Birthday Present

By Ronald Larsen

“Sally,” Bill said, “I’ve been thinking about what to get my brother Harvey for his birthday. He always gets me some dumb present and I try to get him back, but either it doesn’t have the desired effect or he tops me on my next birthday.”

“How so?”

“Two years ago, he gave me one of those stupid talking fish plaques. Then I gave him a pet rock–a really, really big pet rock. Several pounds big in a satin-lined box. Problem was, he helped his kid take it to show and tell at school as ‘a dumb gift to Dad from Uncle Billy,’ then later he used it as a door stop in his office.”

“Then last year he gave me a straw hat and an elaborate corncob pipe set, with cleaning tools, a reamer and a couple different pouches of tobacco.”

“What’s so bad about that?”

“I don’t smoke and the hat looked stupid on me. In return, I gave him a full-size inflatable rubber hula girl sex doll with a genuine Hawaiian grass skirt. I didn’t know he’d started taking Polynesian dance lessons with a group of women, and he wore the skirt to his lessons. Said it was a real hit. Then he took the doll to his poker club and claimed that the guys loved it.”

“I want to give him something exceptionally weird or impractical this year.”

“How about an animal?”

“That’s not impractical.”

“I think you told me once that he lives in a small place, right? An elephant would be impractical. Or maybe a full-grown python? Or a cage of lab rats? No, I’ve got it–a couple of pregnant guinea pigs! No cage, just the guinea pigs in a cardboard box.”

“Great idea! But I think I’ll get him a real baby porker. Put a pink tutu on her, and a collar with a nametag. Sophie would be a good name. He had an old girlfriend named Sophie. She was on the chunky side. They had a big fight in tenth grade and wound up hating each other.”

Billy was as good as his word. Everybody at Harvey’s birthday party, except for Harvey, laughed and applauded when the pig was presented. “You really got me this time,” Harvey told Billy, with a forced smile.

On his birthday a few months later, Billy came home from work and swung into his driveway to be greeted by a half-ton pile of very odiferous manure. There was a little sign on top of the pile that read: “Happy Birthday Billy. Love, Sophie.”

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Ronald Larsen is a retired electrical engineer who went over to the dark side (Marketing) and spent 50+ years writing marketing literature. His fiction has been published in Fewer Than 500, Bewildering Stories, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Metaphorosis, 101 Word Stories and numerous engineering magazines.

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