This event was akin to telling me that there really is a tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Imagine for a second what that would be like. Surprise and awe come to mind first and then a grin. The kind of smile that makes you look a little dopey and brainless – in a good way. Ya know the sh*t-eating-grin – like your blissfully uninformed.
Well, that’s what I felt like when I met a cartoon that was a real human person. I couldn’t take a picture of him because he would have wondered why or asked questions. Or maybe, I was just too shy to do it which is usually the case.
We were on a cruise ship going in circles around the Caribbean for a week. Both my husband and I are lactose intolerant and always have to ask if things have milk in them or rely on those little pills which don’t really work very well unless you take the whole damn package at once, only to find out that whatever we ate had coconut milk in it, not cow’s milk. There goes our supply of little lactose fighting pills because that was just day one. Instead our strategy is to ask the chef what items on the menu we can or cannot eat.
At the main dining hall we found our waiter that worked well with us. He could rattle off the dishes with and without milk, have us order a day in advance and keep us in non-dairy dessert bliss. One small problem happened when our man didn’t show up one day and we learned that he wasn’t well. We later found out he was ok. However, we did panic, just a little. No big deal, nothing really happened; it’s just that we got a new waiter. This meant we had to train the new guy like we did the last one. Lactose, both of us, no milk, mayonnaise ok, butter ok, desserts, order our meals the night before and so on.
However, we were met by the real life equivalent of a real-life cartoon character. No wait, that is, we were met by a cartoon character that had come to life! Yes, that’s it, he did, he came to life! There he was in flesh and blood. Hey you guys: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (they wrote Despicable Me)! Hey, over here! Did you know that your character “Gru” lives in real life? He does, he is alive and is a waiter on a cruise ship that makes circles running around the Caribbean. Heavy Russian accent, broad shoulders, skinny legs, no ass. Yo, Steve Carell, did you take speechie lessons from this guy because he is the real “Gru,” with a heavy accent, black suit, small head, everything! Seriously, IT WAS HIM!!
Anyway, once I realized who he was as a real-come-to-life-cartoon and told my family, the big grins began to appear. They also thanked me for planting that image in there little heads, that they couldn’t get away from. I said “you’re welcome.” He must have thought we were either an extremely happy family or that our brains had been permanently fried by our Jamaica excursion. Whenever he came to the table, the more we smiled at him, the more “animated” he became – animated, get it? He was the friendly version of the evil-Russian-supervillain and smiled cheerfully back at us.
Now tell me how often in a lifetime, does that happen? I mean do you walk down the street and meet Bugs Bunny or Sponge Bob? Not the ones at Disneyland that are in a smothering costumes but a real cartoon that lives and breathes and has blood! I am here to tell you, excitedly, that it happened!
Now, I want to meet a real life minion. That’s it, my new quest, find a real life little yellow minion. I should have asked the waiter.