Thursday, December 4, 2014

Zoe vs. Gordon Gekko

This may be the first holiday season where Zoe really gets it. And by "gets it," I don't mean the holiday spirit. I mean, she thinks she deserves to "get" everything her acquisitive little heart desires.
Every time a toy commercial comes on in the middle of a cartoon, Zoe's focus increases by a factor of ten. She doesn't even break her gaze from the TV when she says, "I want that. Can I have that?"
Vampire high school doll. Superhero dinobuddy. Kinetic sand. Daily our mailbox is inundated with toy catalogs, and Zoe pores over them, her face lit with an avaricious glow.
If there were such a thing as a Christmas spirit animal, Zoe's would be a Gekko. Not a spelling error. I'm talking about Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film Wall Street, the personification of greed.
A few nights ago I dreamt Zoe entered our bedroom wearing a blue shirt with a white collar. She also had on suspenders, which I know I didn't buy for her and which were clearly an affectation, as she wasn't wearing pants.

Santa? A red-suited weirdo
with zero killer instinct.

As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, she jumped up on the bed, straddled my legs, and started talking at me.
"Greed is good," she said. "Greed is right; greed works. It clarifies, cuts through."
"Why are you quoting Gordon Gekko?" I asked her.
"Who's that?"
"Well, Michael Douglas---"
"Look, buddy, Mommy, pal, Christmas is coming and for a player like yours truly that means only one thing: windfall time."
This was highly unusual. In our waking life, Zoe did not understand the concept of money. In fact, when we'd passed a toy store the week before and she saw a firetruck she wanted, I'd asked her if she had money, and she suggested I fa la la myself to the "money store." 
In the dream, Zoe was still talking. "Are you liquid, Mommy?"
"Do you want water?" I started to get out of bed.
"Don't be coy. Coy is for wimps who'd rather piss their Brooks Brothers suit than say what they mean. By liquid I'm talking about the green. The green that's greener than a street-corner Christmas tree. I'm talking M-O-N-E-Y. You can take your Elf on the Shelf and stash him in the place that rhymes with stash. And also cash. That candy-ass snitch for Santa needs to know: you're a player or you're garbage."

The salad days. Before the bubble burst and
Jingles went to jail for insider trading.

I was speechless. What had happened to the little girl who liked My Little Pony? The sweet angel who thought friendship was magic?
Apparently friendship was for suckers, but, for the record, you could still buy her a Pinkie Pie or Twilight Sparkle toy even if she no longer subscribed to the Equestria worldview.
"Christmas is not just about getting gifts," I tried. "And you have enough toys as it is."
"It's not a question of enough, pal, I mean, Mommy. Other kids might be satisfied with a toy or two, a few baubles in their stockings, but that's because they're sheep, and you know what happens to sheep? They get slaughtered. They also say, Baa!"
"Do you really need material possessions to show my love for you?"
"Love." She made a scoffing sound. "Love is a fiction created by people to keep them from jumping out of windows."
"That's a jaded perspective. Even for a four-year-old." 
"Lady, it's all about the bucks, the moolah, the Benjamins; the rest is conversation."
"Okay, that's it. Time to go back to your room, young lady."
"You're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you, buddy?"
"Shouldn't that be my line?"
"Nobody likes a crybaby. Unless it also pees and poops. In fact, there was one just like it on page 46 of that catalog you mistakenly put with the recycling. Don't worry. I fished it out."

The Tio de Nadal. An improvement over
Elf on the Shelf. Click here. Trust me.

"Okay, now you're off book. Gordon Gekko never said any of that in Wall Street."
"You're forgetting the sequel, which came out in 2010, coincidentally the year I was born. . . . Money Never Sleeps."
"Not just money," I said as I ushered her out of our bedroom. But then she took a detour to the bathroom saying she had to drop a deuce. Just like that doll. The one on page 46.
As she perched on the bowl she told me shipping was free if I acted quickly. And wasn't a chump.
Zoe: 71; Universe: 0

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 


  1. HA HA HA! Best dream ever! Lisa and I quote Wall Street all the time! :)-Ashley

  2. Thanks! It's eminently quotable, isn't it?

  3. That is one scary dream Zoe. I remember those days - old enough to understand Christmas, not old enough to understand it's not all about them. But if Zoe doesn't want her vampire high school doll, can I have it?

  4. Well, she wants everything but that doesn't mean she's gonna get it! So I'll see if I can snag one for you! Haha.

  5. Linda_Roy_elleroy_was_hereDecember 10, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    You gotta love how they just soak up all the holiday merch "suggestions" on the tube. My boys wanted everything they saw. Everything. I would always tell them Santa's workshop couldn't keep up with that kinda demand. ;)

  6. Now that's a great response. I will be stealing it!

  7. Kristi - Finding NineeDecember 10, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    OMG my kid, too. EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL (sorry but for real shouting but not at you - you know, at the universe or whatever) my son says "I want that for Christmas!!!" We finally told him Santa has no room to bring new toys and he packed up a ton of his old ones to give away but OMG. Plus, elf? And that poop log? Um yeah.

  8. Another great response. We really need to give things away before that poop log "shares" any more presents.