The Birthday Gift
The small group of family and friends gathered around the table. The glow of the candles lit my face. One puff and they were out, to the cheers of everyone in the room. The flash of my daughter’s camera momentarily blinded me.
‘Happy Birthday!’ they all shouted and they launched into a shaky rendition of the traditional song.
‘C’mon, time to open your gifts.’
I took the first present. I knew it was from my wife. It had sat taunting me for days on one end of the coffee table. I ripped open the beautiful wrapping paper. I think my next expression said it all. It was not the birthday present I was expecting.
I had been giving solid hints for weeks about the latest best-selling novel I wanted to read. The wrapped up parcel looked exactly right. Surely she had heard my heavy hinting?
My gaping mouth said it all. This was most unexpected, and a little embarrassing. As I showed the title to all in the room, I heard a few gasps.
An Illustrated Guide to Pig Farming boasted the cover.
Totally bemused I flipped through a few pages. My puzzled look intensified. There seemed to be something wrong; no illustrations. I thumbed back to the title page. Now I understood. She had tricked me.
‘Thank you darling,’ I said as I kissed her cheek. She’d bought me the novel after all. ‘Nice trick to put on a false cover.’
All rights reserved.
Copyright 2007 Trevor W. Hampel.
There are only a few questions that are common to all people.
They are The Big Questions of Life.
Many philosophers down through the millenia have attempted to bring answers to these burning questions. Probably the most inspiring attempt was contained in the trilogy of five books written by Douglas Adams in his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where he cleverly tries to answer the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Sim’ on his blog The Rhyme of Sim’ has written some learned answers to life’s perennial questions.
- I must point out that Sim’ is related to me; he is, in fact, my son.
The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to
take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or
changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year’s
winners. Read them carefully. Each is an artificial word with only one
letter altered to form a real word.
1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until
you realize it was your money to start with.
2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops
bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows
little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
person who doesn’t get it.
7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
10. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s
like, a serious bummer.
11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.
12. Glibido: All talk and no action.
13. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when
they come at you rapidly.
14. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into
your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in
the fruit you’re eating.
And the pick of the lot:
17. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an a__hole.
Thanks to Desire Hendrick’s for posting this on her blog A conservancy of one: exploring the craft of writing and life.
Postscript: A few days ago I wrote about the problem of bloggers merely copying the writing of others without bothering to add any value to the original. I’ve just broken my own rules by posting this list without comment.
I really couldn’t add anything to this list.
It’s completely brilliant.
One day I may come up with a few new “words” of my own.
I just had to share this.
It has little to do with writing or blogging, except that it is a gentle little lesson on the importance of proofreading what you write.
Not only do I have a delicate sense of humour, I also have a passion for cricket.
I was reading this report on the days proceedings in the cricket (on CricInfo) between Sri Lanka and South Africa. Two Sri Lankan batsmen broke all sorts of records with a world record partnership of 624. The country, in gratitude, decided to award them a prize. For their Herculean efforts? Well, read on, it appears not:
That is stumps on day 3. What a day, records being broken. A world record partnership of 624 runs between Jayawardene and Sangakkara, they broke the record when they reached 577. This is also the highest partnership in first class cricket. Jayawardene became the highest scorer for Sri Lanka when he surpassed Jayasuriya’s 340, he finally got out on 374. He is now fourth in the all time list of highest individual innings. South Africa in their second innings are battling on, they are 43 for no loss.
There are some presentations to be given. Cars being presented to Sangakkara and Jayawardene for their remarkable feet. A wonderful gesture.
So there you go, it was their :remarkable feet” which made all the difference in their ability to achieve this remarkable feat. And you thought it was all in the batting technique. All those years of batting practice you wasted when you could have been belting out the runs if only you had a good podiatrist.
Quite remarkable indeed.
Thanks to Chris on the Qwertyrash Blogs for this article. (Sorry – the link to this blog no longer exists.)
Updated and edited November 2013.