To Steal a Castle and a Gargoyle, Too
Imagine, if you will, the utter joy of waking up one morning to find that a White Castle Sign had blossomed in front of your house overnight.
It almost happened, you know.
Every now and then, Sister Madly has a birthday; and while some pass quietly into the void, others arrive at the insistence of certain friends and family members who wish to observe the day in the most average way possible, such as the time her Ex surprised her by taking her to the skeletal remains of the last White Castle in the state.*
Oh, how you spoil her!
*18th birthday. Possibly even 19th. But definitely not 20.
Surely here was a place of romance, with its crack pipes and graffitied walls; no doubt many a young couple met fate here in the form of the Zodiac Killer. A leisurely walk through the overgrown parking lot proved to be the highlight of the evening as it led them to where the White Castle Sign lay broken and abandoned amidst the prairie grass.
“And that, Sister Madly, is for you!”
This her Ex said proudly, as though he, himself, had hunted down the elusive White Castle Sign while on safari. Yes, this dedicated young man whom Sister Madly was dating, who stood victorious over that shattered carcass, was nothing more than a Big Game Fast Food poacher at heart.
“The Sign is your present! Happy Birthday!”
Surely her parents would find no fault with this! They were rational individuals after all, of logic and sound mind; that’s why the gargoyle was banished from the house.
See, this was not the first such gift from her Ex. Over Christmas, he presented her with a dismal little gargoyle, the sight of which brought about a fit of laughter from her mother upon encountering it the following morning. Things took a dark turn, however, when her mother decided that the little beast was straight from the devil- things had a habit of becoming evil once her mother had time to think it over. Oh, but Sister Madly could keep the gargoyle- she just couldn’t keep it in the house.
So the winged Yoda was banished to the outdoors, where he would reside under the porch (thus meeting her mother’s ‘out of sight’ requirement) for the next several years.*
*The gargoyle would make a lovely comeback later in life, in which he would be painted gold and used as a trophy for a Murder Mystery in a Box Game.
Her Ex sincerely apologized for having to bring Sister Madly to the White Castle Sign, instead of surprising her with it when he picked her up earlier that evening. In fact, the only reason her Ex did not bring the gift over to her house was that he could not come up with the means to transport such a large Sign at short notice.
But what was more important to her Ex than the gifts themselves was the method with which they were obtained; he believed that the story and heroics therein made the gift all the more valuable. His original intention was to steal a gargoyle, but the gardens around town were mostly populated with gnomes and those critters scared him silly; now he was stealing for her a White Castle Sign.* Her Ex was certainly generous with things that did not belong to him.
*Sister Madly is aware that pointing to an object and declaring ‘Mine!’ isn’t technically stealing, not until said object is illegally removed. She does some understanding of the law.
Now Sister Madly doesn’t mean to sound ungrateful- make no mistake, somewhere deep inside that psychotic little snickerdoodle was a sense of wonder at these shameless attempts of deluded grandeur. She sees no harm in re-gifting a present if you believe someone would truly enjoy the gift, but one does not typically re-gift someone else’s property.
But more importantly-
WHY WOULD SISTER MADLY WANT A WHITE CASTLE SIGN?!?!
“Because you like Medieval things.”
Okay… Sister Madly understands that Medieval history is not everyone’s pint of cider, thus not everyone is attuned to the finer nuances of the Era. However, just as one can’t put wings on Yoda and call him demonic, one can’t write the word ‘castle’ on a post-it note and call it Medieval poetry!
Yet, he was so proud…
And so Sister Madly declined the gift, saying there was no place at the house to put the Sign and her parents would outright murder her if she tried. But she did promise to visit the Sign whenever she got the chance, perhaps even pack it a lovely picnic lunch of Pop Rocks and Pixy Sticks.*
*About 3 weeks later, her Ex informed her that someone had removed her White Castle Sign, which “wouldn’t have happened if you had taken it home.”
Amazingly, this relationship did not work out.