Exiting my vehicle onto the craft superstore parking lot, I beheld a sight which gave my inner writer a thrill. The right and left door guardians of the red kettle couldn’t be more diverse. Left door ringer was singing Jingle Bells at the top of oh his lungs. No, not the song, just Jingle Bells, over and over with different cadence, inflection, notes and volume on each repetition and fierce bell ringing to accompany his solo. I kept my distance and headed to the right door which was manned by a tall, bear of a man, standing completely silent with barely a flicker of his bell to indicate he wasn’t a blow-up version of a lawn ornament.
As I passed Grizzly Adams he spoke. “Do you want to hear a joke?”
I hesitated, wondering if a Salvation Army Bell ringer would dare tell an off color joke. I was so nervous; I only recall the punch line, “Snowman.”
I laughed appropriately and continued on into the store. Since jubilant kettle man was still singing and ringing when I left the store, I again chose right hand red kettle guy. Once again he said, “Do you want to hear a joke.”
“I already heard it on the way in,” I replied.
“No, this is a different one. Are you ready?”
Why does Santa have three gardens at the North Pole?”
“I don’t know.”
“So he can hoe, hoe, hoe.” He replied.
“That’s a good one.” I said as I headed to my car, afraid I would get his entire standup routine if I lingered.
Back in my car, I laughed thinking Charles Dickens couldn’t make up these characters even if he snorted three lines of coke before sitting down to pen a “A Christmas Carol”.
Merry Christmas and God bless us everyone.