Ian Mcmil­lan

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

RIGHT, so here’s the Christ­mas present for my lovely wife. She’s out so I can wrap it up. The present sits on the ta­ble in the back room, un­wrapped. The wrap­ping pa­per is next to it, and the Sel­lotape, and the scis­sors, and the gift tag, and the biro.

It’s a do-it-your­self de­light kit, and I gaze at the pa­per and the other things and imag­ine my wife’s joy on Christ­mas morn­ing when she opens the par­cel. The ex­pertly-wrapped par­cel. The par­cel that looks like it’s been wrapped by a lady in a shop, ex­cept it hasn’t, it’s be wrapped by old Scis­sorthumbs McMil­lan The Sel­lotape King him­self, just to prove that he can.

Over the years I’ve ac­quired a rep­u­ta­tion as a man who can’t wrap. I can’t rap ei­ther, so that would make me a non-rap­ping non-wrap­per.

Chil­dren and adults would laugh at my ter­ri­ble at­tempts to wrap a present; it would of­ten look as though it had been wrapped in the dark by some­one with box­ing gloves on, or wrapped and un­wrapped many times un­til the pa­per didn’t quite fit and the Sel­lotape had lost its sticky.

They would hold the present up as though it was ev­i­dence in a trial, or point at it like it was a piece of con­cep­tual art they couldn’t quite grasp the mean­ing of. I al­ways smiled and shrugged and said things like, “Well, you only take the wrap­ping off any­way,” and “It’s the thought that counts.”

I ac­cepted my fate. I took on board the fact that I was no good at wrap­ping presents. I saw it as a lit­tle com­edy role, like my role as non-driver or as man who doesn’t

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