It is sad, because you would like to believe that everyone is unique, and then they disappoint you every time by being exactly the same, asking for the same things, reciting the exact same lines as though they have been handed a script.
All of the adults ask for a Gold Card or a BMW and they rock with laughter, thinking they are the first person brazen enough to request such pleasures.
Santa says "I'll see what I can do."
Couples over the age of 50 all say, "I don't want to sit on your lap, Santa, I'm afraid I might break it!"
How do you break a lap? How did so many people get the idea to say the exact same thing?
I went to a store on the Upper West Side. This store is like a Museum of Natural History where everything is for sale: every taxidermic or skeletal animal that roams the earth is represented in this shop, and because of that, it is popular. I went with my brother last weekend. Near the cash register was a bowl of glass eyes and a sign reading "DO NOT HOLD THESE GLASS EYES UP AGAINST YOUR OWN EYES: THE ROUGH STEM CAN CAUSE INJURY."
I talked to the fellow behind the counter and he said, "It's the same thing every time. First they hold up the eyes, and then they go for the horns. I'm sick of it."
It disturbed me that, until I saw the sign, my first impulse was to hold those eyes up to my own. I thought it might be a laugh riot.
All of us take pride and pleasure in the fact that we are unique, but I'm afraid that when all is said and done the police are right: it all comes down to fingerprints.