You all know who you are.
You are the people on the Internet I've befriended and have never done anything to deserve such a gift from.
Today I came home after a frustrating experience in Calgary. After a great visit with my friend Marter (one of the first of you lovely Escapists I've bonded with) I discovered I had missed my flight. I had to pay for a new ticket and sleep on a bench for 6 hours to wait for the next flight home. On the way back I had a baby wailing in my ear and I had some pain in my left ear as the plane descended. I made my way to the public transit system and then hauled my suitcase and carry-on bags up 5 blocks.
Not exactly fun but that's life.
What happened when I entered my room after visiting with my land lady erased all of that instantly. Upon opening a plain cardboard box I came upon something that instantly humbled me. I literally couldn't speak due to the surprise.
But let's back up a little bit.
Due to the persistence of one amazing individual by the name of xmbts on the Escapist, I finally gave in and surrendered my address to her. She sent me a package which I couldn't receive due to custom fees my landlady refused to pay. The package was to be returned to sender and when I explained what had happened to xmbts she quickly got a hold of the shipping company. By the time that was sorted out I was flown out East to have a terrific Christmas holiday with my parents.
After ensuring the package would not be turned away by my landlady in my absence a second time by leaving a note mentioning it, I promptly forgot all about the package. So when I entered the door and my landlady mentioned it (before launching into a long conversation about stuff I didn't care about but had to endure for the sake of being polite >_>) I remembered it and figured it would be something like a shirt or a maybe a poster... I had no idea what it was going to be but I didn't expect THIS:
As xmbts will doubtless retell to you, I couldn't really coherently respond for a time. Certainly all of the weariness of travel melted away but something else dawned on me after the initial shock slowly wore off. I haven't felt this way about a present since 1999. The Christmas morning I woke up as an 8 year old and found a Gameboy Color under the tree with a copy of Pokemon Yellow and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe was the last time I was hit with such a speechless, powerful joy in a split second.
xmbts was quick to tell me that it wasn't all her. That Maxieon and others were behind it too. I have to tell you right now that I cannot possibly say thank you adequately enough to describe how I feel about this gift but I'll try anyway:
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY POKEMON LOVING HEART!!!
That was the best Christmas present surprise that I've had in years. I feel bad that I can't know of a way to repay you guys in a better way but I suppose I'll just have to say this in the meantime: I am never leaving the Escapist. Ever. I want to be friends and hopefully bring smiles to you guys for decades to come. You people truly have started 2014 in an amazingly positive way for me and after a difficult 2013 I can think of no better therapy than to start playing more Pokemon. I totally believed I was done with the series seeing as family would never gift it to me again and I wasn't going to buy anymore Pokemon games myself. I suppose this means I'll be wearing hats and shuffling around in the grass for a long, long time!
Seeing as I have a lot of playing to do now (I still haven't started Black 2) I will have to wrap this up. I don't want you guys to do anything like this for me again, I think you might give me a joyful heart attack!
If you guys ever want to talk, just hit me up.
I could not be more happy today to be a member of such an amazing fellowship of gamers.
Once again I'm speechless, I have no more words.