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The wrapped object under the tree was addressed to me, long and slender with a lumpy soft bit of business on the top. My brother-in-law looked on as I unwrapped the handle of the not-so-secret Santa gift. He’d painted it a flat black. I peeled off the last remnant of paper from the top and held it arms-length in front of me: a three foot handle with a stuffed glove fixed at the end. Ron looked at me gleefully and said, “It’s a left-handed smurf-whacker!”

Photo by Orin Zebest