I was the victim of a Christmas conspiracy.
But first, let me backtrack.
In Barry Paschal's office at The Columbia County News-Times, there's a black and white drawing that I've long coveted. It's a sketch of the first hole at The Augusta National Golf Club by long-time Augusta Chronicle editorial cartoonist Clyde Wells.
I pestered Barry about it for years and always got the same answer: he had another one in some closet at his house. He'd find it and bring it to me. The Paschals moved a couple of times during my time in Columbia County, and the house shuffling never produced the print.
But somewhere along the way -- and despite my thoughts about making his copy "disappear" during the office move -- he found the duplicate.
He slipped the copy to my wife during the holidays and she had it framed and waiting under the Christmas tree a few weeks ago.
Now I've just got to find a place to hang it.
You'll have to forgive me if I'm a little irritable for the next few months. The flexibility of my wife's job can be a double-edged sword, and this quarter it is cutting especially deep.
In the past, she's taught one or two classes during the day and a class or two at night. Her day classes didn't start until 10 or 11 in the morning and that fit perfectly into our night-owl schedules. Maybe you can understand why we are having a little trouble dealing with an 8 a.m. class.
That means my wife has to be up at 6 a.m., and usually I'm not far behind. (And feeling like I need to go to bed at 8 p.m. is almost just as bad.)
So forgive my midday -- or mid-meeting -- naps. At least I have an excuse.
Wonder what kind of luck I have?
Here's a simple answer: Just as I finish projects around the house, get the Christmas stuff put up and get a break from yard work, the golf course in my backyard shuts down for six or so months.
Meanwhile, I've been looking for a way to give a little something back to the people who have so generously supported The McDuffie Mirror in the last 18 months.
Tommy Samuels came up with a solution: Let them eat cake.
The McDuffie Mirror is joining forces with Chinaberry Cakes to give away one cake per week to a special subscriber.
Sound simple? It is.
All you need is a subscription to The Mirror and you're eligible. We'll call one winner a week and also recognize them in the paper: Last week's winner was Lynn Cato; this week, it's Jimmy Spence.
And, trust me, the cakes are incredible. Remember, if there's one thing I know, it's food. I've even got the gut to prove it.
Now go have some wonderful cake on The Mirror and Chinaberry's.