i am SO SORRY for ever, EVER mentioning anything about not having enough toys and presents.

Numbers chapter 1 comes screaming into mind:

1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD , and when he heard them his anger was aroused. 4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!” 16 The LORD said to Moses: 18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month-until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it-because you have rejected the LORD , who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” ‘ “

Gentle readers, today i have toys coming out of my nostrils.

My mom swung by this weekend for a pre-birthday visit. She was disappointed a few weeks ago when i told her that my wife and i would buy a digital camera as a family gift for Christmas. Mom said she was going to get us one. Instantly, i siezed up – what do moms know about digital cameras? i wanted a good camera, not some 1993 As-Seen-On-TV offer from Tiger Electronics with big plastic purple buttons and a macrame case.

So when i opened the nicely-wrapped box on Saturday, my heart shrank when i saw that it was a digital camera. Crumbs. But … there was something strange about this digital camera. It looked … kind of … well, awesome. 5 megapixels … did i read that correctly? 3.6 optical zoom? 12 speed back massage attachment? This was no cheapass camera – mummers had sprung for the real deal!

She did her research and paid close attention to detail and bought her boy one KILLER kamera. A camera so shiny and ass-kicking that i’m almost afraid to touch it. A camera that actually does entrap a person’s soul when you take their picture. This was an unprecedented gift.

i thought back to my entry about the second-hand He-Man toys, and that familiar wave of guilt washed over me. PLEASE don’t mistake me – i really enjoyed those He-Man toys. i was only commenting on a vague toy defficiency problem i suffered as a child. Was it that i didn’t get enough toys as a child, or am i just an inherently greedy person?

These days, i’m leaning toward option B. The day after Mom gave me that digital camera, strange things started happening in my wife’s brain. She was talking about how much she enjoyed my Muppet action figures, and how she enjoyed my joyful enjoyment of them. i told her the license was ending in 2005 (true), and how it was crummy that i’ve had to scour eBay for some and pay more for them than if i had picked them up at the store. *twig* said her brain. Then she uttered an alluring, alarming statement: We should go down to the comic book store and buy every single figure you’re missing so that you won’t have to spend the rest of your life hunting them down.

What was i feeling? Was it joy? Not quite … part of me thought it should have been. Fear, i think. Fear was the prevailing emotion as we hopped on the streetcar. Was this some kind of a trap? She had clearly murdered somebody, and this was her bid to butter me up. It was a very fast, very harrowing shopping trip as she pulled all of the uncollected figures off the shelf, piling up box upon box until they stacked up to the top of her head, with my own pile just as tall. Then we passed the point of no return, me signing the credit card receipt, the store clerks eyeing us with glee and suspicion – AKA “gleespicion.”

Today, the day after all that swag was trucked home, the receptionist tells me that a package arrived. It was a big heavy box filled with a really cool wireless keyboard and mouse, a Christmas present from an electronics company trying to buy my loyalty. i don’t know how far they got with that, but the keyboard seems pretty cool. i’m concerned about how i’m going to lug it home via the toy store where i’m scheduled to pick up two more toys that the other place sold out of.

Out my NOSE, do you understand??? i feel like some kind of squat, fat, greedy green dwarf from a holiday children’s special about the Spirit of Giving. i have this nagging feeling that i’m doing something terribly wrong by building a giant fortress of merchandise. i know i should be ecstatic, but something ain’t sitting right.

Is it that i know, deep down, that boxes can’t love me? Erm … no. Let’s try again.

Is it that my wife is clearly embroiled in some bizarre gift competition with my mother in a desperate bid for my love and affection? … Well, that’s clearly a side issue that i’ll have to address with her later.

Is it that my wife has done something terribly, terribly wrong, and wants to use the gifts as leverage when i finally uncover her heinous crime? Mmm … no.

i think it’s just that no person on Earth was ever meant to receive this many great presents in such a concentrated time period, and i fear that God will (for whatever reason) smite me. Smite me HARD.

OR i can just concentrate on chilling out and enjoying everything, and making sure this crap is put to good use.

Or back to smiting. Yeah – it’ll probably be smiting.