I'm sure by now we've all had our fill of misery for 2012, so let me end your year with a funny story.
Here's what you need to know before we get started:
1) My wife loves to mess with me, whether it's practical jokes or hiding in the closet and scaring the bejesus out of me. I can't begin to tell you how many rubber snakes and spiders we have around the house.
2) She can not stand to not know what her gifts are, no matter the holiday. If you buy her something, she wants to know what it is and she wants to know right now. At Christmas she has less patience than my 12-year-old.
3) For reasons that aren't pertinent to the story, she didn't get her big gift from me until the day after Christmas.
4) I decided to have some fun of my own for once.
And thus the game begins with a text message exchange while she was out and I was at home.
Wife: What are you doing?
Me: Leaving for work. Your present is in my underwear drawer. Merry Christmas!
Wife (in not her first attempt to try to get me to tell her what it is): Where did you get it?
Me (ignoring the question): Make sure you feed it once a day. And of course don't let it drink water. Coke only.
Me: I didn't get a cage for it, but you can probably get the leash on it if you don't wake it up. Watch out for those poison spikes though!
Wife: You're messing with me.
Me (ignoring her again and beginning the text with images of, among other things, a horse, dog, mouse, cat, frog, koala bear and wild boar): It looks kinda like one of these. But it can fly, of course.
Me: Just be careful and watch your fingers around its snout!
At this point I leave the house, and she calls to tell me she is leaving for home. I go to the bank and then the gas station. The next text comes while I'm in the gas station parking lot:
Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Love you!!!!!!!
It's her sly attempt to get me to talk about the gift by making me think she's already seen it. I almost fall for it, then call her to ask how she could've gotten home that fast. She then tries to snooker me again by claiming she is home, but there was nothing in the drawer.
She is sly, but so am I, like that guy says in "Jurassic Park." I realize she's not home. Then she says there's no way anything can be in that drawer because I couldn't have left the house to go buy anything and returned and left again. This is an assumption I counted on her making, because I work nights and sleep very late most days. But not this day.
Then a long time passes. Plenty of time for her to get home, discover the excellent gift and call to rain thank yous on me. And yet she doesn't. Is she making me wait for it? Has the messer become the messee yet again? I text her.
Me: Are you home yet?
Me: Well hurry up. It's probably getting hungry. (I send a cartoon picture of a monkey with this text.)
Another long time passes. Now, I know something is up.
Me: Are you still not home?
Wife: No, getting Mady's (our daughter) hair cut.
Me: Oh, I thought y'all did that already.
Me (really wondering if I'm being beaten at my own game): Your present is probably going to be pretty ornery when you get home. I'd just open the drawer, throw in some meat and then slam it shut real quick. After it feeds you can probably get it out and play with it.
Wife: OK, I will.Then she texts me a pic of our daughter's new haircut.
Now I'm convinced I'm being played. She's seen her gift, and she's making me suffer. I'm going to lose this game after all. And then, just as I'm about to throw in the towel and call her, she calls me:
"You did not have to do this. Why did you do this?"
"You know what. You didn't have to do this." Another pause, then: "Do I have to enter the Internet password? How long does it have to charge? Can I play with it while it charges?"
Etc., etc., etc.
And then I had to know.
"Were you afraid to look in the drawer?"
Game, set, match. To me. For once.
She might've gotten an electronic gizmo, but I got something much better.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.