12/18/2006

This Train Is Bound For Glory

When I'm sitting across from someone who I might best describe as a train friend, the last thing I want to hear is a clanging statement like ‘I have something for you’.
Two nights ago, the guy sitting across from me on the ride home smiled and said just that.  He wasn't a random guy touretting on me or anything, just someone I see often enough to make small talk with.

I have something for you. As I sat there with a wan smile threatening to slide off my face, he reached into his briefcase and pulled out a little cellophane Christmas bag. I thought you might like this he said, and handed it over.

Now, because everyone has such awful taste, I’m not always the best judge of whether someone is being sincere with a gift or not. I can usually manage to not laugh in their faces though and this is something I'm proud of because it's really really hard.

Open it! he urged. As I freed it from it’s tiny prison, I was relieved to hear him say Isn’t it hideous? I won it at a Christmas lunch thing at work. What am I supposed to do with something like that? I don’t celebrate Christmas, I'm Jewish for God's sake.

I told him it didn't have to be specifically tied to Christmas so much as winter but he insisted I take it home. I told him I would be checking with my priest on the policy about accepting Christmas gifts from Jewish people and get back to him.

As you can see, it has a lovely red glow. It takes batteries to perform this magic. What you cannot see is how absolutely cheap and horrid it really is up close. Shortly after this photo was taken, something very bad may have happened to it.

Last night, I saw my benefactor on the train again and he asked So how did things go with that angel?

Angel? I asked.

Yeah, you know the plastic angel I gave you?

I told him he had bigger problems than I thought if he figured old Frosty for an angel. It was a snowman I told him.


No, was it
?

Yes, it was.

Well, how am I supposed to know all this stuff? I don't celebrate Christmas.

I let him know that snowmen are generally considered secular. Then I told him I would be switching cars tomorrow night. I'm afraid some spiritual journeys are meant to be taken alone.

32 comments:

mellowlee said...

Oh my GOD Dale, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time XD That ummm, ornament is truly hideous! Poor frosty!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Dude obviously doesn't celebrate winter either. Come to think of it, neither do I, and I'm not even Jewish. I've always considered the non-celebrating of winter to be rather non-secular.

Bubs said...

Now that you accepted that snowman/angel gift, you're bound to your fellow passenger forever. Deal with it.

X. Dell said...

(1) I don't recall Homer ever saying anything about Jews bearing gifts.

(2) Actually, angels are part of Christian mythology that comes directly from Judaic mythology. I suspect your friend might actually be a Taoist.

Mob said...

Confused it with a snow-angel, perhaps?

Great conversation piece for the desk at work though..."Hey, where'd you get this hideous thing?"

"Funny story..."

Old Lady said...

I'm aftaid, very afraid. The other night I dreamed your elf characature saved me from the volumnous waves of a Tsumani! While I recovered from near drowning you continued to save people and bring them back to me, as I sat there you became angry with me because I didn't help you!

What's this with Mr. Snowman and his red ET butt light? I can see it now, your elf characature with a red butt light, floating in the ocean as a beacon for all Tsunami Waves victims to swim to.

Gotta stop eating pickles with my ice cream!

Holly said...

I feel your pain about having to change cars, Dale. I have a friend--a real-life, honest-to-goodness, decent, funny, enjoyable FRIEND--who has this horrible, awful, frightening habit of being kind to strangers who speak to her. She not only answers questions they ask her, but asks their names and tells them hers. It's getting to the point where I'm unwilling to go out with her, because it means I always get stuck having some awful conversation with some acquaintance of hers, when all I want them to do is go the frak away. Other people might like meeting new people, but I'm not one of them.

chelene said...

I can hear the cheap plastic from here. Just another reason to be glad my trains are full of people who won't even make eye contact.

SlayGirl said...

Maybe the problem is not in the Angel/snowman controversy but that the guy needed to get his eyes checked.

Angel = wings

Still, it would've made a funny regift. You would just have to make sure to open with "Isnt it BEAUTIFUL!" and then watch their face.

BeckEye said...

The only thing I've ever gotten from riding the train is a staph infection. Now the light-up snowman doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Chris said...

It takes a special post to actually make me laugh out loud. You succeeded. Congrats!

wonderturtle said...

