David Bruce: The Funniest People in Relationships — Children, Christmas

Children

• Children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper has a son named Dwayne. When Dwayne was very small, he was very talented at rolling over, so Mr. Cooper thought, “Great! We don’t need a pet!”

• Identical triplets David, Donny, and Darren are very close. When they were babies, they wouldn’t fall asleep until they were placed so close together that they were touching.

• When Lisa, actor Jack Gilford’s daughter, was a little girl, she signed a statement that said, “I am having a happy childhood.”

Christmas

• As a child, Trina Schart Hyman, an illustrator of children’s books, believed in fairies. So did her kid sister, Karleen. When Karleen started asking for a real fairy, Trina decided to give her one. She bought a celluloid doll, glued some of her mother’s long red-gold hair to it, and painted big, blue eyes on it. She also glued the wings of a Monarch butterfly to the doll’s shoulders. In addition, she started writing letters from the fairy and left them on Karleen’s pillow. The first letter said, “My name is Kloraine, and I am a lost fairy. I am trying to find my way to your house.” Karleen believed the letter and spoke in whispers the day she received it. She was also very happy to wake up one day and find Kloraine on her night table. Later, another lost fairy named Lacey joined the family, and the two girls and the two fairies had many wonderful adventures together. Long after Trina and Karleen stopped believing in fairies, Kloraine and Lacey stayed in the family. Each December, they appeared as ornaments on the family Christmas tree.

• Ben, a young nephew of lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans, wanted a Barbie for Christmas, but not for his birthday, because he didn’t want the other kids to see what he was getting. Ms. Orleans was a little surprised by the request, and she asked her sister-in-law about it. As it happened, the sister-in-law didn’t particularly like her son’s desire in toys, but only because she regards Barbie as a sexist toy. Ms. Orleans ended up buying her nephew a Barbie with two outfits: a white satin dress and a cowboy outfit — the cowboy outfit had actually been created for Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken. She sent it to her nephew in a box marked “Private! For Ben Only!” She also enclosed this note: “Remember, Ben, in real life women do not have permanently arched feet.” Later, she received a note from her sister-in-law about the gift: “Great minds think alike. I bought Ben a Dancin’ Barbie. He’s in heaven.”

• When Alyene Porter was a little girl growing up early in the 20th century, a man named Brother Mahoney in her church had a distinctive and chronic case of the sniffles: He would make one big sniffle, pause, then make three small sniffles in a row. There was never any variation in his sniffling. On Christmas Eve, little Alyene was getting ready to talk to Santa Claus at the church when she heard Santa give a sniffle that sounded just like the sniffle of Brother Mahoney. To make sure, she listened closely: one big sniffle, pause, then three small sniffles in a row. Shocked and disappointed, she ran crying to her mother, who explained that anyone can be Santa Claus as long as they like children and spread joy at Christmas. That night, Alyene’s parents woke her so she could be Santa and help fill the Christmas stockings while her siblings slept.

• On the live TV program The Garry Moore Show, Mr. Moore decided to see what kind of Christmas gifts young children really prefer. Therefore, he filled the stage with gifts ranging from very expensive to very inexpensive, then he brought two eight-year-olds — a boy and a girl — out on stage and invited them to choose one gift for their very own. The boy chose a sled, even though he lived in Florida. When Mr. Moore asked the boy if he had ever seen it snowing in Florida, he replied, “No, but this year I’m hoping it will.” The little girl walked past a very expensive dollhouse with working lights and instead chose an inexpensive stuffed doll. Later, she explained, “I picked my doll because she looked so lonely.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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