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Toys for tots of all sizes
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I used to think that I lived in a fantasy world.

You know, I would imagine myself in all sorts of situations that were flights of fancy — or as my father would put it: “nuthouse escapee reality.”

I could do whatever I wanted, be whoever I wanted, live the kind of life I wanted. I figured that someday it would all just come together without me ever having to blink an eye.

I mean, that is the sort of life Oprah and her “Master Class” folks talk about, right?

I guess that’s what the occupiers are thinking, too. I reckon they figure if they hang out long enough, then some of that hard-earned cash that the folks on Wall Street are making will just make its way down to them sheerly by the fact that they are there ... it’s what is meant to be.

“Of course, you can go live in a tent on Wall Street, honey! Someone will take it upon themselves to feed you and see that you sleep comfortably at night. You should be able to do whatever you want to do because Dr. Phil and Oprah said so!”

Now, I’m still given to flights of fancy on occasion, but I never dreamed up any scenarios like those dumbos down there are doing.

So I don’t revel in a dreamworld much anymore though, because I know that I’ll never be an opera singer at the Met, nor will I travel the world in a private plane having lunch with dignitaries and the naybobs of society.

However, I still do dream about driving a Range Rover and having lunch with Judi Dench, so ... you know ... flights of fancy.

And speaking of flights of fancy, I broached the subject of Christmas the other night with The Kid.

Good idea?

No. Of course not.

Bad idea.

Why is that, you ask?

Because as it turns out, The Kid is also living in a dream world.

He dreams a lot bigger than I do.

I asked him to name two things he would really like for Christmas.

He said, “Well, I know it might sound impossible, but I would really like one of those chocolate fountains like they’re showing at Golden Corral, and I think I’d like an orange juice dispenser. You know, like it would have unlimited orange juice.”

I did not want to laugh because I didn’t want to upset the nice dream he was picturing for himself, but you know, it really was funny!

He then went on to let me in on another little FOF he was having, whereby he would have a slot in the wall where he could trade video games back and forth all the time. You know, insert a game in the slot and push a button to get a new game. Right there at his desk. Kinda like time travel for gamers.

I told him I understood that concept completely, because I used to feel that way about records. You know, record albums. Vinyl.

Like if I got tired of Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America,” I could trade it in for an ELO album.

Or Teddy Pendergrass. Or The Trammps.

I thought it wise to discuss his short wish list, so that he wouldn’t cry like he did last year when he said, “You and dad will never be as good to me as Santa Claus was!”


You know, it was the year it finally all came out in the open. He’d kinda been pretending like he knew Santa was a gag, but in reality, he was clinging to a glimmer of hope.

I still tell him the story of how I saw Santa sneaking out of our apartment when I was 3, thoroughly convinced for years that the Santa

Lie was a lie! I still see that picture of Santa sneaking out and going, “Shhh!” to me as he went out the door.

Call it an FOF if you will, but “I believe.”


I said, “Just what would we do with a chocolate fountain? Where would we put it?”

He thought about it for a minute and said, “We could just put it in my room, since I would be the one using it.”

I said, “You mean you want a really tall one like the one on TV, or would you prefer a much smaller version?”

He smirked at me and said, “What’s the point of a smaller one? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not a fountain if it’s not tall!”

Ah ... good point.

“And what about this orange juice dispenser ... what’s that all about? You hardly ever drink orange juice!”

“Well, I really liked what dad made in the juicer this morning!”

“Yeah, but that’s different. You’d get sick of orange juice all the time.”

Oohh ... Debbie Downer.

“I know. I probably would. But it would be fun to have!”

I agreed with that and made another suggestion.

“How about a Belgian waffle maker! Ooo! Cool!”

“Why the heck would I want one of those?” he asked, folding his arms with one eye on Ray Romano.

“Because you got so upset when we went to breakfast and you ordered the waffle and it came out looking like an Eggo that someone had sat on.”

He nodded.

“Yeah. Pretty disappointing. Well, scratch the chocolate fountain and the orange juice dispenser. I’d like to have those at my birthday party next year, though.”

“OK. I’ll look into it. What else might you want?”

He was quiet for a minute and then said in a very business-like tone, “Not sure yet. But whatever it is, it’s gonna cost ya.”

I laughed.

“Why? What did I do?”

“You lied to me about Santa. It’s payback time.”

He’s thinking “computers, gaming accessories, and gadgets.”

I’m thinking “Pillow Pets” and a kickball.

To the victor go the spoils.…