The Gift

Christmas Eve. Only one person remained to be bought for; Elaine. Nine years together and he was drawing a blank. He couldn't get her jewelry again, she already said something about it last Christmas. And she was right, for the nine year they'd been together, he'd bought her jewelry every single year, once he even bought her the same necklace two years in a row. "I'll go out on the town, something will pop into my head", he thought. Hours went by and nothing did. 

For little Daniel he purchased some sporty sunglasses, for his boss it was a pair of odor fighting tiger woods golf socks. He even bought for his wife's sister an expensive set of noise canceling ear buds. "Why in the hell can't I think of what to get my god damn wife" he thought. 

It was 7 o'clock and stores were beginning to close. "Yo my dude" a voice called from the street. He turned to see a man in a bright yellow parka, standing next to a late model Chevrolet with several light emitting modifications.

"Last minute?" The man joked. Paul sighed and nodded diffidently.

"I got you, who you buying for?"

"My wife."

The mysterious parka'd man thought for a moment then he popped the trunk and beckoned Paul over.

"OK now, you're late in the game here my bro, but I'm-a save your ass."

Paul listened intently. Was this man his guardian angel? 

"I got some bottle rockets, some nunchuks made by real ninjas and samurais, I got discount cigs, What else? Oh, your honey like steaks? I got a cooler in the back seat with some good steaks. Also, I got a baby alligator too but I gotta go get that if you want it, aaaaand some DVDs."

"What's that?" Paul pointed into the corner of the trunk at a leathery looking object. 

"She got exotic tastes huh?" 

Paul replied positively as though his will had been suddenly taken over. Perhaps it was his overwhelming state of panic or the several drinks he had consumed at McKallard's to ease his mind but the words coming from the parka'd salesman seemed to strike all the right chords at precisely the right moments. All that mattered was that this sagely merchant of rare goods seemed to hold a divine solution for Paul's troubling dilemma. The savior-peddler spoke with profound eloquence on how this severed and reduced human head would bring great joy when retrieved from underneath the merry old tannebaum by Paul's unsuspecting sweetheart.

It was like some washed up vaudevillian finding a laugh in a sea of agitated cynics. He'd found the gift of gifts! Paul paid the man quite handsomely, wished him the respective salutations for the time of year and hastily departed homeward on a mission to wrap the newly acquired bit of curios. 

The sudden relief Paul felt brought on a wave of ecstasy, a feeling of all encompassing victory and near invincibility. He drove home with his music way up loud, belting out his favorite Steve Miller Band tunes. As he grooved along, looking down at the shrunken head lying in the passenger seat, Paul suddenly realized he had made an enormous mistake.

The End