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NOT ALL PRESENCE OF MIND IS HERE WITH THESE PRESENTS

by | Dec 25, 1986 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

“Open a present, Jack.”

“OK.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a contract. A five-year, $10 million contract from the Giants.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful, honey! What a lovely Christmas gift! And you thought all the major league teams were in some sort of conspira–“

“The Tokyo Giants.”

“Oh.”

**

“Open it, Lajoie.”

“OK, Campbell.”

“Who’s it from?”

“The Lance Parrish Fan Club.”

“Wait a minute. Listen.”

“What?”

“It’s . . . ticking . . . “

**

“Open the big one, Darryl.”

“Yes, dear.”

“It’s such a big box, Darryl.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Oh, my . . . it’s a . . . it’s a . . . “

“Yep. Just like I asked Santa. A linebacker.”

**

“Go ahead, Isiah. Open it.”

“All right. Hey. It’s Christmas bulbs.”

“And make sure you leave them on when you leave the house.”

“Oh, Mom . . . “

**

“Open a present, Kirk.”

“How about this one? It says ‘To Kirk.’ “

“What is it?”

“It’s . . . a . . . damn it. Look. It’s a box of Pampers. It must be from the sports writers, those morons. They got a lot of nerve. Wait’ll I get down to spring training. I’m gonna show those candy-butts a thing or two, I’m gonna–“

“Honey.”

“What?”

“That was for the baby.”

**

“Open yours first, Chris.”

“No, you go first, Martina.”

“Really Chris, I insist.”

“Uh-uh, Martina. Be my guest.”

“Chris.”

“Martina.”

“CHRIS!”

“MARTINA!”

**

“Open it, Flutie.”

“Gee . . . sunglasses and a headband. Who’s it from, coach Ditka?”

“Hmmm. Let me guess. . . .

**

“OPEN IT, TESTAVERDE.”

“What? This big box? Is this from you guys?”

“YEAH. IT’S YOUR NEW WALLET.”

“Very funny.”

**

“Bo, this is from me to you.”

“Thanks, Harbaugh. . . . Hey! A whistle!”

“Turn it over.”

“Michigan 21, Arizona State 13”

“I guarantee it.”

“You son of a gun. You know, you’re the best damn quarterback I ever had here.”

“Uh . . . thanks, Bo. Thanks a lot.”

“Jim? . . . Are you . . . crying?”

“Bo? . . . Are . . . you? . . . “

**

“Hey, Lajoie?

“Yes, Campbell?

“It’s still ticking . . . “

**

“OPEN IT, COACH JACQUES!”

“OK, men. . . . Oooh, this is very nice. A puck that says Feliz Navidad.”

“THAT’S FRENCH, RIGHT, COACH?”

“Close enough, men.”

**

Open it.

“OK.”

What is it?

“It’s a Free Press sports column. And it has some funny- looking guy’s picture at the top, and all it says is ‘THANKS FOR READING, DETROIT. HAVE THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS AND A JOYOUS NEW YEAR.’ “

Hmmm.

“I wonder who it’s from.”

Take a guess.

Merry Christmas.

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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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