Saturday, March 20, 2004

This has been a good week for presents. There were so many, their individuality has all melted into a collective memory. Some presents are slightly more memorable than others, for the mere reason that they have been handled more than once.

Take the box of German chocolates. They looked like almond chunks encased in a waxy coating of chocolate. One is always tempted to bite half of each one, to discover each flavour. Yet, in biting into one of these German chocolates a stream of rum shoots out. The result is a sticky, sweet mess on the carpet.

Then there is the 825 gram jar of German Nutella. One spoonful does not contain enough to determine the exact ingredients that distinguish it from the Australian Nutella. Once the researcher pinpoints the dissimilarity, the next step is to measure the correspondences between the German and Polish varieties. An average of 76 teaspoons will isolate the genome.

Finally there is the Old Navy hoodie. Having started life as the garment responsible for keeping travellers warm in the cold of the Ethiopian highlands, it adapted to a placid career as Romanian winter garb. Relegated to a fellow traveller and its existence forgotten, it has returned, as a rag covered in holy water stains.

The other presents clamour for attention. Envious of the above three, they threaten a coup unless their demands are met. The author, cornered, gives in. The box of Moldovan chocolates and the four packages of Viennese hazelnut wafers rejoice.

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