Buddy the Elf

I have a colleague who, when she sees it’s me calling her, answers with a different phrase every time: “Pat’s Pizza!” “Welcome to WalMart!” “Uncle Leo?”

Every time, I laugh. It’s like our secret joke.

Unrelated, after 6 hours sitting in car dealerships one Saturday and getting a little punchy, as phones were ringing in the showroom around us, my son said, “Buddy the Elf! What’s your favorite color???” -- a line by Will Farrell in Elf when he was answering his Dad’s phone in his posh New York City office.

I burst out laughing. Remember, I was punchy after 6 hours there.

And then I knew what I had to do.

That Monday my colleague didn’t come into the office; her baby was sick.

Eagerly, I waited until Tuesday. I had laughed ahead of my new joke all weekend by myself!

I emailed her, “Would you please ring me,” the way my boss emails me….but never for a joke.

She did and I laid it on her, “Buddy the Elf! What’s your favorite color??”

She too burst out laughing. She’s the funny one, not me. I caught her completely off guard and that’s when a joke is best, plus….her baby had been sick the prior day, the man she works with had slammed her the moment she had arrived that morning at 7:30 a.m. and she was not feeling very happy.

And I changed her day!

We laughed a full 10 minutes, moving on to other scenarios….like her buying me a velvet elf hat on Amazon and my suggesting the entire elf-girl-Herbie’s-girlfriend-in-Rudolph look with the triangle shaped velvet skirt to go with the hat and the soft shoes that curled up at the toes.

Funny.

Silly.

Sometimes it’s the trivial that can turn an entire day around.

Photo: Will Farrell as Buddy the Elf

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