She's mine, now." And he sounds quite pleased about it, too. He lets her answer how she's doing for herself, at least, just giving her remark a slightly amused look and turning to incline his head slightly to Prisha. "How do you do, Miss Patel. And this is my assistant, Cassidy Carr." A tiny pause, studying what he can see of the woman between beanie and scarf, and a flicker of a glance toward the 'Magic of India' sign nearby, before he says, "You were at the rodeo, weren't you? With a stand? I'm a patissier, yes; my shop's over at Smelter and University. Though we're just short of opening." A glance over the other sculptures, and he muses, "I'm a little worried what we might find Santa doing. …we should clearly check."

"I was, Mister Westin. Good memory. However, I have since received and accepted a generous offer from Chef Vydal to be his personal assistant. Needless to say, I am doing quite well." Cassidy smiles in amusement at her own good fortune, her non-accent crisp in the cold night air. "Miss Patel, good to meet you. Did I hear correctly, Mister Westin, that you will be riding a mechanical bull in the near future?" she asks curiously.

Xavier places a hand over his heart at Prisha's assurance. "Be still my heart. If it's delicious, you'll have at least one regular, I promise."

The sculptors eye the four of them a bit dubiously at the commentary, although one does say, "We chose not to do Santa. He glorifies breaking and entering and the invasion of children's privacy, not to mention a punishment-based system of child brainwashing info conformity." His partner pipes up, laconically, "And the beard is actually really hard to do in snow." When the first sculptor nudges him sharply, he just shrugs, and says, "You're the one who said it first."

Xavier gives them a bemused look, then shakes his head and turns his attention to Vyv and Cassidy. He laughs. "Oh dear. Yes, I believe I have agreed to do such a thing. I'm not sure 'riding' is the proper word, rather than 'sit briefly upon before being thrown violently clear', but I can give it a good try."

"Ms Carr, nice to meet you too" Prisha smiles, pulling down the scarf a little more so people can acutally see it. And a fog of breath with every word. "Yes, I was at the rodeo" she nods to Vyv. "Quite an interesting event, and an interesting crowd. I lost count of how many times I had to explain it was not Native American food" she smirks, "But I like to think it was a good advertisement. Hmm…should we pledge not to compete over desserts?" Prisha rummages around to find a flyer and hand it over to Vyv…or Cassidy if instructed. "Call me when you open, I'd love to sample your wares." A dark eyebrow arches in Xavier's direction. "I only do delicious" she deadpans before an amused snort. "Mechanical bull riding? Oh, I need to know where this is."
Those sculptors keep getting Prisha's attention. "I thought that was the kind of thing you were protesting? You should definitely have had Santa. Judging by the rest of your work, probably receiving a 'gift' in a place he shouldn't."

"Don't be silly," Vyv says crisply to the first sculptor, "It's a reward-based system. One gets presents for behaving. Failing to gain a reward for failing to acceptably perform a task isn't a punishment; that sort of thinking just leads to fit-thowing drunken fratboys on the Supreme Court." He glances to the elf again and adds, "In any case, there's certainly a population that'd be quite on board with glorifying handsome bearded older men bearing gifts for good boys and girls." The upward turn at one corner of his mouth is small, but there.
"Anyway," he says, turning his attention back to Prisha — and, yes, there's a clear assumption Cassidy will handle the paper issue — "that seems like a fair enough pledge. And I'll steer clear of offering goat curries, into the bargain."

"I think that will be delightful to watch, Mister Westin. Perhaps you should make a bet with Mister Malone, for the benefit of a charity, as to who lasts the longest?" ON THE BULL! Cassidy smiles wider. "Perhaps Chef Vydal could match the amount. It would be a wonderful piece of good publicity for all involved." She looks to Vyv, "And bring notice of the upcoming opening as well." The petite blonde takes the paper from Prisha and folds it neatly before tucking it away inside the cover of her tablet. She's on it!

"It's a place called the Alibi," Xavier tells Prisha. "Not exactly cosmopolitan, perhaps, but friendly enough. I do recommend it, so long as you're not expecting high culture." As Vyv and Prisha start to engage the political merits of the work, or omissions thereof, he clears his throat. "Perhaps we should let other art lovers explore this particular piece, and check out the other sculptures?" A gesture to the next group down the line. To Cassidy, he says, "Mister Malone and I were considering making a bit of a bet, but I'm not sure how I feel about making it that public. For one, neither of us are remotely publically famous enough for people to care how long we ride a mechanical bull. But a contest of that sort might draw some competition from the locals. I'd be willing to put a prize to the winner's chosen charity - maybe Chef Vydal would be interested in that, as well?" A look towards Vyv - Xavier clearly being more comfortable being the money behind such things, rather than the star of them.

