When I was younger, my sisters and I used to watch the movie Drop Dead Fred repeatedly. Fred is an imaginary friend that gets Elizabeth, the protagonist, into all kinds of trouble as a child. Later in life, Fred comes back when Elizabeth needs him.
My sister has 3 children. Jordan is 5, Nathan is 6 and a half, and Nicholas is 8.
I introduced my nephews to Drop Dead Fred with my own descriptive words and exaggerated build up.
Joel and I took my nephews to Dairy Queen after Nicky’s baseball game and we reached a point of near hysteria eating ice cream in the booth we sat in. Nathan was sticking his tongue out with ice cream on it, Jordan was pleading with Nicky and Nay Nay to trade flavors with him, and Nicky was teaching Jordan how to stir his ice cream with his spoon so it would become a milk shake.
There was ice cream on faces and on the table. The visual and sound effect they produced seemed to be amplified to an almost unbearable extreme.
For a split second I almost lost my temper. Within the next second I started laughing so hard that tears started streaming down my face. Jordan turned to me with his big brown eyes and my sister’s look alike face saying: “Auntie Dee Dee, why are you crying?”
I told Jordan that my tears were from laughter. I debated explaining how their insane behavior was driving me mad and how it turned into laughter because they are so bad it is hysterical. Instead, I simplified the situation and explained: “I am laughing because Fred is here”.
Pointing to where Nathan and Nicholas were sitting, I said: “He is right there, between Nicky and Nathan”.
They giggled and it became quiet for a minute or two.
The next day I was teaching Mom how to use the internet and Nicholas sat with us looking through pictures on my face book profile. When we got to the picture of Fred and Elizabeth attending the Charlie party, I told Nicky that the man with the red hair and green jacket was Drop Dead Fred.
He turned to me and said quite matter of factly: “yes, that is right. He was with us yesterday at Dairy Queen”.