Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Holiday Hijinks

Posted: December 11, 2020 in Experiences, Thoughts
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All my kids wanted for Christmas was a PlayStation 5. If you know anything about PlayStations, you know this is the newest and most sought after PlayStation in the history of PlayStations, and getting one is like winning the lottery. So… being the wonderful mom that I am, I dutifully put in all the time and effort… including a deal with the devil… to track one down.

So… besides all the time it took to actually order, pay for it, and have it delivered… this happened….

On delivery day, I didn’t want to take any chances that someone would steal it off my porch. So I used my tracking number to pin down the estimated time of delivery. Then I waited, watching out the window for the delivery truck to show up. It got tedious, but, after all of my previous effort, it didn’t matter how long I had to wait by the window and stare out into the street, I would make sure I got that PlayStation or die trying.

At long last, the truck pulled up in front of my house, causing my heart to race with excitement. Not wanting to wait another minute, I opened my door and stood out in the cold while the delivery guy got my package. It seemed to take him a long time to leave the truck, and I was starting to shiver in the cold, but I couldn’t go inside now.

Finally, he hopped out of the truck, carrying a big box with the PlayStation logo on the outside. Seeing me, he hesitated a second before continuing up to the porch. I smiled to put him at ease and gushed out my thanks. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Yup.” That what he said, but he was thinking, if you want an air fryer.

In case you don’t know… I have the rare gift of reading minds. His thought brought me up short and my brow furrowed. He handed it to me, and I looked him in the eye. “This is a PlayStation 5, right?”

He wasn’t expecting that, and his eyes widened. “Of course. That’s what it says right on the box. Have a good day.” Clearly uneasy, he rushed back to his truck, wondering why was I questioning him. There was no way I could know that he’d switched them out.

“Wait!” I yelled. “Don’t you have to scan the box or something?”

He glanced over his shoulder. “Uh… I already did.”

As he closed up the back of his truck, I ran into the house, ditched the box, and jumped into my car. He drove off, but I managed to back out of my driveway in time to follow him. He went a few blocks before making another stop, and I took that moment to put a call through to Ramos, my friend, and a hitman for the mob.

I wasn’t about to let this guy get away with robbing me of my prize, and I knew Ramos was my best chance of getting it back.

“Hey Babe, what’s up?”

“The delivery guy stole my PlayStation 5. I’m following him around so he won’t get away with it, but I could use some help.” I kept him on the phone while following the truck to his next stop, relaying all the pertinent details about where I was.

“I’m on my way. Don’t lose him.”

Just knowing Ramos was coming helped calm me down, but I was so angry, I could hardly see straight. At the guy’s next stop, I wrote down his license plate number, just to be on the safe side. I also got a little closer to his truck than I should have, but he hadn’t seemed to notice me yet.

At the truck’s fourth stop, Ramos arrived, pulling up beside me in his black sports car. After giving me a nod, he parked his car in front of the delivery truck, boxing it in, and I pulled up behind it. This was a perfect spot for a confrontation, since the delivery guy had stopped on a lonely stretch of road with only a few houses.

After dropping off a package, the delivery guy jumped into his truck and noticed Ramos had blocked him in. “Hey!” He yelled at Ramos. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Ramos got out of his car and shrugged. “Oh… am I in your way?”

Before the guy could answer, I made it to the other side of the open doorway and stepped inside the truck. His head whipped around to see me holding my stun flashlight at him.

“What the hell?” The flashlight didn’t scare him, but the look in my eyes finally registered, and he took a step back.

“You stole my PlayStation 5, and if you don’t give it to me right now, I’m calling the police.”

“Go ahead,” he said, deciding to call my bluff. “You have no proof, and I’ll be happy to tell them you’re threatening me.”

“Where is it?” I asked, not the least bit worried. He was thinking that he had it stashed next to his seat in the air fryer box.

