What Have I Done to Deserve This

As my birthday slowly approaches, I really need to ensure that the gifts that I receive from my folks this year is not a repeat of last, which can only be best described as horrendous.

If you don't recall that ugly incident, please click here ( Birthday ) and look it over just to familiarize yourself with my personal Hell.

Briefly summarizing, my crazy evil sister decided to play a trick on me by convincing my parents to purchase me the most crappy and useless gift a person could ever get, that being a picture painted by a damn monkey!

In order to avoid this kind of nasty incident being repeated, I figured the best defence is a strong offensive and a preventative strike was definitely in order.

I am not a cunning and manipulative individual by nature, however knowing that my crazy sister prides herself in having those two specific personality traits, I really needed to stop her in case this year she convinced my parents to buy me something else which would inevitably end up in the garbage bin.

I figured the best way to ensure that my parents go back to the 'traditional birthday gifts' of giving me new clothes from my Mom and a nice bottle of premium booze from Dad, I had to show that I was in dire need of these items, so I set my somewhat ingenious plan in motion.

When dealing with Mom, the best way to convince her of a point is to simply just show her the facts. She is a reasonable woman who can draw her own conclusions in matters. I figured I would play on this by finding my oldest and rattiest pair of blue jeans and make them look even more tattered and beat up then they actually were. By doing this, she would notice I was in desperate need of a new wardrobe and, voila, it would appear!

Unfortunately the worst jeans I could find in my closet were ones that seemed to be in relatively good shape. This just would not do. I needed to somehow make them looked worn out and weathered without destroying them in order to further my extremely artful plan.

Having thrown them in the washing machine 4 times still had no noticeable affect on them aside from some minor fraying. This was not good enough, I needed more.

I next came up with the ingenious idea of dragging them down a few dirty gravelled back-allies behind my car. After more than a few bizarre looks by neighbours at my actions, I finally got the dirty and tattered look I so much needed.

I pulled the jeans on (after yet one more final washing) and then put on an old 'Sydney Olympics 2000' T-shirt from like 6 years ago that I had in my cleaning rag bag - the look was perfect. The jeans were way too tight & I could barely fasten them up. The scruffy old shirt was too small to even tuck in. I would head of to my folks place for Sunday dinner and let the clothes do the talking. This plan was flawless.

My scheme was to walk in the door on Sunday at my parents place and pretend nothing was out of the ordinary.

"Hey Mom", I called out as I strolled into the kitchen. "I thought I would arrive a bit early for dinner in case you needed a hand with anything."

Mom was just basting a delicious looking turkey when she turned around to greet me. She was planning on cooking a rather large meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veggies and pumpkin pie for dessert. This meal has always been a particular favourite of mine and I never need to be asked twice to come over when she is preparing this kind of huge feast.

The look in her eyes when she noticed what I was wearing was priceless.

"Hmmm, Hello Son, glad you could make it." Mom responded rather hesitantly as she was eyeing me up and down. "Were you just working on your car or cleaning up, you look rather shabby?"

"No, Mom." I responded ever so non-chalantly. "Just sitting around the apartment doing nothing so I thought I might come over early is all. Do you need me to go out and pick up anything for ingredients for dinner?"

Dad looked up from his newspaper at the kitchen table and just called out "Hey Boy." and then quickly ducked behind it.

"I think I have everything we need for tonight. Your sister, Doug and Mikey are coming over too so they are bringing the dessert." Mom advised.

She then stared at me again with a rather distressful look in her eyes.

"I do hope you will not be wearing those clothes, you look like some kind of old Hobo or something." Mom remarked. Then looking over towards Dad she asked "What do you think, Simon?"

Dad put down the paper and eyed me up and down for a moment.

"Looks like he is already dressed to clean out my garage, dear." Dad responded. "Might be a pretty good idea since we aren't eating for another couple hours or so."

With that he went back to his paper, obviously wanting to be left undisturbed from the goings on around him.