Fantastic. The smile sliding off your face and some journeys needing to be taken alone. Right on.

Dale said...

I know Mel, what did Frosty ever do, besides that whole leading the kids out behind the barn? Wait, how does the song go again?

Barbara, that's not so negative a comment. Or is it? I can't tell.

Is there nothing you can do Bubs? Can't you intervene?

X. Dell, on point #1, I'll say you're correct. On point #2, I'll be kind and say nothing. It's Christmas.

Good thinking Mob and yes, it may have been the outstretched arms that did him in.

I think you should eat way more pickles and ice cream Old Lady although I'm a bit worried about your beacon / butt imagery.

Meeting new people can be very painful and I think I know your friend, I've got one who makes friends everywhere too. It hurts. Just like love and life.

Wouldn't you like to be the one to change all that Chelene? A crinkle of cellophane, a twinkle in your eye and a train full of loooove.

Check under your tree carefully next week Slaygirl!

When you ride the train, you ride it pretty hard Beckeye! Good going.

What do I win? What do I win? Thanks Chris. My work here is done.

O wondrous turtle, thank you!

Creepy said...

Great, you've already got one. Now I've gotta come up with another gift idea for you at the last minute.

SlayGirl said...

Ha! As soon as I hit publish I
was expecting that. You never fail me Dale....Cookie?

Tumuli said...

Retroactive kindness? With a gift like that, perhaps not.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Ai, ai, ai, non me gusto...

Zed said...

I can't understand why this guy thought of you when he decided to give away the "cheap and horrid" snowman. Is there some deeper significance there that I'm missing? :)

Okay, I'm being mean to you again. This season brings out the worst in me.

Love!! Hugs!! Paper snowflakes!

Mother Hen said...

But the snowman's light is in his nether regions!

Erik said...

I think that something horribly Christmassy has knocked me on the head, because I think that snowman is absolutely DARLING. I have no idea what everyone is on about. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sweater bedazzling to finish up.

Tanya Espanya said...

Didn't you get stuck with someone's coffee mug or something in the summer? Maybe you could give away the snowman too? Or just leave it on your seat when you leave, like you had a little accident.

katie schwartz said...

it doesn't vibrate?

Dale said...

Creepy, I'm letting you off the hook. Give me back that porn we made and we're even.

But if you were expecting it, you're one step ahead Slaygirl and I can't have that. I'm taking my blog and I'm going home.

It was a gesture, of what sort, I cannot say Tumuli.

Me either Write Procrastinator.

I think it was the 'hey, you're not Jewish so this bud's for you' sentiment Zed. Meanie.

Why Mother Hen! I do declare! You're right. And it's small and it's red. What does it all mean?

Your holiday sweaters are known even here in Canada Erik! Have a very merry Bedazzlement.

If I could get him to melt into a little puddle, that'd be an accident worth leaving behind Tanya.

I didn't say that Katie.

Angela said...

That's the best thing I've heard all day, which is sad considering I've been to three Christmas parties today and you'd figure I'd have heard a good story or two. But no.

Thanks for the laugh, Dalemeister!

Dale said...

You're way too popular if you've been to 3 Christmas parties Angela. Riding the train home with the Jewish people at Christmas is the way to go!

blog Portland said...

Geez... and all I got on the train this year was Hepatitis.

Dale said...

You're not riding hard enough then Blog Portland. See Beckeye's comment.

Coaster Punchman said...

It's ok to accept gifts from Jews. Just watch out for Mormons and gingers.

Dale said...

Haha, I'm always wary of the Mormons and gingers. Jehovah knows what I'd do if I came across a ginger Mormon CP. You must have a manual I can use?

n.v. said...

Is that one of those Zen sandboxes you've put Frosty in? I can't figger it out.

Dale said...

It's on my dining room table n.v. which had a green tablecloth on it. The line behind Frosty are the tops of two chairs and sunlight is shining through the blinds and sheers. Make more sense? Oh and that's the base of a candlestick off to one side.

Dale said...

It's on my dining room table n.v. which had a green tablecloth on it. The line behind Frosty are the tops of two chairs and sunlight is shining through the blinds and sheers. Make more sense? Oh and that's the base of a candlestick off to one side.