David Emami always loved the Portland Public Schools annual Christmas party. Although he didn’t like being around people, it was a chance to enjoy the holiday season with people he worked around, but most of all, it offered wondrous amounts of free food and even a gift exchange.
David wrapped up a Taxi mug with the face of Latka on it, put on an ugly Christmas sweater (which, in David’s eyes, was actually quite lovely), and was off for a night of fun.
When David arrived, Christmas music was playing and people were already dishing up heaps of ham, potatoes, and various desserts. David headed straight to the table and began dishing up a plate that nearly touched the ceiling.
David began eating his food in a corner of the room at a table by himself. Suddenly, several older women sat down by him, some of which he recognized from the schools he had worked at.
“My, someone came with an appetite,” remarked the old lady with white, long hair.
“I haven’t eaten all day! I wanted to enjoy the food! It’s delicious, as always,” replied David.
The women started talking amongst themselves, but the moment one of them mentioned the name Cher, David chimed in.
“Oh, you can’t be serious!” said David. “Cher is my number one idol. I adore her and her son, Chaz.”
They laughed it up and had a nice time talking about one of David’s favorite topics. Soon after, it was announced that they were to begin the gift exchange. David played the game with the others, and after several rounds and lots of exchanges, David ended up with a lottery ticket as his prize. He was thrilled and began scratching it off immediately with his absurdly long, yellowed fingernails. His heart stopped when he realized he had just won a million dollars.
“I won! I won!” David danced around, showing it off to everyone with tears in his eyes. He had never been so happy in his life. After several minutes of excitement, with trembling hands, he read the back of the lottery ticket for redemption instructions. It read, “To redeem, send to 123 Dumb Dumb Street, You’re An Idiot, NY, 12345. FOR NOVELTY PURPOSES ONLY. NO CASH VALUE. NOT A REAL LOTTERY TICKET.” David reread it again and again as people watched him excitedly.
“It’s a phony! It’s not even real!” David ripped it up and threw it on the ground while people watched him awkwardly. He turned toward them and screamed, “Whoever brought that as the gift, you can go to hell!” David ran over to the food table, piled a plate high with at least 4 pounds of ham, then exclaimed, “I’m taking this!” as he ran out the back door. He never wanted to go to another Christmas party again.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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