I was 16 years old and working at Long John Silvers in La Grange, Kentucky. The calendar flipped to December and I asked for a rare Friday night. The only problem? Two other people also asked off for the same night. Dave, our manager, called the three of us into the backroom and explained the situation and let us know he could only let one of us off for the night. He then asked each of us why we wanted off for Friday. The other two said they wanted to take their girlfriends out on a date. Dave then looked at me and waited. I hesitated a moment and he said, “Well?”
Finally I explained: “Rudolph is on TV on Friday night and I’ve never missed it, from the time I was a little kid until now.”
“That’s why you want off? Really?”
When I shook my head yes, embarrassed beyond all get out, Dave laughed and said, “If you’re man enough to ask off for that reason, then you get the night off.”
And so, on that Friday night, I was in front of the TV at home watching Clarice sing “There’s Always Tomorrow” and watching Bumbles bounce.
Now you can by the DVD (we have it) and watch it a million times. Back then, if you weren’t home, you missed it. I still remember Dave fondly for letting me off to watch Rudolph. And yes, I still have my “man card”.