Eva and The Rucksack

Its my 37th birthday on Saturday. Normally, I prepare well in advance, repeatedly informing everyone I have ever met in the days and weeks leading up to the big day so as to maximise the fuss and guarantee as much cake as possible.

I do this in respectful memory of a lady called Eva, who had Down’s Syndrome and with whom I worked at a charity in London about 10 years ago.

One day, Eva arrived at the office accompanied by her carer and carrying a large, brand new and completely empty rucksack.Ā 

“Gosh Eva”, I said, “That’s a smart rucksack. What’s it for? Are you going on a trip?”

“No”, she replied, “Its my birthday today so I brought a big bag to carry all my presents home in.” *huge smile*

“Right-ho. Happy Birthday. How exciting!”Ā 

Obviously, the only response to such sublime confidence in The Birthday Gods was to make an impromptu trip to the local shops at lunchtime to stock up on small gifts with which to fill the rucksack. So we did.

She was delighted – though not surprised – by her enormous haul of presents and I have remembered it ever since as a prime example of how The Universe tends to manifest Good Things to Good (and Well-Prepared) People.

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11 Responses to Eva and The Rucksack

  1. Litlove says:

    What a cunning strategy – I love it. I’m over visiting from Mr Rochester’s site because your comments are always so funny.

  2. Colm says:

    I would absolutely agree with this approach. I have had a few years where I didn’t make a big deal out of my birthday, only to find out on the day that I really missed the fussing over. So go for it!

  3. modestypress says:

    For religious believers, perhaps this provides a guide to the real meaning of Heaven and Hell. If you get to Heaven, they fill your rucksack with presents. If you get to Hell, you get to fill everybody else’s rucksack but get nothing yourself.

    Wait a minute, it is supposed to be more blessed to give than to receive. I am so confused. I guess that’s why I am an agnostic. Agnostics wander the universe forever with an empty rucksack.

  4. @ modestypress, and we atheists have rucksacks which have evolved to automatically fill themselves – at least that is what I told the nice policeman who came to see me while I was in K-Mart šŸ˜‰

  5. Oops – nearly forgot – [waves at Litlove]

  6. woo says:

    Litlove – gawd bless you, and may your birthday rucksack be filled with cake and presents (although, obviously the cake would have to be in a sealed container, otherwise it could get awfully gooey-squishy in there…) And I’ll be right over to your blog to return the visit šŸ™‚

    Colm – Glad you got the books and that they are being well-received by the twins!

    Mr Random – Somehow, I am convinced that hell would involve a rucksack full of presents supplied by my mother: 2006 diaries, calendars with photos of coal mines in Wales, pale lemon cardigans and small porcelain kittens perched on logs next to air-plants.

    Archie – seems that love is knowing what to put in someone else’s birthday rucksack. Wait a minute, that’s brilliant – I must instantly write a self-help guide on that theme, have David’s new company publish it, and wait for the cash to roll in…

  7. Eva was clearly brilliant.

    What kind of cake are you hoping for?

  8. woo says:

    Eva was a barely disguised genius in so many ways. Her ability to cut through the crap when being asked to perform a task was legendary:

    Boss: “Eva, I have a very important job for you. There are lots of files in these drawers and lots of pages here all about people, see their names are at the top? Its very important that all these pages go into the proper drawers, with the blue ones at the very front, okay? Do you think you can do that for me?”

    Eva: “Is it really important?”

    Boss: “Oh yes, very.”

    Eva: “Well then, why don’t you do it? You’re the boss. The boss is supposed to do the important things.”

    Boss: “Er…”

    And I’m hoping for chocolate cake – with a certain amount of surety since one of my colleagues let slip this morning that one was being prepared for me… šŸ™‚

  9. Do you have any more Eva stories? She sounds like a pistol! I hope they give you the attention and fuss you deserve!

  10. woo says:

    Any more Eva stories? Oh yes! I’ll have to post at least one more, its a cracker…

  11. Pingback: Bees, Birthdays and Breakdowns « curiouser and curiouser

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