Straight in front of us, a small crowd had gathered. There was a man with a long beard who spoke to the crowd, whatever he was saying, it had them all mesmerized. We stopped to listen. I remember pushing myself up to the front so I could see. He was in regular clothes for that time of year, but on his head, he wore a Christmas hat. He was probably in his twenties.
“Anyone,” he asked.
The crowd looked at each other.
“I’ll say it again for the new folks joining us,” he said.
I folded my arms as he stepped back to broadcast.
“Here’s a Christmas riddle for you,” he said, “What is on my hat, that you get one free?”
I glanced at his Christmas hat. Just towards the bottom of it, there was a small mistletoe leaf.
The crowd looked at each other again in confusion. Are you serious? It’s not that hard.
“Mistletoe,” I called out.
The man seemed shocked that I had gotten it, he stood there for a second and then nodded. He pointed at me, signaling that I was correct. It wasn’t until he started walking towards me that I realized what I had just done to myself. As he bent down, he puckered his lips.
I flung my hands up in front of my face as I screamed. Leave it to me to be subtle. I fell backwards into the crowd, desperately searching for my parents. I was about to be kidnapped, where were they? The man stopped in his tracks and flung his hands up to his sides.
“What,” he cried out, “do I have fangs?”
He seemed a little insulted. It’s then I caught a glimpse of my father, who had been standing behind me the entire time. He was laughing! I tripped out of the crowd and bolted for the car. The realization of why no one was answering his riddle, was crystal clear at that point.
Yep, lesson learned.