Oliver wins a coloring contest...in Carlsbad, CA

Two nights ago, after a satisfying dinner and wine with my hubs, I was sitting at the computer -probably blogging to y'all about said dinner and wine- and the phone rang. A) I didn't recognize the area code, and B) who calls at 9p (I'm getting so old, I recognize this), so I let it go to voice mail. Once I was safely off the hook, I listened to the message and heard the very enthusiastic manager, Jill, of Ruby's Diner in Carlsbad, CA, congratulating me on Oliver's having won the Easter Coloring Contest which he and Jack entered over spring break when T and I had outlet shopped until the kids couldn't take it anymore and we bribed them with chocolate milkshakes and french fries at Ruby's.

If anyone was going to win this contest, I'd have thought it'd be Jack because he added clever, and might I add well-drawn, jesters hiding throughout the picture. They managed to look both sweet and mischievous, as if they wanted to steal the eggs.

But Jill was awestruck by Oliver's ability to color inside the lines of his Easter eggs because "most five year olds just can't" and told me so in a seriously jovial way. I mean, by the time we hung up, I thought Oliver deserved to be gilded.

Jill told me Ol had won a free meal at Ruby's Carlsbad and asked if we lived nearby. Wearing a lunatic smile that I was sure she could hear, I told her "No, we actually live in D.C." to which she replied, "Well, will you be back in Carlsbad before the end of June?"

I wish, Jill, I wish.

Still wearing the insane smile, I said that sadly, we would not be returning quite so soon but that one of my best friends lives just north of Carlsbad and could she share the win with her and her children instead? Jill responded "please just let me know if you're in Carlsbad before end of June, and isn't it just great to be proud of our kids????"

I hung up and relayed the story to Tom who chuckled heartily. For some reason, this story gets funnier with each go round. I don't know why because it's really no story at all but whatever.

Five minutes later, the phone rang again. I recognized the number. It was Jill. "You know, it is Oliver's drawing that won and so it is his free meal coupon and so I think he'd like to give it to your friend and so I will send it to her if you share her address." Absolutely, Jill.

Bless her heart, she is so impassioned about her job. I mean, really, who has ever taken a coloring contest more sincerely and dearly. You've got to hand it to her.

The next morning, I congratulated Ol. Jack nearly fell out laughing and said, "Great job, Ol, you did color those eggs nicely. I thought I would have won but maybe my jesters were too much." Then I started laughing my ass off again because why is this tale so amusing? I told Jack how proud I was of his incredibly gracious response toward Oliver, and Oliver beamed and said he was happy that Amy's kids got to have the coupon, and then Jack started doing the math on how many milkshakes could they get for $10 and finally I dropped them off at school and called Amy to tell her about the prize coming her way.

She and I laughed again.