“Hi. I’m Stephanie.”
“Nice to meet you, Stephanie. I’m Ralph–Ralph Spaghettio.”
He braced himself for the usual reaction he received whenever he gave his full name: Laughter, corny jokes at his expense that almost always included the phrase “Uh-oh!”, other assorted nonsense that he’d heard a million times. It always made him cringe.
Stephanie stared at him, then said “It’s my deh-day. I’m fwee!” and held up three fingers.
“Well, happy birthday!”
“Stephanie, don’t talk to strangers”, said her mother in the next chair over. She put her arm around her daughter.
Ralph should have been offended–Really, lady? You think I’m going to abduct your daughter, in the middle of the DMV, in front of you and, what, ten, twelve other witnesses?–but he didn’t care.
It was a good day. He had finally met someone who hadn’t made fun of his name.
And, when all was said and done, he was still heir to the SpaghettiOs fortune.
Seriously: Ralph was CRAZY rich.
For my big girl Liliana, who turns “fwee” today. Thank you for being such a sweetheart!