Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

Guess what? I'm getting a new water heater!

This means right off the bat that Santa is a lot nicer to me than I am to my Secret Santa victi - I mean, beneficiary at work.

Why yes! We do have a Secret Santa exchange. It's my first Christmas in the group, so it's my first year to participate. This is how it works: for three days running, you leave a little surprise present (but NOT a cat poop - I can't stress this enough) on your person's desk before they get in, or after they've left for the day. These presents should only cost a dollar or so apiece. And lo, upon the fourth day will ye a department luncheon hold, and then you reveal your identity and give them something worth about $10.

Well, I drew my cube neighbor's name. So on the first day I gave him a package of tinsel icicles worth 89 cents. Tinsel icicles are useful at keeping small children away from the Christmas tree because they conduct static electricity so well. Small children, who have a general tendency to shuffle, attract the icicles to stretch leisurely outwards from the tree branches and brush gently against the child, to whom they then deliver a painful electric shock. Trying to guess what's in your packages, are you? That'll teach ya!

This morning I left him a very small, somewhat disturbing Santa-star-shaped Christmas ornament. You'd probably have to see it.

Tomorrow he's supposed to get something good: one of those little candy-cane-shaped containers full of m&ms (no, the green ones have not all been taken out already - don't think I didn't hear that!) but I'll have to drive down there later at night again, as he gets in before I do in the morning, and this evening, for some odd reason, he wouldn't leave.

My Secret Santa is clearly my boss. I'm sorry, I like her and all, but no one else in our department is anal enough to wrap presents that neatly, so it's a dead giveaway. I've gotten one box of herbal tea and one of hot chocolate, neither of which I drink. But the kids like it.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, the landlord has examined our leaky hot-water heater and determined we need a new one. I'm overjoyed! We've really needed one for a long time, aside from the leaking. It rumbles ominously, is probably full of nutshells courtesy of the squirrels in the attic, and only delivers enough hot water for one shower. And if it's cold out, you better hurry.

The landlord also decided we need a new kitchen floor. Again. The house actually needs foundation repair, but that's probably more than I'm worth as a tenant. The existing kitchen floor is covered with vinyl tiles over an old, crumbling subfloor, which in turn was nailed down over some much older, uglier, 1970's era vinyl tiles. I'm glad the landlord wants to repair the problem, but am afraid that if things keep going on this way, you won't be able to get into the kitchen without a stepladder and a severe case of scoliosis.

It's no more than a lousy Secret Santa like me deserves. I'm just hoping that, in the Christmas spirit, my cube neighbor will find it in his heart to forgive me.

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