So last Friday my sister and I went Christmas shopping downtown. I have a habit of attempting to encourage reading by buying everyone books (which has been working, as far as I know, with the kids I babysit) and as such resulted in me leaving Borders with such a heavy bag that, after hauling it around for about three hours, left me with sore trapezium. Good 'ole trapezium. They're very useful.
After hiding out in an expensive clothing store just because it was warm, accidentally ripping out my earrings while trying on a top (I got my ears pierced about two months back and no one ever tells you about the weeks and weeks of difficulties that follow the initial 4-6 week cleaning-leaving-the-earrings-in thing) and getting shouted at by a tarot card reader ("Hey - lady in the green with the long hair! Get back here!") who apparently really wanted to read my future, my sister and I slipped into Marini's - the lovely chocolate and candy shop to get fat. We went all out and even split a piece of chocolate cake.
And you'll never believe who we saw in the store. SANTA! He was sitting there in a green chair with a sign on it that read "reserved for Santa." I know that the Santas in department stores aren't the "real" Santa, but you never know where he might turn up, and I was curious if this could be the really real Santa. So I asked him if I could take his picture. He was so nice about it that I asked if I could be in it with him. He said of course. As I tried to crouch beside him he patted his knee, insisting that I sit on his lap. I should have seen it coming. But this was a thin old man and I'm about 135 lbs - I figured I'd snap his femur, but alas. My sister took the picture then he eagerly insisted that I take one of her next. Just when we thought we were getting away he said, "And now let's get some nice person to take on of BOTH of you!" We tried to explain that it was fine, but he leapt up and snagged some random bum-like man off the street and asked him to take our picture.
Of course, this was in front of the store window so several passerby were stopping to catch a glimpse of the pimping Santa, since it took ages for the random guy off the street to figure out how to take the picture. You'll note our pained smiles. At least mothers used us "big kids" taking our picture with Santa as encouragement for their children and all of the sudden Santa was inundated with kids.
Each step we took away from the store brought more laughter. We wound up so distracted by the weirdness of what had just happened that we started heading in the wrong direction and had to power-walk past the store window again, refusing to look in at the Big Man. "He wasn't the real Santa!" my sister noted. "He had these little fake black things covering his shoes to look like boots!" As if we didn't already know - he was an impostor!
I think the real Santa was the Santa I saw riding by on a bike in a Hawaiian shirt and Santa hat. He probably was taking a break at our seaside city before he had to get back to work.
When we got home and looked at the pictures Alex was being driven crazy trying to figure out who that "Santa" reminded her of... I thought he looked familiar, too... and then it hit her. It makes perfect sense. Harry from Harry and the Hendersons. The resemblance is uncanny.
Happy Christmas Eve Eve!