On my way home from work today I had to run a few errands. Nothing major, just a stop to get a new car battery followed by visits to the Post Office and video store. The more interesting experience was in the Post Office.
I got in line to mail a CD or two to a friend. While I was waiting, I got acquainted with the talkative little girl in front of me in line. Her mom was looking a bit weary, so I got down listened to the little girl as she regaled me with her favorite stories of Christmas, of which she probably remembered no more than three (Christmas's that is...I'd guess that she was five years old, if that).
Her favorite story was about the reindeer with the luminescent proboscis and his various supporters and detractors. The detractor she had the biggest problem with, or at least was the most vocal about, was Olive. No, she didn't like Olive at all.
At this point I noticed confused amusement on the faces of several other folks in line.
Yes, Olive certainly was mean, wasn't she? She didn't act at all like a friend or classmate should. She should be sent to "time out" or possibly even grounded (I almost snickered at her unintentional pun*, but held it back).
Concern about the little girl and what types of things she was being taught seemed to be becoming etched on the faces of those others in line. Even her beleaguered mother looked a little confused.
But I was catching on. I just had to remember how to think like a child for a few minutes.
The little girl talked about the eight sleigh-toting reindeer for a moment, and even mentioned how glad she was that Santa had been nice to Rudoph (she pronounced it "RUDE-off" - no "l"**). Still, she wasn't very happy about that Olive.
It became to much for the guy behind me in line. He asked me in a loud whisper "Who the heck*** is Olive?"
"Oh, you know," I said. "Olive. The other reindeer. Who used to laugh and call him names."
I think there were some folks in pain trying not to laugh at my new little friend on that one.
* You know, "grounded"? Flying reindeer?
** No pun intended, but I'll take it.
*** Not the exact word he used.