We all decided at that time, that, while it may be true that no video collection is complete without a copy of Pretty Woman, 9 copies was somewhat -- how shall I say it? -- excessive. Add to this the potential to help other people fill out their own video collections, and you've got The Pact.
The Pact went as follows: we agreed that anyone not abiding by The Official Birthday Policy in not letting us know what they want for their birthday well enough in advance so that we could get them a gift would, from now own, receive, as a present (cue ominous drumroll, please) ...
A copy of Pretty Woman.
sushirob, of course, cringed in horror at the very thought, and called it "too horrible to contemplate." And yet, you should know, that he has not yet told us what he would like for his birthday, nor has he used the old standby, "Oh, you don't have to get me anything," which, per the terms of the Official Birthday Policy, would also save him from this eventuality.
Of course, he's got awhile to go before it's too late.
I, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Time flies, as you know, and a week ago, Dad asked me what I'd like for my birthday. I was busy with something, and not thinking clearly, I told him I'd get back to him on that.
Today, my birthday finally arrived. Suddenly, Dad entered my office bearing a nicely wrapped package in Christmas paper (hey, Dad's nothing if not frugal). A package suspiciously shaped like a VHS tape. "Happy Birthday," he cried cheerfully, with a grin on his face. "Wait till you see what I got you!"
My heart sunk. I remembered "The Pact." But wait -- just the night before, I had told him that The Mask of Zorro with Antonio Banderas was one of my favorite movies! I knew he had a duplicate! I had mentioned it before my birthday, so there was still a chance.
Still ... a chance. A chance for redemption. A chance to avoid the horror that was in store for all people who dared to violate the Official Birthday Policy!
Just one chance.
The brightly colored package sat silently in Dad's hand, mocking me. Focusing all of my will and psychic powers on transmuting the molecules of this offering into a copy of The Mask of Zorro, or, for God's sake, even The Eiger Sanctions, I took it.
I ripped off the wrapping to find ...
A copy of Pretty Woman.
"Oh my God! It's a copy of Pretty Woman!" I cried, "Just what I've always wanted! How ever did you know? You're the best Dad ever!"
I believe it's important never to let your enemies see you sweat. He knew that I knew, and I knew that he knew that I knew that he remembered The Pact. But I wasn't going to let him see my real reaction. Oh no. Save that for next time.
Because, you know, Dad's birthday is on November 4th.
And he hasn't let me know what he wants either.