To: The Henry family
From: Mr. and Mrs. Emutape
A Merry Christmas to one and all! We hope your holiday season has been as jolly as ours; and I’m about to tell you exactly what I mean by that.
We read your story, The Gift of the Magi, and we said to each other, “What a touching and heartwarming story.” We loved the comic irony when Mrs. Young sells her hair to buy Mr. Young an accessory for his watch, not knowing that he has sold his watch to buy fancy accessories for her hair. They end up destitute with a bunch of useless garbage, but their sacrifice has brought them closer together.
Well, it might interest you to know that we had our own Magi experience for Christmas this year. I wanted Mrs. Emutape to have a new enamel glaze for her dentures, so I sold my wooden leg to pay for it. And wouldn’t you know it: the next night she walked in and handed me a replacement knee for my wooden leg. “I fought you needed vis new knee more van I needed teef,” she said. “So I sold my teef to buy it.”
While she was saying that, I was standing up to hand her a certificate for the enamel treatment I had bought her. Of course I promptly toppled over. “No, dammit,” I said from the floor, trying to look as if I’d landed that way on purpose. “You need denture enamel more than I need a leg.”
“Don’t tell me what I need, you wobbling lopsided mouf breaver,” she retorted, and we fought bitterly the rest of the night.
It taught us a lesson. But you know what we didn’t learn? We didn’t learn the true meaning of Christmas, and we didn’t get to have hot Magi makeup sex, either. I can’t thrust properly with only one leg; and she looks revolting when she gets in the throes of passion and swallows her own nose. Life sucks now. I’m hopping around everywhere I go, struggling to stay upright, while she is suppressing jealous rage whenever she sees me eating solid food.
We blame you, O. Henry, for making us think that blind, useless self-sacrifice would make Christmas better. It didn’t. Your Magi are full of shit. Please take us off your Christmas card list forever.
Mr. and Mrs. Emutape
[fun fact: “Emutape” is an anagram.]