"There is nothing wrong with my clothes, Mom." I protested. "Actually, these are probably the best jeans I own. You should really see some of the others. I just haven't done as much clothes shopping as I had hoped to lately, but with my birthday coming up and all...."

I was really laying it on pretty thick but I had to. I had hoped this blatant hint would ensure that Mom would buy me clothes this year and ignore any petty and foolish gift suggestions my ignorant sister may advance.

"Well, my word." Mom exclaimed sounding even more distressed. "You look like some sort of ragamuffin in that outfit. That grubby old shirt and filthy blue jeans don't even fit you anymore. It is terrible. I am embarrassed if the neighbours saw you coming in here dressed like that. Whatever will they think?"

"Jackpot." I thought to myself. My plan was going exceedingly well. This birthday would make up for last years debacle as I am sure Mom would go overboard in ensuring I was dressed well, if for no other reason than to guarantee that her neighbours wouldn't be gossiping about my clothing.

And then suddenly my master plan fell apart as quickly as it began.

"Look at your son, Simon." Mom ordered in a very clear take-charge voice. "We will be buying him clothes for his birthday, that's for sure. He desperately needs it. He doesn't even fit in what he is wearing. He has gained far much too much weight. I forbid you to give him the gift you had planned."

Dad put down his newspaper once again and gave me the once over with a discerning eye.

"You're right dear, your son is quite huge." Dad remarked with a rather evil smirk on his face. "Looks like the boy has put on about 25 pounds or so since he bought the jeans he is wearing. Fat as an old hog, he is. Are you now saying you don't want me to give him my gift this year and instead give you some money for clothes?"

"That is exactly what I am saying Simon." Mom replied very determinedly. "He needs booze like he needs a hole in the head. Look how his belly is hanging over the waist of those jeans."

With that Dad got up and took out a gift box from the cupboard. It was marked 'Ballentine's - 30 year old Blended Scotch Whiskey'.

Every year aside from last year, Dad has given me a nice gift of premium scotch. This appeared to be the very best premium scotch he had ever given me as I was aware that this bottle was approximately $400.00in cost to buy and was a special order.

"Sorry boy, I can't contradict your mother." Dad advised me looking anything but sorry. "I have my principles and I can see that this gift of mine which I ordered for you special, would do more harm than good. I will just have to make a personal sacrifice this year and keep it for myself."

Things were now no longer going good for meat all. In fact quite the opposite. Things were clearly going terribly, terribly wrong. My beautiful 30 year old smooth and delicious scotch was disappearing before my own very eyes. Panic began to set in. I knew I had to do something.

"No ,no, principles?" I responded, panicking. "What principles? You've never had any principles before, Dad. No need to start now."

Dad of course would hear none of my protests. I honestly didn't expect him to since he has now come out one beautiful bottle of 'Ballentine's 30 year old Blended Scotch whiskey' ahead of the game.

I knew with everything I had said and done earlier that I couldn't simply recant my entire story now. I was screwed. All I could do was beg and plead like a bothersome hound looking for table scraps.

Finally Dad had heard enough of my whining and pleading and tucked the box of scotch under his arm and left the room. He looked over his shoulder at me and cackling aloud like an old hen yelled "I'll say a toast to you as I am sipping this fine scotch on your birthday, boy!"

With that he cackled again and he and my beloved bottle of scotch both disappeared down the hall.

I collapsed in my chair at the kitchen table, totally dejected. My plan had just back-fired miserably. Mom noticed my mood and came over in an attempt to console me.

"Now don't despair son." She advised soothingly. "This is all for your own good. Even your father see's that point. We will get you some nice new clothes and until then, perhaps you might go on a diet and lose all this unhealthy weight you seemed to have gained. In fact, we will start tonight - no turkey dinner for you. A nice salad is in order. I will make one special just for you. You'll thank me one day, you will"

Happy !@!@&^*@ Birthday, I muttered to myself under my breath. I really am starting to hate these damn birthdays.


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