The Christmas Rhino

Have you ever seen those holiday decorations that are animals shaped out of wire, wrapped in tinsel, and light up from the inside? Well, this story is about one of those.

A few years ago, my dad saw a pig version and just had to have it. Dad named the adorable tinsel pig “Fezzipig” and it’s one of his favorite holiday decorations.

Last year, there was a much coveted purple hippo, but Dad didn’t get one. He always claims that he doesn’t need any more holiday decorations, but he LOVES them and usually gives in.

For the purpose of the story, you should know that my parents are divorced, but still friends. Okay, so, my mom spied a purple rhino version this year. Knowing that Dad didn’t get the hippo, and the rhino being on sale and all, she decided to surprise Dad with it.

Dad and I exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve at his apartment. We were all done when I noticed one big box left.  I remarked, “Oh, you still have one, Pop. It’s from Mom. I know what it is, but I haven’t seen it in person.” The pig is pretty darn cute, so I was interested to see the rhino.

Right, so Dad opens the box, removes the rhino, and this is what greeted us:

Comments like, “uhhhh, what?,” “Where’s it’s head?!!,” and “It looks like one of those scary lampreys!” filled the air. We were both perplexed and horrified. How did this make it past inspection to be sold??? What the hell is this thing??!!

We spent several minutes being weirded out and pondering the giant rhino/lamprey’s existence. I told Dad that I’d take it back to Mom so she could return it. I helped him put it back in the box and noticed that it just fit. As in, even if this thing had it’s head, there wouldn’t be enough space in the box to accommodate it.

That’s when it clicked in my brain. I gently grabbed the edges of the apparent gaping maw and tugged. Ta-dah! Like magic, I had a rhino head. It had been inverted for packaging. I looked at Dad and we just collapsed in laughter. We laughed at how long it took us to figure it out and at the rhino’s debut appearance out of the box. We wondered if anyone had returned it because, like us, they believed it to be headless.

This rhino mix up was responsible for some major giggles and made this holiday just that much better. Best unboxing ever.

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