Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's fortune: July 30, 2011

Today's fortune: A small gift can bring joy to the whole family.

Jamie and I have taken this to heart. We've made gifts for our whole family out of items we had laying around the house - and we had a blast.

This summer, my wife has fallen into a terrible addiction: ordering free samples from companies across the country. It's a disease, really. She surfs the internet all morning looking for the newest and latest giveaways, then in the afternoon she peers out the window like a hawk waiting for the postal delivery truck to drive by, bringing that day's loot. And if the mailman doesn't bring a sample on a given day? Watch the hell out.

Yesterday, Jamie's biggest score of all came to the house, in a huge box that wouldn't fit in the mailbox. This box had been shipped overnight, air freight. Jamie cracked the box open and inside was a styrofoam cooler. Inside that was a single frozen dinner, kept cool by a chunk of dry ice.

I'd say it probably cost at least fifteen bucks to pack and ship a two-dollar frozen dinner. (The funniest part is, Jamie can't even eat it; she's a vegetarian and the dinner contains chicken. Score one for Matt!)

Jamie and I took the dry ice and had some fun with it. When I was a kid, each Halloween my dad would drive down to this creepy old ice manufacturing plant in Kansas City's West Bottoms and buy a big blog of dry ice (now you can get the stuff at the grocery store). My mom would boil a bunch of water, and we'd put hot water and dry ice in this huge cauldron out in front of the house. It looked like a witch's pot, and it was a cool neighborhood attraction.

So Jamie and I boiled a pot of water and dropped the dry ice in. The rush of creepy vapor rising off the water gave us a thrill - and it freaked out the cats. We took a picture with Jamie pretending she was making a double pot of toil and trouble:

To help the cats get over their anxiety, we gave them each a small gift: a little taste of cat nip, the closest thing felines have to crack cocaine. Here's a video of our feisty calico cat, Short Round, enjoying her treat:

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention another small gift, due to arrive on or around February 13, 2012, that will make my entire family more happy than it's ever been. That's when my niece or nephew will be born.

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