That is the most exciting post title we’ve ever had, isn’t it? Thank you for having enough faith in my ability to find the stupid in every adventure to click the link.
Now brace yourself for a tale about my introduction to a subculture that I never knew existed. A group that meets under cover of night to satisfy their unseemly urges, the ornament collectors.
So the story goes like this, 2 weeks ago I get a call from my dear friend Andy T asking me to do him a favor. The prelude to this request was so lengthy and so elaborate that I was certain he was going to ask for a kidney or a threesome but it was something far more obscure; he wanted me to go to the Hallmark store at midnight on Friday the 13th to buy a limited edition Momaw Nadon ornament. A what now?
You know, this guy.
This request was so odd and of such deep nerd that I had no choice but to say yes. I mean, if after 8 years of friendship you can’t ask someone go on a midnight run to feed your addiction what kind of friend are they? The errand itself held the promise of seeing a world that I never knew existed, My only condition was that I wanted to document the experience, I was warned that the weirdos would be shifty and no too into being photographed but that there would be snacks and prizes and that my efforts would be repaid in booze and Batman.
I was terrified of failing this important duty so I got to the store around 11:40 thinking I’d just wait in the car until they opened the doors. I had not anticipated the line that had already formed in front of the store.
Shit was serious.
I also didn’t anticipate being trapped behind a pair of drunk musical theater girls discussing the production of Cats that they had been in together and how everyone was in awe of their cat moves. And then about how the one girl doesn’t know if a dude is her boyfriend but he must be because she doesn’t want to fuck anyone else. And about their friend who is working at the Ren Fair. And then the other one shit talking her cousin for not really being a member of the family and pulling up a Facebook group for her mother’s side of the family and talking about their crest and Nana who was her grandmother’s brother-in-law’s aunt who she lived with for a while. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life.
The line stretched out behind me and the collectors got restless the closer it got to midnight. There were stern warnings about the dangers of pushing and we were given raffle tickets for the prize drawing. A look inside the shop showed 5 terrified workers in tiaras and a tableful of snacks, as promised.
At 11:58 the chatter grew louder and the shifting got more nervous. 11:59 game faces went on. 12:00 a collective gasp and nothing. 12:01 the saltiest middle aged women I have ever experienced start to bitch up a storm. 12:03 the doors open!
There is a frantic push towards the checkout counter where the limited number of limited release ornaments are displayed under a purple balloon. I’m stuck behind a woman with a walker and I watch with increasing panic as the stack of Momaws disappears. My competitive nature is engaged and I very nearly freak the fuck out when a shitty middle aged dude comes up from behind and shoves in front of the walker lady. But then I reach out and get the ornament. The last ornament.
My heart is pounding as I send Andy this picture of my triumph, the time is 12:05.
His response- “That’s my girl! Only true friends share in the joy of xmas ornament hunting, especially when that ornament is essentially a walking scrotum with eyes.”
He’s not wrong.