by David Cameron from Bowen Island, BC
It was Valentine's Day 1994 and time was running out. I still hadn't gotten my beloved wife and the mother of my child a gift or a card. Now, I didn't want to buy the prepackaged sentiments of Hallmark and I didn't feel like standing in the 5:30 tulip line at the General Store with all the other desperate male lovers. No. I was waiting for something special to come along.
But it was late in the day and there I was, in my capacity as a builder, scraping and digging amongst the foundations of a customer's house and my chances for a romantic evening were looking slim.
And then my spade hit a particularly immovable rock. I dug around it, levered it out with a pry bar and behold! Cupid had answered my prayers, for there was a ten pound rock in the perfect shape of a heart. Now if I had seen this very same rock the day before, I might have thought it potato shaped but like I say, I was desperate. "She will love it" I thought as I brushed off the bigger chunks of dirt. I spent the rest of the work day chiseling our initials into it with somebody else's wood chisel, hopped into my trusty white van and drove home imagining my wife's delighted reaction and the fleshy rewards that would be mine. I was so tickled with anticipation that I drove all the way to the front door stairs and bounded up with the prize in hand and thrust it proudly at my heart's desire.
Now in my wife's defense, she had spent the day alone with a three-year-old and I was late because I had stopped at the pub for one. She was not overjoyed. She looked blankly at what I had laid on the coffee table and tensely muttered, "A rock."
We had a quiet dinner after which I quickly volunteered to do the dishes so I could feel sorry for myself alone. The plates dried and everything back in its place, there was only one thing left to do. I glanced over at the coffee table and there it sat; ten pounds of humiliation. I grabbed it and opening the front door hefted it out like a shot-put. Only when it had left my finger tips and was sailing through the air did I remember where I had parked my van.
The new windscreen cost $259.69, a new wood chisel cost $15.78 and the following year I bought a nice Hallmark card for $4.75.