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The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise

The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise

The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise: A Humorous Short Story – Introduction

Have you ever given a birthday present that you thought would be spectacular, but in The Birthday Present - Surprise Surprisereality it was a bust, or the result was far different than you imagined. I have. This month’s short story, “The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise,” featuring the character, Joe Bob Bass, is an example of such an event.

Life is full of small victories and failures, but a person who never attempts good things for fear of failure is the ultimate loser.

My dad used to say, “You win some and you lose some and sometimes you don’t even get to play the game.”

He was so right.

If you have good intentions and things turn sour don’t give up. Sometimes it takes a small failure to prepare us for big victories. I hope you enjoy “The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise.”

The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise

Rae’s car pulled into the driveway. She stopped the car and looked as though she had witnessed a train wreck.

Happy Birthday!” Trish, my daughter, and I chimed as I helped Rae, my wife, out of the car.

Rae was stunned; her mouth gaped open; she was utterly speechless.

The day before Trish and I stopped at the local farm and ranch supply store. We were on a mission.

Trish, is this the gold we want?”

I don’t know,” she said. “It says Moline Gold.”

What’s the difference between Moline Gold and regular gold?” I asked a teenage sales clerk.

I think it’s a lighter shade,” he said.

What do you think?” I asked Trish.

Mom wants gold and it says gold,” she said.

We’ll take ten gallons,” I told the sales clerk.

Rae, had wanted our mobile home painted for some time. Her birthday was Saturday. Trish and I surprised her by painting the mobile while she was at work.

We awaited Rae’s first utterance.

It’s orange…bright orange,” she said as she stared at the house. “I wanted gold not orange.”

It’s Moline Gold,” I said. “Look at the can.”

Yeah, Moline Gold,” Trish agreed.

Maybe it will turn gold when it dries,” Rae said graciously.

It is dry,” I said.

Oh, you guys worked so hard,” she said as she hugged us. “And…you definitely surprised me.”

The three of us stood and admired our new orange house. I finally broke the silence, “Let’s eat at the Dairy Dip Cafe for your birthday.”

That’s the brightest orange I’ve ever seen,” said Rae. “Boy, was I surprised. At first I thought I was at the wrong house until I saw you and Trish standing there.”

We were in denial,” I laughed. “We thought the color would change when it dried, but the longer we waited the brighter the orange became.”

Yeah,” Trish said. “We painted more than three-fourths of the house before we realized Moline Gold must be another name for bright orange.”

Bless your hearts,” Rae chuckled. “It’s truly a nice thought.”

I’ll repaint the house my next days off,” I said.

I’ll select the paint this time,” said Rae.

Several days later Rae and I selected the paint color for the house.

I arrived home from work the evening before my days off. “I’ll get the paint in the morning,” I told Rae.

We can’t paint the house,” Rae said.

What’s the problem?”

Let’s take a drive, and I’ll show you.”

What the heck? What’s going on?” I asked as I gazed at the Dairy Dip Cafe.

It seems that the school colors are orange and black,” Rae explained. “The Dairy Dip owners were so taken by our school spirit that they painted the cafe bright orange.”


That’s not all,” continued Rae. “We’ve been elected school ‘Sports Boosters of the Year’ by the Booster Club. Monday at their meeting, they’ll present us with a fifty dollar gift certificate to the Dairy Dip Cafe, a free tire rotation at the local gas station, and a certificate for three free buckets of minnows from the bait shop.”

We’re not even Booster Club members,” I said.

It seems they waived the rule that ‘Booster of the Year’ had to be a member. They feel we’ve taken school spirit to a new level.”

Oh my goodness,” I laughed. “We’re going to have to live with that color forever.”

We never had the courage to tell anyone the paint job was a horrific mistake. Whenever we entered the gymnasium to watch a game we were announced over the loudspeaker as “Super Boosters of the Year.” It was quite embarrassing, but we were well received by the townspeople.

We repainted the house before the next ‘Booster of the Year’ selection. Whenever someone asked why we repainted the house, we replied, “We don’t want to overshadow in any way the new ‘Booster of the Year’ recipient.” That explanation seemed to satisfy everyone.

I learned three lessons from the incident:

  • First, good intentions that are not well reasoned can produce entirely different results than anticipated.
  • Second, take time to shop at a regular paint store where they have properly trained personnel.
  • Last and most importantly, NEVER ask a teenage salesclerk about important paint decisions.

Copyright 2010 J-me

Let me know what you think about “The Birthday Present – Surprise Surprise.”

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