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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: The Christmas Present
By Debbie Fuhry


“O.K., I’ll let you know when I get it. Bye.” Chuckling, I hung up the phone, and looked down at the list of features and accessories my father-in-law had stipulated: silver, carrying case, charger, extra stylus, and screen protectors. I did not think many men approaching their 70th birthdays knew as much about game consoles as he did. Given Dad’s busy schedule, I had agreed to buy the Nintendo DS, although it would be a Christmas present from him, not from us. At his suggestion, my wife and I would buy a Mario Brothers game as the Christmas present from us.

I went looking for Dave. As usual, my 14-year son old was glued to his computer. “Dave, do you want to go to the store?” I asked.

His initial reluctance evaporated when I told him what we would be buying. He exploded from his computer chair and was seated in the car before I got my jacket out of the closet.

Half an hour later, we were perusing the electronics department. To my chagrin, there were two versions of the Mario Brothers game, and I was unable to figure out which to buy. Swallowing my pride, I called my father-in-law’s cell phone. My humiliation increased when I was unable to explain adequately the difference between the two games and had to hand the phone to Dave.

“Hi, Grandpa.” A pause. “No, Dad doesn’t really know much about this stuff. Let me tell you what they have here.”

I winced at that, but the conversation continued, and soon they settled upon the correct game. Leaving my son to guard the cabinet, as there appeared to be only one DS of the right color in the case, I went in search of a salesperson. After several minutes, I finally found a tall young man, awkwardly bent over by the cash register so that only his back was visible. He appeared to be trying to find something, so I waited several moments before interrupting him.

“Excuse me.” No response. I spoke a little louder. “Excuse me!”

He straightened up. “Yeah, what do you need?”

I hid my surprise that the young man looked no older than Dave, and asked, “Can you open the cabinet over here, please? I want to buy a DS and a game to go with it.”

Relieved that this errand would finally be complete, I followed the salesperson to the cabinet. Before unlocking it, he glanced at Dave and asked in a friendly tone, “So, is the game for your son?”

I heard a strangling noise behind me as Dave tried not to laugh. “No,” I said. “Actually, it’s for my mother-in-law.”

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This article has been read 386 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer 05/19/08
Well done! You fooled me, I thought the gift was for her son. Very creative. I'll be chucking for the next hour or so.
Lollie Hofer 05/19/08
CHUCKLING. I meant chuckling for the next hour so. I'm sooooooooooo sorry. CHUCKLING!!!
Patty Wysong05/19/08
Oh, I love it!! I thought it was for the kids! My mother loves computer games and 'stuff' so I can really relate. I loved this one!!!
Holly Westefeld05/20/08
I kept trying to figure out why David went along, since it would remove the element of surprise, but had not shifted to the logical conclusion before it got me at the end.
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
Congratulations, Debbie, on placing seventh in your level with this piece. Great job!