“You’re crazy, lady. Now get out of my truck.” He moved toward me, thinking he’d shove me out if he had to. Lucky for me, he’d forgotten all about Ramos.

At that moment, Ramos stepped inside the cab and pushed the guy into the back, up against the side of the truck. “How much do you want to live?” Ramos’s hand came around the delivery guy’s throat causing his eyes to bulge.

“Stop… you’re… choking me. Okay,” he gasped. “It’s under… the seat.”

“No it’s not,” I said. “He put it in an air fryer box.” I searched through the boxes behind his seat until I finally spotted the right one. “Here it is.” I pulled the hastily taped flap open, and there it was. My PlayStation 5.

“Is everything there?” Ramos asked.

I found all the paperwork, and examined it. “Yes. It’s all here.” After pushing everything back into the box, I picked it up and stood. Ramos still held the guy down and I gave him my fiercest look. “I really want to stun you.”

I slid my gaze to Ramos. “Can I stun him?” I held my stun flashlight where the delivery guy could see it, and slowly moved it toward his face. Just to scare him, I pushed the button. The tongs flickered and buzzed, sparking and sounding just like a downed electrical line.

The guy jerked back, hitting his head against the side of the truck.

Ramos’s lips quirked up and he tried not to smile. He glanced the delivery guy’s way. “What do you say?”

Looking between us, the guy swallowed. “Look… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it. Okay? Just take it and go… You’ve got your PlayStation now… it’s all cool. Just let me go. We can forget this ever happened.”

That hardly seemed fair to me, but we’d been sitting there long enough that I was afraid one of the neighbors might get suspicious and call the police, and I didn’t want to deal with that. Still… it wasn’t right that he just got away with it.

“Okay. Fine. But I want your name in case I change my mind.”

He gave it to me, and I checked the lanyard around his neck to make sure it matched. “Don’t forget that I know how to find you.” He swallowed and nodded again. I glanced at Ramos. “Okay, let’s go.”

Ramos waited until I stepped out of the truck before he released the guy. As I backed my car up, Ramos did the same, and the delivery guy took off pretty fast. Ramos pulled behind me and got out of his car. As he came to my door. I rolled down the window, and he leaned in close.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so mad,” he said. “It was downright scary.”

I heaved out a breath. “If you knew what I’d been through for that PlayStation, you’d understand.”

“I can imagine… I’ve heard they’re pretty scarce, so it makes perfect sense. I’m glad you got it back.”

“Yeah… thanks to you.”

He grinned. “Oh… I’m not sure you needed me all that much, but I’m happy to help. Besides that… now you owe me.”

I huffed. “Yeah… I guess so. What do you want?” Realizing what I’d said, the blood rushed to my face, and my eyes widened. “Uh… I mean within reason… of course.”

He chuckled. Then he got that wicked gleam in his eyes. “A round of pool at the Tiki Tabu, and wear that black shirt… you know which one I mean.” He was thinking about the shirt with the round neck-line that I’d worn the last time we were there. It tended to gape open every time I took a shot.

“Really?”

“Uh-huh.”

I tried to come up with a way out, but I couldn’t think of a single thing. So I tried to put it off. “Fine. But it might have to wait until after Christmas… you know… because it’s such a busy time of year.”

He pursed his lips and shook his head. “Tomorrow… at noon.” His brow lifted and I knew he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Okay… I’ll be there.”

“Good. See you then.”

He got into his car and took off, leaving me sitting in a daze. What had I just agreed to? Dang. Oh well… at least I got the PlayStation back, so that was good. And playing pool with Ramos was probably getting off lightly. Ha! Who was I kidding… to be honest, I looked forward to it, and that probably made me a bad person. It was like playing with fire, but I didn’t have much of a choice, right?

So… see what I mean about a deal with the devil? What I do for my kids…

Christmas Gifts

Posted: December 5, 2017 in Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a while since my visit to the grocery store on that fateful day in April. That’s when the bank inside the store was robbed and I got shot, leaving me with the ability to read minds. If you want to know the truth, it’s been a mixed blessing. Sure, I’m mostly glad to have this ‘extra’ sense, but there are times when it’s gotten me in a lot of trouble. Like working for a mob-boss.

