Jon Dawson buys his wife a pack of gum for Christmas
It's Christmas Eve. The nativity scene is in place and the gifts are wrapped. Nat King Cole is on the hi-fi and you've properly threatened all members of your family to be on time tomorrow. You're as prepared as you're going to be. Take a deep breath - try to relax.
With every car that passes, you jump with anticipation that ye olde Amazon Prime delivery is going to come through. Why? Because your significant other waited until Dec. 22 to make it known that one of the new "A Clockwork Orange" onesies would make a great gift.
When the mail carrier knocks on your door he's bandaged, bruised and limping due to the stress of delivering packages non-stop for the past 36-hours. You give him a plate of homemade cookies as a Christmas gift, but he mistakes them for another package to deliver and runs into the woods, climbs a tree and lives out the rest of his days as King of Squirrels.
The Wife and I stopped giving each other presents when the Tax Deductions came along. We still put some small things in each other's Christmas stockings, but nothing major. Even with such a low-pressure shopping threshold, being a man I still like to have some sort of hint as to what m'lady would like for Christmas.
Left to my own devices, The Wife's Christmas stocking might end up being filled with the after-dinner mints that have been in my sports jacket since the last time we went out to dinner during the Roosevelt administration.
"What would you like for Christmas?" I asked her.
"I can't think of anything," she said. "I have you for a husband; what more could I want?"
While you determine if it's worth your time to validate the accuracy of my recollection of the conversation, believe me when I say it took weeks to get a crumb of a suggestion out of her. It happened on a Wednesday during supper.
"Do you still need an idea for my Christmas present?" she asked.
"Indubitably," I retorted.
"I need a new ice cream scoop," she said with a straight face.
We're not talking about some super-deluxe, titanium-grip ice cream scoop with a racing stripe and her initials etched on the handle with an alligator skin carrying case. She wasn't looking for an advanced Bluetooth model developed by NASA with built-in GPS that can tell you how many steps you've taken to and from the refrigerator in a given day, but just a plain old ice cream scoop.
On Saturday the Tax Deductions and I went shopping for things to populate The Wife's Christmas stocking. We were doing pretty well until it came time to purchase an ice cream scoop. I assumed a scoop was a scoop, but I was wrong. Here's the scoop:
There were right-handed scoops, left-handed scoops, and even automated scoops that required cranking. There were digital models that told you how many calories were in each scoop of ice cream. We even found an ice cream scoop designed for the lactose intolerant, which was nothing more than a spoon with a giant hole in it.
We eventually settled on what we think is a traditional, gluten-free ice cream scoop. The odd thing is we only have ice cream in the house when it's someone's birthday or there's a 2-for-1 deal at the grocery store. Then I remembered that we usually just use a spoon to dip ice cream.
"I don't use the scoop for ice cream," The Wife said. "I use it to make those black-bean burgers you claim are the work of the devil."
So as it turns out, I was duped into procuring a scoop under false pretenses. If I'd known I was helping bring any more black-bean burgers into existence, I would have given The Wife a pack of gum and been done with it. Come to think of it, I think there's half a pack of Juicy Fruit in the car...