Sunday, December 28, 2014

Room for Improvement

As the new year approaches, I am reviewing the events of the last year to see if I can make any improvements upon my life. Well, yes. I can lose fewer card games, particularly those that involve rails, tar and feathers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Perfect Gift

Every year at this time my wife expects a gift, and every year I dutifully provide her with something that I think she will like. She is, however, very picky. She did not like the elephant skin coat I purchased from a circus for her last year, and she did not care for the ironing shoes I gave her the year before that, even though they fit her feet perfectly and would halve the time it took her to press my shirts. So it has gone for all other presents – the new plough, the singing Venezuelan moth-bat, the tub of white-wash. Nothing pleases her.

This year she asked for something “bright and shiny.” Rather than risk another fiasco, I sought the advice of Mrs. Kringle, the wife of a friend who, like myself, travels widely.

“You are a woman,” I said. “What would you want that meets this criteria?”

She suggested something that she said she could not imagine living without. She then offered to sell me what she could spare. I readily agreed. It took me longer than usual to get home with my purchase, but I believe it was worth it. This year under our tree my wife will find two barrels of rendered whale fat. That is enough, Mrs. Kringle said, to keep our house lamps lit all winter.

I can hardly wait to see the look on my wife’s face.