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Huh! I should have known it would have the opposite effect. The more I ignored it, the more determined she was that I’d fire it up. “I’ll fire it up,” I grumped under my breath. “In the fireplace.” But I didn’t say it loud enough for her to hear.

The next week she started in on me again. “Just think of all the e-mails from good boys and girls all over the world that are in your computer waiting to be read,” she would say. Then she would dab a tear away as if she felt terrible. “Aren’t you ashamed? They’re telling you all the things they want--things they deserve for being so good--and you’re not even listening.”

I couldn’t look her in the eye after she said that. To tell you the truth, I am a little ashamed that I’m not mechanical. Can’t even operate a can opener. I’ve always been good with my hands, though. I love to make toys and things. And I won’t kid you that I’m the best magician around. How many magicians do you know who could load all those toys into one little sleigh at sundown and get them delivered all over the world before the sun comes up the next morning. That’s not good enough for her. No, Siree! She’s a modern woman! Up with the times! Or so she says.

But this week she’s really getting to me. She’s on a hunger strike. Oh, she doesn’t call it that. She says she’s just too sad thinking about all those poor children to eat a bite. And, of course, according to her, if she’s too sad to eat, she certainly is too sad to cook. Do you have any idea what that means to a big guy like me? Starvation.

Well, I’ll have to admit, I was stumped this time. I couldn’t last a single day without a meal. I started thinking about her golden crispy fried chicken. Her tender juicy roast beef. Her flaky mouth-watering cherry pies. Then I started thinking about turning on the computer. When she wasn’t looking. Maybe it wouldn’t be as hard as it looked.

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