The strange friendship between Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and his "self-appointed emotional guardian" Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was something of a marvel on Parks and Recreation, and it's perfectly exemplified in this clip.
Leslie Knope is relentlessly optimistic, brimming with positivity, and enthusiastic about spreading it. Ron Swanson generally hates all of those qualities in a person, but tolerates it from Leslie because he knows she comes by it honestly, and Leslie understands that Ron's gruff exterior hides an honest and decent man and is determined to nurture that.
Case in point. Ron made a chair. When he was finished, he thought it was a good chair, and submitted it to the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association, who felt it merited consideration for an award. Leslie finds out about it and brings him "Merry Congratu-Christmas" gifts of two bottles of his favorite whiskey and invites herself along to the award ceremony. Ron admits to her that he's actually very honored by the nomination, and only politiely discourages her from attending rather than outright forbidding it, and gently accepts that she's not taking no for an answer.
The most fun part is that they both know when she has gone too far. When Leslie remembers to sing her adorably dopey "Merry Congratu-Christmas Carol" song she wrote for him, it immediately hits Ron's tolerance limit for silly behavior, and kicks her out, and she cuts herself off and leaves him alone.
It's a wonderful little moment from a wonderful series that reminds us all to try and find a way to reach out to the pseudo-Scrooges in our lives during the holiday season, but also know how much love is too much.
People are talking about Parks & Recreation in our forums. Join the conversation.
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.