Of course, I’ve been able to help the police and solve a lot of cases, as well as start my own consulting agency. So I can’t complain. But as much as I like knowing things I probably shouldn’t, there are times I’m not real happy about it.

One of those times is Christmas. Even though I do my best to block my mind from hearing thoughts, I’m not always successful. As you can imagine, it takes a little of the enjoyment out of opening Christmas presents, since I usually know what I’m getting ahead of time.

Like this year. I accidentally heard my husband, Chris, thinking about this great present he was getting me. Mostly he was thinking how much money it would cost, but that I would love it. That got me real excited, and I tried not to listen to anything else he was thinking.

Since he knows I can hear his thoughts, he does his best to guard them as well, so that helps. Still, I feel bad about that, because it’s a lot of work for him, and he’s not always successful. It also leaves me in the position of sometimes lying so I won’t hurt his feelings. It’s a fine line.

But today, all my good intentions went out right the window because I heard him thinking about the toilet seat he was getting me for Christmas. I tried really hard not to react, but seriously? A toilet seat? For Christmas? And it cost a lot of money? Was it made out of gold or something?

“You’re joking, right?” I blurted.

“What?” Then it hit him that I’d heard all about the toilet seat. He took a deep breath and swore in his mind. Which I also heard. So this time, he said it out loud. “Dammit.”

“Sorry, but… are you serious?”

Chris shook his head, thinking that having a mind-reading wife was going to drive him… “Uh…yes, but it’s not what you think. They’ve got these great toilet seats that do all kinds of things. And it’s heated!”

“Oh, right. I didn’t think about that.” Then I glanced at him and smiled. “Okay. Maybe that is something I’d like.”

Chris groaned a little and closed his eyes, but managed to block his thoughts so I wouldn’t hear that he thought I was driving him crazy, but it didn’t take a mind-reader to figure that out.

I also felt bad that I’d ruined his surprise, so I quickly pulled him into a hug. “I’m sure I’ll love it.”

“I don’t have to get it for you. I can figure out something else.”

“No. Now that I know more about it, I think it’s great.”

He pulled away and narrowed his eyes, clearly not buying it.

“I do. Really. I mean…now that I know, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t get it. A warm toilet seat! That’s pretty sweet.”

“Shelby…” He shook his head, exasperated. Was I mocking him? He wasn’t sure if I was just saying that, or if I really wanted it. “You won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want it.”

I smiled. Poor Chris. “I do want it. It sounds lovely.” Oops, maybe that did sound a little patronizing.

He smiled back, thinking that at least I hadn’t picked up the other thing he was getting me…he caught my gaze and widened his eyes.

“I didn’t hear a thing about that.”

“Good.”

He left right after that for work. Kind of like he was eager to get away from his mind-reading wife. It would have hurt my feelings, but I couldn’t blame him, since I’d ruined his surprise.

Now I’ve been wondering all day if he’s really getting me something else, or if he just said that to throw me off. Oh well. Whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to my new toilet seat, but I’ve decided that, if I pick up the other thing he hinted at giving me, I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear about it. Even if I have to lie.

I heaved a sigh and tried not to get discouraged. Having mind-reading abilities was helpful for my business as a private investigator, but not so good at Christmas. As much as I tried to block people’s thoughts, it was still hard not to pick up what they were getting me and everyone else for Christmas, and I hated it.

It reminded me of the time I was snooping around in my parent’s bedroom one year and found the mother-lode of unwrapped presents in the closet. I knew I shouldn’t, but the temptation was too great and I looked. I don’t even remember what was in there for me, but it ruined my whole Christmas. It just took all the fun and excitement out of ripping off the paper and opening the box.

