Vol. 2, Issue 40, December 7, 2004
Fizzy Tea Hits the Spot
US Press News

Beware Nephews Bearing Gifts

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

The holidays are truly Upon us, days Lumbering in an increasingly glittery Post-Thanksgiving pace towards Christmas. There are many things to take care of: the Cards to send, the Nutcracker to remove from his Box; even my Dart game changes, for I put aside my trusty Flying Dutchmans for the elegant Mistletoe set I won in that Whist game nigh unto thirty Years ago, in a southern French port (but that is neither Here nor There).

The stockpiling of Gifts is one of these annual Pursuits of course, to be brought home in their bright Wrappings and Concealed warily about my Office; where Ephram and his Associates tirelessly Search in my Absence, poking and Prodding for tantalizing clues. The rascals. But this pursuit is assuredly One-sided; for his annual Gifts to me, I must say, are rather Consistent. To wit, he "borrows" one of the less Valuable bottles of Scotch from the office - a Glenfiddich 10 year old or some such, kept in the Open and not locked securely away like the Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 (which Ephram shall never find). Indeed, he once gifted me two years Running with the same Bottle pilfered from the edge of my Shelves.

Hence I am more than a little Suspicious, not to say Flabbergasted, to find a package clumsily peeking out from beneath the Sofa in the News-room bearing my Name. "To Uncle Zeke," the tag reads: sure enough, it is a Present for Me. Yet my bottles remain Unmolested... Could it be an Actual Gift?

Astonished, I take out the Package and examine it with a Critical eye. Wrapping is Clumsily done, with some Cello-Tape and an adhesive Bandage securing the garish paper: definitely the work of my Nephew. What on Earth propelled him to such preparation? I shake the box: Silent as falling Snow. I give it a careful Sniff - but aside from the distinctive odor of the Cheese which he also stores under the Couch, there is naught perceptible. I observe it Carefully and listen for many Minutes: there is nothing Alive in there, thank goodness.

I judge its Size, and rush to my office to see if anything small enough to Fit in the box is missing. Letter opener: Present. Extra Pipes? Accounted for. Tele-Phone? One never Knows, but in this case it has not Disappeared.

I am faced with the possibility that Ephram actually Purchased this item, or at the very least stole it from someone Other than me. And I confess I am Surprisingly touched at his thoughtfulness. It is, I believe, the first time in More Years than I can count that he has Ever demonstrated such thoughtfulness as to prepare a Present so far in Advance of the holidays.

Realistically, I must admit to myself that it is very Likely a pair of Socks or some such mundane thing. But I shall be sure to Treasure it, and the weeks of unexpected Anticipation prior to Christmas, for the unexpected Pleasure that it represents. Thank you, Ephram, for taking the time to badly wrap a mysterious Present for me and hide it among the Cheese. It is, perhaps, one of the Nicest gestures you have ever Made.


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