Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Many Happy Returns - almost

Apologies for the long(ish) silence. I have been shopping. Don’t roll your eyes and wonder ‘what for THIS time?’ It is Scrappino’s birthday next week and since he was out all day on Sunday (with you-know-who) I thought I’d take advantage of the freedom to get him some birthday presents. So first thing on Sunday I was parking my Skoda in the Brent Cross car-park (again!) for a fun day’s shopping.

Firstly, what the HELL has happened at Brent Cross?? I counted 9 stores that had their metal shutters tightly locked, with big posters on the doors “This store is closed until further notice.” I’m not sure what’s going on, but something is happening. I will have to check the Hendon Times on Thursday to read all about it. There is always an article about Brent Cross in the Hendon Times. It’s in their regulations. Every week there has to be 3 articles about pensioners being mugged, 2 stories about charity fundraising at local schools, a story about a driver being unfairly clamped and something about Brent Cross. I’ll let you know what the scoop is on Thursday.

Despite the big close-down at Brent Cross I managed to get some presents for Scrappino’s big day. He’s going to be eight and I had the idea of buying him eight little presents rather than one big one. Partly because I think unwrapping a pile of pressies is more exciting than receiving just one parcel, no matter how terrific the gift itself might be. And also because, to be honest, I’ve no idea what he wants. The obvious solution would be to ask Scrappino himself. But, as luck would have it, he’s as clueless as I am as to what he wants. So I took a gamble and bought him a few things I think he’ll love.

The gift list is as follows:
1. DK encyclopedia of archaeology – well, he’s into the Romans, loves history and is glued to Time Team every Sunday at 5.00.
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – he’s been blissfully unaware of the Potter hype for years. But over Pesach he caught the Hogwarts bug and read books 1-4 in a week. So book five is waiting for him.
3. Magnetix – it’s like Meccano (remember that?), Lego and Knex all rolled into one.
4. Trivial Pursuit: Kids – I know, a bit spoddy. But he loves Trivia games. And since it’s a Kids version I should beat him hands down. Learning to lose gracefully - it’s an important part of growing up, I think. (Though I admit, celebrating when I beat a seven year old at Monopoly is a little worrying.)
5. Cluedo: Simpsons version. Scrappino loves Cluedo. But he always rushes to guess Whodunnit before he’s eliminated enough options. And then promises that he’s forgotten who was in the envelope anyway so we should carry on playing. He has many fine talents. But Poirot he ain’t. I think the Bart and Homer angle might help things along.
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Playstation 2 game – see #2. Oh, and bear in mind that I love playing on the Playstation as well. Always good to take an interest in your kid’s hobby, isn’t it? Even if it does mean he doesn’t get a look in because I’m hogging the controls and I end up going to bed at 3.30 am after spending 6 hours trying to get Scooby Doo out of the House of Hidden Horrors. But I digress.
7. Dangermouse DVD – remember Dangermouse? Pure TV magic. Forget Darling Buds, Fools & Horses and Frost. Dangermouse is without doubt David Jason’s finest hour. It’s probably one of the few things that Scrappino and I both genuinely love in equal measure. If you’ve never seen it, you’re life is poorer for that.
8. A picture. Well, more of a cartoon really. I drew it myself. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? But I thought I should add a personal touch and decided to get creative. I won’t divulge what it says. You’ll take the pish.

So, that’s the list of birthday presents. Laid out in a list it looks a bit extravagant. But I think he deserves it. He’s had a tricky year, for one reason or another. Well, one. And I wanted to spoil him for a change. Do you blame me?

The only problem now is where to hide the boxes. Scrappino and I live in a fairly small flat and there are no out-of-bounds areas. He comes and goes in and out of my bedroom all the time. And since his room is too small for a bed AND a wardrobe, all his clothes are in my closet. So he quite happily opens up my cupboards and drawers to find his own stuff. So under the bed, in my wardrobe or in the chest of drawers are all out.

I spent more time trying to find a secure hiding place for the presents than I did buying them. As I searched the flat for a fool-proof (well, Scrappino-proof) hiding place, I was reminded of an old friend of mine who once admitted that he had a fairly extensive collection of porn on DVD that he had to hide from his wife. The only place he could think of to hide it, where he could be sure she’d never discover it, was in his tallit bag. Brilliant. He only goes to shul three times a year (twice on Rosh Hashannah and once on Yom Kipppur) so it seemed a safe decision. But I do sometimes have visions of him turning up at shul and the security guard asking him to open his tallit bag only to discover his porn stash. Can you imagine the CST annual meeting to debrief the community on synagogue security? “Yes, we turned away three suspicious men in Edgware, discovered a couple of dodgy looking mobile phones in Stanmore and a copy of 'Look Who’s Porking' in a tallit bag in Hendon". Sadly, my friend tells me that he never gets a chance to watch the DVDs anyway. How humiliating is that? To be a three-times-a-year shul goer, and still get more use out of your tallit than your porn collection?

Anyway, thoughts of porn aside, I had to find a secret hideaway for Scrappino’s pressies. In the end, I stuffed them into his old pram which is still lying in the corner of my bedroom. I have no idea why I’ve still got it. It’s one of those massive Silver Cross things. Ridiculously impractical. Even if I had a baby (or was in a position to realistically plan for one) I doubt I’d use that pram. But I can’t bring myself to sling it out. And I can’t be arsed taking it to a car boot sale. So there it is in the corner of my bedroom gathering dust. Although at the moment, it is snugly concealing eight colourfully wrapped gifts for one very excited seven (soon to be eight) year old boy.

Six days to go and counting. Yes, you’ve guessed it. I’m as excited as he is….

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another fantastic blog almost choked on my moist but firm strudel.
Bit concerned by some of the company you keep but i suppose we all have a few skeletons in the tallit bag.

Px

12:07 pm  
Anonymous P in the USA said...

Two thoughts:

1) I played 1980s version of children's trivial pursuit while at Yosemite and it wasn't always as easy as you could hope. My excuse? - it was the American edition! You will need to think of another.

2) hide the presents at my place!

4:52 am  

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