Playing Santa

I had planned on being in Iraq for Christmas, but due to circumstances beyond my control I was not.  My job as

The Great Sock Caper

The Great Sock Caper

PWD and Gender Program Manager went away due to a change in the grant.  Now I’m on my way to Basra to be the Monitoring and Evaluation person.  I think I’m still mourning my program.

With the thought that I would be in Christmas for Iraq and due to a lack of work I started plotting and planning a Christmas celebration.  I went on a robbery spree, stealing people’s socks.  Not a pair of socks mind you, but one sock.  A lot of things went missing in Iraq so people weren’t duly concerned, but I had to plan my thefts carefully.  Special thanks to Liza and Vicky who skillfully distracted some of my marks during the thefts.

It was difficult getting a handle on who was going to be around for Christmas, I did have to return a couple socks and I did have one pre-Christmas confession to a colleague who was leaving the program, but other than that my plan was scheduled to go off without a hitch until . . . on I learned on December 5, that I would be going home.

My flight was scheduled for December 13th so on the evening of 12th, supervised by Liza I stuffed the socks and left them in my soon to be vacant room.  Earlier that evening I had gone out to dinner with Vicky, Scott, Alex and David.  As we passed the new store in town I commented and David said,  “I’ve been there.”  I asked him why and he preceeded to tell me it was to buy socks.  “It appears I did a poor job of packing I only packed one pair of black socks and one blue sock,” he said.  I was trying so hard not to laugh, I had stolen his blue sock.

On December 12, I wrote my colleagues this message:

Dear all – I don’t know what my future holds, but I wanted to thank you so much for everything it has truly been a pleasure working with you.  And I will miss cooking for and with you.  As I thought I was going to be here for Christmas I was planning a surprise for all of you who I was going to spend Christmas with. I’ve been stealing your socks, ever since Sherizaan’s birthday party; to surprise you on Christmas morning.  Since I won’t be here on Christmas and I know that some of you have been wondering where your socks are (I’m really sorry David had I known you were so low on socks I would have improvised), I wanted to make sure you get them back.  You will find your socks, in the second cupboard on the right in my bedroom.  So a few more confessions:

Sherizaan you have some of the sorriest socks I’ve ever seen.

David, so sorry you had to buy a new pair of socks but now at least you have three pairs with you.

I did originally steal socks from Claire and Kathryn, but had to return them, Claire’s I returned without her knowing with Kathryn it was a bit of an embarrassing conversation.

I’m not sure if I got Scott’s and Steve’s socks mixed up, but Scott’s has a dark chocolate bar in it.  Any sock disputes should be resolved by Liza as she was a co-conspirator.

Vicky’s sock is on the top shelf the red one, I know it’s bigger but there is something in there for all of you to share on Christmas morning.

I didn’t get around to stealing Alex’s sock so his is the disco sock also on the top shelf.

So from left to right it goes, Tash, Sean, Sharizaan, Steve, Scott and David E.  And on the top shelf Vicky and Alex. Please forgive me my brief foray into petty theft.

I wish you all the best. The work you do is very important and I admire you for doing it.  I want to apologize that Santa was more generous to some people than others, I didn’t have as much time to shop as I would have liked.  And I hope when you think of me it will be about the good times we shared and the differences that we made in peoples’ lives.”

The Gang with their Christmas shot glasses from Rome.

The Gang with their Christmas shot glasses from Rome.

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