When I was about 10 my parents went out and bought a new TV without
telling us kids. The shop delivered it while we were at school and
after we'd had a snack and a play my sister and I sat down on the
floor infront of the new telly, noticed it was new but thought little
of it - it didn't do anything which the old one didn't except,
hopefully, not break down as often.
But then, after about 10 minutes watching our new telly, Mum walked
over to the telly and moved the colour switch across from the far left
toward the middle. Suddenly ... We no longer had a black and white TV.
We had a colour TV! Our first colour TV!
In retrospect I am sure that my mum and dad got more pleasure out of
that little deception than we did. To a kid a gift plus a surprise is
miles better than the gift on its own.
So here we are now, 30 years later, and my wife and I, with our two
kids, are waiting for the lady in the cat rescue centre to show us
their collection of adoptable cats.
I'm excited. The two kids are excited and my wife is excited AND a
little grumpy with me. You see, this cat thing was supposed to be a
surprise and I ruined it - let's say that I let the cat out of the
bag - when I threatened the kids that I would turn the car around and
they wouldn't get a cat if they didn't stop fighting in the back of
I'm kinda hoping we can get a nice big black and white cat which I can
spray paint red after we've had it home for a while - kinda like my
parents did to me and my sister with the telly, but the kids are so
excited that the flamboyant gesture seems unnecessary.