It's last night and I'm in line at Disneyland to ride the Matterhorn. In the middle of a crowd of people, my party and I wait for our turn just near the front of the line. I glance to my right and see Santa Claus--an older, chubby man with a long, white beard, white handlebar mustache, red t-shirt and red trucker cap that reads, "SANTA." At first I look past him, pretending I don't see. But I repent of this and look at him. "So, what do you do in the off season?" I sincerely ask.
"OH, HO HO HO HO HO! I COME HERE TO DISNEYLAND, OF COURSE!" His wife, a small woman with short brown hair and a navy blue windbreaker, chuckles, and then smiles at her husband's comment. "I WATCH OVER THE KIDS HERE AND LOOK FOR THE GOOD BOYS AND GIRLS!" He gives me this squinty-eyed Santa smile from behind his mustache and beard.
"Uh-huh," I reply. I feel like saying, "What I mean is, do you have kids you see or a job you work at or even a dog? What does your life consist of when you aren't playing a fictional character at the mall? Do you cut your (blank)ing beard or actually have a (blank)ing life or do you just get depressed for eleven months because your life is meaningless? There's got to be more to you than a character." But I don't. I just stand there, awkwardly smile, and wait to move forward in line.
So much for a real conversation.