Kind of like this year, when I knew there was a crock-pot waiting under the tree for me. Not that I wasn’t grateful, since mine had cracked and I needed a new one…but it wasn’t really anything to look forward to.

At least I was excited about the present I had for Chris. Not long ago, a retired detective had nearly died helping me with a case, and we shared a special bond. He also had a talent for crafting fine watches. Chris had an old watch, but nothing compared to what I could get from Geoff, and I’d spent a few happy hours with him designing the perfect watch for Chris.

When he called to say it was ready, I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. Geoff seemed pretty happy with it as well, since he had an extra sparkle in his eyes. Once I saw it, I understood that sparkle and my lips spread into a big grin. He explained that it was a gold Swiss watch in a stainless steel case with an exhibition back in sapphire crystal, making the inside visible, and had a twenty-five jewel movement.

Even though none of that really made sense to me, I knew from the way he explained the workings of the watch that it was the highest quality possible…and a Geoff Parker original to boot…which meant a lot to me. It was a beautiful watch and I knew Chris would love it!

I took it home and wrapped it up in a big box so he wouldn’t know what it was and put it under the tree right next to the crock-pot. I grinned, realizing that it didn’t even bother me anymore that I knew about the crock-pot, and I couldn’t wait to see Chris’ face when he opened it.

Christmas morning came and I couldn’t believe how hard it was to open presents. Just before the wrapping paper came off, the person it was from always thought about what was inside and spoiled it for me. I put up my shields, but in the excitement, I failed more often than I liked. At least I had Chris’ present to look forward to, and I couldn’t wait to see his expression when he saw the watch.

After the kids were done, Chris and I opened our presents from each other. I grabbed the present with the crock-pot in it first, just to get it over with. Once the wrapping paper came off, my breath caught in astonishment. It wasn’t a crock-pot box. I glanced at Chris and he smirked.

“This isn’t a crock-pot?” I asked.

This time he chuckled. “What made you think that?”

My lips twisted in consternation. He’d played me! My heart hammered with excitement and I opened the box. Lots of tissue paper blocked my view, so I dug through it until my fingers touched a box. Black and small, it resembled the kind of box that held jewelry, and visions of sparkly diamonds clouded my head.

I glanced at Chris. His thoughts were locked up tight, but his eyes held quiet excitement. Taking a deep breath, I opened the box, then gasped in surprise to find a beautiful watch. I barely heard Chris talking about my detective friend, Geoff, and how he’d made it for me.

As Chris helped fasten it around my wrist, I couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled out…and the tears that clouded my vision. I blinked them back and playfully hit him. “You tricked me,” I said. “And I love it!” I pulled him into a hug. “Thanks for the surprise.” He gave me that special grin that always made me warm inside. I sniffed and got under control, then hugged him again before pulling away. “Now it’s your turn.”

I found the big box I’d wrapped and set it on his lap.

“Is this what I think it is?” he asked.

“You mean a crock-pot?”

“Uh-huh.”

“I’m afraid so,” I responded.

With a bark of laughter, he ripped off the paper and opened the box. Of course, he had no idea what was inside, so when he pawed through the tissue paper and found a little black box just like mine, he froze, glancing at me in complete shock. “Is this…?” He hesitated before pulling it open and I felt his surprise and pleasure as soon as he saw the watch inside. He shook his head in disbelief, and we both started laughing.

“This is crazy,” Chris said. “Who would have thought?”

“I know!” I agreed. “I just picked that up from Geoff a couple of days ago, and I had no idea. Of course, come to think of it, he did have an extra sparkle in his eyes.”

Chris heaved a huge sigh of relief. “I’m so glad you didn’t know, especially since I’ve been thinking about a crock-pot all this time.”

He slipped on the watch, and we sat side-by-side admiring our wrists, both of us in a happy daze and surprised by how perfectly everything had turned out. As I nestled closer to Chris I sighed with contentment, knowing this was going to be a special Christmas I would hold close to my heart for a long time to come.