Prisha laughs at Vyv's offer. "Fair enough, I don't do fancy cakes, and you don't do goat curry tarts" she says with a slight bow of her head. "Alibi? I shall have to check it out. But for now, I have work to do. One cannot study art all night, not when you have a staff member frantically waving at you." A nod to her stall where such a thing is happening. "It was lovely to meet you all. Who thought that elf wang would bring such interesting company. Good night to you all." Then she will trudge off through the snow to find out what disaster has happened now.

Vyv clicks his tongue softly at Xavier's suggestion they move on, murmuring, "I was just starting to have fun." But complaint aside, he starts strolling along to the next display, pausing briefly when Prisha takes her leave. "Good luck!" he says, with a sincerity born of Having to Deal with Frantic Employees, before moving on. "…that reminds me, Cassidy, don't ride Liane /too/ hard on the tea, she does fluster easily." He stops at the next sculpture, head tilting slightly as he tries to sort out what it is. So far, it looks kind of like a walrus in sunglasses. "I do still think it would be more interesting if you two bet on it, though it ought to be interesting regardless. If you want to do a contest thing like that, though… hm, that might be doable. Though will it still fulfil the conditions of your original bets?"

Cassidy follows the pair of gentlemen, giving Prisha another smile and nod as she departs. She's like Vyv's stylish little shadow, keeping just near enough to be of assistance if he needs her, without crowding him. "I'll make a note to be gentle with Liane, sir," she promises. She tries to decipher the next sculpture as well, pursing her lips as she tries to parse what she's seeing.

Xavier chuckles. "I wasn't talking about blending the two. I'm not particularly attached even to the idea of making riding a bull a competition between myself and Mister Malone - I simply wish to discharge my agreement without breaking something." He grimaces, and says, more quietly, "I never expected so many people to know about it, much less care." Then, more conversationally, "But if people care about such things, then why not take advantage of it? For a good cause, of course." He pauses to peer at the sculpture, clearly as confused by it as the others. The sculptor doesn't prove much help, either. When they approach, he puts the snow between them and himself, and mumbles something that might be a greeting, or might be just him talking to himself.
Xavier's phone goes off. He picks it out of his coat pocket, and frowns at it. "Hm. I fear I should be taking that. Unfortunate time zones." A smile at them. "But it was a pleasure to speak to you both again. I look forward to sampling the delights of your shop, when it opens, Vyv." He waves, then wanders off to answer the call.

Vyv lifts a hand in farewell to Xavier, watching him go for a few moments before he turns study the sculpture again. A shake of his head, and he moves on again. "I'm surprised he's surprised," he says, "People are always going to be interested in watching people who seem unsuited to things do them. There are entire television genres devoted to that fact." He stops in front of the next sculpture, looking it over, but that first one is a lot for the others to live up to. "How have you been getting on lately? Outside of work, that is, I know the answer for that."

"Have a good evening, Mister Westin," Cassidy says in farewell to Xavier. She tucks her free hand into her coat pocket for an added layer of warmth as she strolls with her boss. "I think I have my loft set up to my satisfaction. You're welcome to use it for meetings until the shop is open of course, sir. I think it's trendy yet industrial enough for that."

"I'm sure it is," Vyv says, glancing over to her again. Certainly there's no question whether it would be presentable and tidy. "Thank you. I wouldn't want to overly invade your space, of course." Which isn't entirely a demurral, one might note. "Where did you choose, anyway? And what have you done with it?"

"Top floor corner unit at the Biscuit Lofts. It came with a few pieces that incorporated elements of the old factory's equipment. Quite the conversation pieces, those," Cassidy notes. "Other than that it's mostly modern fixtures with some antique items and unfinished wood furnishings for that more homey feel. It's well balanced, I think."

"You do have rather good taste," Vyv says, remarkably idly for what's definitely fairly high on his compliment scale, and eyes the sculpture again. And visibly getting bored with it, even if one didn't notice the glance back toward the first sculpture, with its artiste. A faint sigh as he walks to the next one. "Biscuit Lofts… appropriate name. That's the one down the street from the shop, isn't it? Convenient. You'll have to show it off to me sometime."

"Of course, sir, you're welcome anytime. If you'd like to use it for tomorrow's meeting with the gift box supplier, you're more than welcome to," Cassidy offers. She seems pleased at his compliment, with just a mental reminder to hide the gaming consoles before he is there.

"I think I might vote for elves in flagrante," Vyv says, as apparently the art students working on the next one are far less avant garde than the first set; they HAVE plumped for Santa, but he's simply handing a child a gift. It's impressively done, so far, but if there's a deeper message it's not currently coming across. Not to him, at any rate.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License