Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Present and Correct

Not to sound like an ungrateful bastard, but I’ve almost always been underwhelmed by presents. Even from an early age Christmas and Birthdays usually required great acting coupled with a rictus grin when the “special day” arrived.

Growing up, all I ever wanted were book tokens so I could get the books that I wanted to read. After mentioning it on numerous occasions, I would usually end up unwrapping something so totally bizarre that I wondered if maybe the gift tags had been mixed up.

It was a blessed relief when somewhere around my late teens we, as a family, pretty much gave up buying presents for one another. Nowadays you’re lucky if a card comes through the post.

Outside of the family, things didn’t fare any better over the years.

The One That Got Away broke up with me the week before my birthday but insisted that she had bought me a great present.

The Blonde with the Butterfly Tattoo got me a mobile phone one Christmas. Which was nice. But given that ultimately the relationship proved to be more like a bizarre, illict affair than simply a couple in love, it was more for her benefit than mine; making sure the coast was clear for me to travel back to her place after work.

Come to think of it, she broke up with me a week or so before my birthday, and even then we argued about what she wanted to get me for a present. In the end I got nothing. Although we did carry on having sex for the next six months... Which is probably a story best left for another time. Or never.

Work Buddy usually has deliveries turning up on a daily basis. Either it’s new graphics cards for the computers, addition hard drives and data storage, or reference books from those nice people at Amazon.

The package that came today was a real doozy; the kind of thing that if you drop on your foot you’d know about it. As would anybody in the floors immediately below you.

After struggling to get the plastic wrap open, he turned in the chair and pushed the box into my lap and announced this one was for me.

It was a thank-you from him and his girlfriend for helping put the shed up.

Inside was:

And I was totally and utterly overwhelmed by it.

I was astonished and lost for words.

Words that would have been:

Fucking hell! This is fucking brilliant! Fuck! This is fantastic! Jesus-fucking- Christ! Thanks, fella! Fuckin' hell!

If we both weren’t sitting down at the desks, and if I didn’t have the book on my lap, I would have given him a big manly hug. Instead I could only inadequately shake his hand and say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

Surprise presents are ace presents. And this was the surprise present. This was the Holy Grail of surprise presents!

The Stanley Kubrick Archives. And Friendship.

And how was your day?


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