What ever it takes
He’d lost the Halloween candy and stash contest by seven Tootsie Rolls, four Kit Kats, two oranges and five dollars.
“You can’t count candy and money from relatives.”
“It’s against the rules.”
He’d bragged to Randy he had the biggest turkey in the State, but once again Randy found a bigger one. Tom’s somber mood cast a shadow on Thanksgiving for everyone.
Tom said. “I told you I had the biggest turkey in New York State.”
“You did, until my mom went to Scranton and found a bigger one.”
“It’s a Pennsylvania Turkey, not a New York turkey.”
Now with twenty eight days till Christmas, cards became the desired commodity. No one had to declare cards were the competition, it was understood.
At the Christmas Eve Service Randy taunted Tom. “How many do you have?”
“I’ve got 128. How many do you have?”
Randy replied “153, I win again.”
“Not yet buddy.”
“Christmas is tomorrow and there’s no mail between now and then”
“I know, just bring your cards to my house at five tomorrow night and we’ll count em.”
“Ok sucker. How about putting five bucks where your mouth is?”
Promptly at five the bell rang and Randy strutted through the front door with a grocery bag full of Christmas cards. He announced. “I’ve got 247, now count em and weep. How many you got?”
“128 so far.”
“Game over kiddo.” Holding out his hand Randy said “I’ll take my fiver.”
Tom said “Not so fast”
“I got you by 119.”
Pointing to the brightly decorated Christmas present along side the tree, Tom said. “I’ve still got one more Christmas present to open.”
“What is it you don’t understand, the game is cards, not presents? But I’m a big guy, so open your present.”
Tom’s mother dragged the huge water heater box; wrapped in Santa Clauses, candy cane and poinsettia papers, to him.
Instead of opening it like most sixth graders, Tom removed one piece of tape at a time. He carefully folded the candy cane paper and began to un-tape the poinsettia wrapping.
Impatient, Randy shifted from one foot to the other. “Hurry up; I gotta get home before next Christmas.”
Tom continued at his snails pace.
Randy turned to Tom’s mother and said. “He owes me five bucks, would you please go to his room and get it for me.”
Mom smiled. “I bet you can’t guess what it is son.”
With that Tom turned the box upside down, dumping thousands of Christmas cards on the floor. Randy’s eyes bugged and his face fell. “How did you do that?”
“Mom loves the internet.”
His mother held out her hand to Randy and grinned. “I’ll take that fiver.”
“Thanks mom. I’ll relieve you of that.”
“No you won’t; it’s going into the church collection plate along with twenty five more that you’ll work off at $1.00 an hour.”
Randy burst out laughing. “You lose again pal.”
The phone rang and Tom answered it. “It’s your dad Randy.”
Randy took the call and his face dropped as he hung it up.
“What’d he say?”
Randy ran to the door, threw it open and ran into the darkness without answering.
Mom said. “His dad said gambling isn’t in the spirit of Christmas and you’ll work off the $50.00 I put in the offering plate last night.”
“How much does he get an hour?”
“A buck, same as you; now go to your room until I’m pleased with you again.”
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