“We were at my grandmother’s. So we took all the presents up there.
My parents had bought my brother a carpentry set complete with a saw, hammers, workbench, and so on. It was suitable for kids and was going to be a lot of fun.
And in order to make sure he could use it right away, they had also bought him a stock of wood – some small bits, some bigger bits, and so on. And they had put these in a biscuit tin, and wrapped it up in Christmas paper as well.
The idea was he would unwrap the carpentry set first, and then unwrap the bits of wood second. Unfortunately, my parents got distracted by something, and they didn’t see him get the presents in the wrong order.
So he took hold of the biscuit tin first. And unwrapped it. And for his Christmas present from Mum and Dad, my six-year-old brother got little bits of wood.
My brother looked at a box full of bits of wood, then looked up at my parents as if to say ‘what on earth?’ He was about six at the time so I am pretty sure it wasn’t what he was thinking, but looking back that was exactly the speech bubble I would put above his head.
And it wasn’t as if it was an angry ‘what on earth?’ look – just one of total and utter and complete confusion. As if to say ‘Why? why hast thou forsaken me? What have I done to deserve this?’ – it was literally what the phrase ‘what on earth?’ was designed for.
I realize this sounds like an odd memory but seriously the expression on his face was hilarious. Utterly and totally hilarious.”