Saturday, January 4, 2014

Real World Horror: A Trope of Trolls

     Despite my greatest wishes, I am still forced to leave my reclusive lair from time to time in order to visit with family, friends or (more importantly) get coffee. I rarely if ever have the trouble from those around me like I used to when I was more open about my beliefs and practices, but I still get one person from time to time that tries to push my buttons.

     It all started back in the holiday season, a few days before Christmas. I was at Walmart and, as I was exiting, a worker wished me a Merry Christmas. Thinking nothing of it, I wished him a happy holiday.
     This was my mistake.
     Some man, a paunchy older gentleman that I've dubbed Troll, overheard my heartfelt sentiments and found a problem with them. The problem? I didn't say Merry Christmas in kind.
     "Hey," Troll said, catching my attention as I was leaving the store. Thinking I may have dropped something, I turned and waited for him to speak. "He told you Merry Christmas."
     Looking at him as if he were a child, I calmly replied. "Yes, and I wished him a happy holiday."
     "Well you have to wish him a Merry Christmas back." Troll said stubbornly.
     "I don't have to diddly, I was just being kind to a stranger and acknowledging his existence." I replied, looking at Troll with a look I reserve for the mentally handicapped. "I don't like Christmas, so I would hardly wish someone a Merry one."
     "What do you mean you don't like Christmas?" Troll demanded. It was around this time Troll's wife came over and tried to pull him away from the conversation. He resisted and thus the saga continued. "Everyone likes Christmas!"
     "I can think of many people who don't. Muslims, Jews, me... the list goes on." I replied, turning to go as I was slowly growing annoyed with Troll's existence.
     "Pfft... whatever man, if you want to go to Hell, that's your problem." Troll replied, turning to go with his wife. "Merry Christmas!"
     "Happy Holidays!" I called back, happy that the encounter was over.
     Oh how wrong I was.
     As I finished loading the presents I had purchased into my car, Troll made a second appearance, this time with his wife. She motioned for him to go forward and, with some reluctance, he came up to me and caught my attention.
     Heaving a sigh, I turned to him and smiled. "Yes?"
     "I just wanted to say, I'm sorry about the whole Merry Christmas thing." He ground out, taking quick peeks back at his wife. "And that the missus and I would like to invite you to Christmas Eve at our church."
     "How very thoughtful, but for now I'll have to pass." I said, waving him off.
     "Um, why?" He asked, dumbfounded.
     "Because I'm not a Christian? I have no desire to take practice in a purely Christian practice like Christmas Eve Mass. I just celebrate this holiday by buying presents and seeing family."
     "But I apologized." He said, as if that made a difference.
     "And it was truly beautiful and from the heart. Still, I must decline."
     Dumbfounded, the Troll's went back inside Walmart, probably to do the same thing I'd gone there for. I shook my head and buckled myself into my car.
     Some people never learn. 

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