With love, from Mars

VENUS AND MARS: NewsMail columnist Fred Archer sums up gender differences when choosing Christmas gifts.
VENUS AND MARS: NewsMail columnist Fred Archer sums up gender differences when choosing Christmas gifts. Brendan Downs - Thunderchild Observatory

MY WIFE put me into panic mode immediately when she said, "Do not give me a Christmas present, I do not want anything!"

How could I possibly know what she wanted or be able to afford something as expensive as that?

In desperation I enquired of the ladies of aqua aerobics what I should buy her. "Something personal".

I said: "what is a good brand of vacuum cleaner?"

They threatened to drown me.

Jewellery, I thought and went to a local shop.

"A diamond ring is always acceptable," the salesman said while wearing a smile borrowed from the Cheshire cat.

"Is the ring for a lady to whom you have given your heart?" he asked. "It's for the wife," I replied.

In an instance that tray was whipped away to be replaced by another. "What's the difference?" I asked.

"Those other rings were 22-carat gold with real diamond. These gems are really glass and the rings brass."

I decided that no gentleman would attempt to deceive his wife, particularly as I remembered that the last time I tried that trick my wife spotted the fraud straight away. I left. What I needed was an alternative, that is a cheaper gift.

The chain was just a little heavy and it was doubtful if it had enough power to cut the cakes she bakes.

I tried the shoe store.

"Size eleven, purple with a stiletto heel," I ordered the clerk for I knew my wife wore the same size in boots as me.

For some odd reason he asked me to leave.

"We do not want you sort in our store," he sneered.

The toy and hobby shop looked promising. Perhaps a train set with a steam engine with a lovely little tender behind?

I settled for a remote-controlled helicopter.

Proudly I presented it to my wife, suitably gift-wrapped.

"You shouldn't have," my wife said when she saw the toy and I am pleased to say she said it as if she meant it.

Immediately my wife took the controls. She made it rise until it was exactly in line with my eyes.

"Let's see how fast it can go," she said smiling.

I awoke on the floor to find pieces of the chopper sticking out of my forehead. Painfully, I pulled myself onto a chair to see a note from my wife on the table. "Gone to mother's for Christmas," it said.

Thinking about it, I realised a toy helicopter was not the ideal present for my wife.

Being merely a woman she obviously had no idea how to fly it accurately. Perhaps next Christmas I will get it right.

Topics:  blogs, frederick archer, frederick frankly, opinion




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