My Beloved and I went to the Canadian National Exhibition on Wednesday evening. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a fair. A big, big, big fair right in the heart of Toronto. Carnival rides, midway games, amazing deals on really shitty merchandise, weird exhibits like "The History of the Toilet", people hawking Ginsu knives, unhealthy food on sticks - it's all there, God love it.
While wandering through the midway, I spotted a game booth strung with Rudolph and Abominable Snowman stuffed toys - prizes for the lucky winners able to catch bright orange balls in tiny nets as they drifted over a fast running waterfall. The balls, not the players.
Kind of weird, but whatever. Rudolph was the prize and I neeeeeeeded to win him.
It was all a little confusing, and even now I'm not sure I fully understand the rules (or why we paid one price and both got to play, or how we ended up with a medium size prize when all we caught were balls marked with an "s" for small), but it doesn't matter. I won a Rudolph.
He was a little wet - a casualty of the leaky waterfall, I suppose - and his neck was sewn too tightly on one side giving him a permanently cocked head, but he was mine.
Rudolph is the physical embodiment of my happy place. He and Snoopy never fail to calm my inner beast when it's raging against the cruel world or merciless fate.
And yes, I know full well that this makes me a simpleton, and I don't particularly care. You take your happy place triggers where you can find them. Just because mine are cartoon characters doesn't make them any less valid, as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, in addition to the ill-sewn neck, my new Rudolph's mouth - an inverted V meant to sit just below his big red nose - was stitched sideways. A sideways stitched V, in case you've never seen one, looks a lot like a smirk.
So there he was, a slightly wet, smirking reindeer with a cocked head and ears flattened back against his head from being squished in a box with 9 billion other Rudolphs.
He is, of course, the Rudolph I would win. Misshapen, weird looking and wet. He looked like he'd just been told something really offensive, or possibly just smelled a very, very bad fart.
Smells a Fart Rudolph. Yup, totally the one I'd win.