Parade day came, so we bundled up and left early to go find a good spot along the parade route. I didn’t want to take a chance on missing Aunt Lottie all dressed in her green elf suit sitting on Santa’s float. For a December night, the weather was crisp but not uncomfortable, which is always a good thing for a Christmas parade.
We watched as the bands marched by playing renditions of familiar Christmas songs, followed by floats of all sizes. “There comes Santa’s float,” I said to my husband as I noticed the man all dressed in his red outfit popping his whip over the heads of the posed reindeer. “I can’t find Aunt Lottie, though,” I said as I searched through the heads of various elves.
Finally, spotting Elf Fred walking along side the float, I shouted at him, “Hey, Fred, where’s Aunt Lottie?”
Fred walked over huffing and puffing and said, “She’s not here. She and Mrs. Claus up there got into a ruckus, and Santa told her she couldn’t ride on the float. He told her she could walk with me, but you know Lottie, and nothing do her but leave. Oh, there they go again. I better hurry.” Fred started off after the float slowly plodding down the street, and I hoped for his sake they made another stop before long.
Since Santa was the last float in the parade, we made our way out, and when I arrived back home, I couldn’t wait to get on the phone to find out what happened between Aunt Lottie and Mrs. Claus.
“Aunt Lottie, what happened to you in the parade?” I asked when she answered the phone. “Fred said you had a problem.”
“Wasn’t really a problem. That crazy old woman playing Santa Claus’ wife just got all bent out of shape when I told her to stop flirting with Fred. Ain’t nobody gonna’ make eyes at my man when I’m around.”
“Well, surely that wasn’t all there was to it because that doesn’t sound like enough to keep you from being in the parade. What exactly did she do?”
“Oh, that old bitty kept telling Fred how cute he looked in his elf costume, and I didn’t care about that, but when she started telling Fred how he ought to come over and try some of her Christmas goodies, well, I can tell you, girl, I just blew a cork. And then the old crone put her hands on him, my Fred! And Fred just standing there grinning like an old dog. I wanted to smack him, too.”
“You didn’t hit her, did you, Aunt Lottie?
“Naw, I didn’t hit her. I just wanted to, but that Santa guy got down there and started telling me he’d already promised the old bitty that she could be Mrs. Claus, and that I’d just have to walk along side the float. I told him he could stick it where the sun don’t shine and left. That old woman ain’t never liked me anyway. I think she thought she and Fred might hook up before I joined that senior center, but that just goes to show how senile the old goof is.”
“Well, I’m sorry you didn’t get to be in the parade after you had that great costume and all,” I said trying to offer some sympathy.
“Oh, that’s okay, gal, because there’s always next year. Elves don’t ever go out of style, you know, and besides who knows when it might come in handy. I’ll just stick it in the closet with my other costumes. I better go now, though, because Fred’s supposed to come by in a little while, and I’ve got a few things I need to say to him, too, standing there grinning over two women fussing over him. He’s got some explaining to do.”
“You going to make him pay, Aunt Lottie?” I said smiling.
“Oh, he’ll pay, girlie, believe me, he’ll pay,” she replied, laughing. And knowing my Aunt Lottie, I knew no truer words had ever been spoken.