Best gift ever

One of my students asked me what the best gift I ever received was. I had many choices. Elysha bought me a TiVo several years ago, which I have enjoyed a great deal.

She also gave me a signed copy of a Kurt Vonnegut novel that was unforgettable.

Oh, and she gave me a catapult-like gun that shoots chickens for Christmas a couple years back. That was pretty fantastic, too.


A few years ago a student gave me a Razor scooter for my birthday. I’ve had many hours of fun on that two-wheeled contraption.

In the end, I told the kid, the best gift I ever received was from my friend, Jeff, who gave me a gift box at my bachelor party and told me to give it to my friend, Tom. I tried to ask why but he insisted that I simply hand it over to Tom and say, “This is for you.”

I did.

We were standing outside Stanley Golf Club, surrounded by my friends and many strangers. Tom opened the box and found an enormous spider inside, still very much alive and apparently quite angry. Tom threw the box, screamed like a girl, and ran about twenty feet before coming to a stop.

He’s terrified of spiders.

That may have been the best gift that I ever received:

The gift of terror, wrapped up and ready to hand over to my arachnophobic friend.