Happy Birthday Vincent?
By Sharon Holtz

It was after six o'clock
when Catherine finally left the Court House.
She lamented to herself,
"Of all days for the Judge to run so late!
And, I still have to make a couple of stops too.
At this rate, it is going to be after eight o'clock
before I make it down to the tunnels
to share Vincent's Birthday with him."

The first stop on her list though,
Catherine was more than happy to make,
and that was to Mr. Smythe's book store.
She had nearly given up hope that
her book order would arrive in time,
but happily, early that afternoon,
Mr. Smythe called, telling her in his monotone manner,
her book had just arrived!
Yes, like a miracle, just in time for Vincent's Birthday!

And so after visiting a moment with her eccentric,
yet lovable friend,
Catherine thanked Mr. Smythe,
and then readied herself for the next stop,
which was the music store.

As Catherine entered the Music Store,
she approached  the clerk at the counter, saying,
"You are holding a CD for Catherine Chandler?"

To which the clerk said she was,
and as Catherine paid for her purchase,
the sales clerk offered to do a quickie gift wrap job
for a small additional fee.

Knowing that would save her
some valuable time,
Catherine took the kind clerk up on her offer.

And as she took the wrapped CD from the sales ladies hands,
Catherine glanced at her watch and thought,
"Hmm, I am making pretty good time!"

Just then, a big burly guy bumped into her,
and sent her, and her packages along with his...
flying, landing all over the floor!

The man was as sorry as could be,
and kept apologizing as he helped her to her feet.

She smiled at this character
who was a little rough around the edges,
and graciously told him, she was just fine.

He then explained
the reason he was ramming around
like a bull in a china shop,
was because he was late for his friend
Bubba's Birthday Bash!

He then added,
"But I know that ain't no excuse
to run into a delicate little flower such as yourself!
It seems the hurrier I go, the behinder I git!"

As he handed Catherine her packages,
he noted,
"Hey lookey here!
Your CD is wrapped up just like mine!"

Worriedly Catherine asked,
"Oh my! Are you sure this one is mine?"

In a confident manner
the character donning a John Deere hat, stated,

After a final reassurance to the clumsy man
that she was ok,
she was now on her way.

Trekking through the snow covered park bearing gifts,
Catherine was finally there at the tunnel entrance!

Anxious to see Vincent,
the huge iron door slid open,
and there he stood,
looking so majestic and regal!

Snuggling into his waiting arms,
she breathlessly said,
"Happy Birthday Vincent...I am sorry to be late."

With a smile in his sparkling blue eyes,
he rested his head on hers, and replied,
"You are here now...that is all that matters."

Smiling up at him, she agreeably said,

As they walked arm in arm back to his chamber,
Vincent asked,
"Catherine...earlier...I sensed something was wrong..."

yet, not amazed
that Vincent knew she had gotten hurt,
she smiled to herself as she answered his question,
"Well, I did fall...but I am fine."

She then went on to explain,
"What happened was
I had collided with another shopper,
who was going to a Birthday celebration too,
I believe he said his friend's name was Bubba!
Quite a name uh?"

Nodding Vincent agreed, saying, "Indeed."

With a slight laugh, she added,
"What a calamity Vincent!
You should have seen us,
both of our packages flew everywhere!
At any rate, I was fine, and he was too,
and so politely he picked up your presents for me,
and that pretty much was that!"

Excitedly she continued,
"Speaking of presents...
I hope you like what I have gotten you."

Elegantly he said,
"Anything you have chosen for me,
I am sure I will treasure Catherine..."

As they entered his chamber,
Catherine quickly stepped up
to warm her hands over the smoldering embers
within the huge copper kettle.

Vincent helped her off with her coat,
prompting Catherine to look up at him,
to show her pleasure at this gentlemanly gesture.

And so after a paused entranced moment,
he thoughtfully said,
"In anticipation you would be chilled
upon your arrival, I prepared some tea."

she took the steaming cup from his hands,
and after taking a sip,
she said,
"Thank you...this is just what I needed."

As a smile enveloped her face,
she set down her cup,
before picking up one of the gifts.
Softly she requested,
"Please...open this one first."

Compliantly he nodded,
and playfully he gave the package a little shake.
With a pondering tone,
he teasingly asked,
"Hmm, what could this be?"

Suspecting that he was having fun with her,
she eagerly suggested,
"Well you could open it, and find out."

Unwrapping the gift,
he smiled the moment he realized it was a book,
and saw...what book it was.
With a huskilated deep whisper,
he read the title aloud,
"The Comedies of Shakespeare..."

Looking up at her, he said,
"I am without words Catherine."

Sweetly, she said,
"I know you have most of Shakespeare's works,
such as the sonnets, poetry and the tragic plays
he had written,
but I thought it would be fun for you
to read some of Shakespeare's humorous writings too."

With a slight nod,
he contentedly replied,
"And it shall be..."

Thoughtfully, he leafed through the pages,
stopping to read a random passage or two,
before softly saying, "Neat."

Happy he seemed pleased with his first gift,
Catherine handed him his other,
and excitedly said,
"You have one more gift to open Vincent..."

As Vincent held the small, flat,
square package in his hands,
he at once recognized the shape of it.
And that was because
Catherine had given him some classical CD's,
along with a portable player,
as a gift this past Christmas.
So he now intuitively guessed,
"This feels like a CD. I am wondering,
could this be another classical music selection
to add to my growing collection?"

Raising her brow,
she encouragingly said,
"You are right, it is a classical CD,
but...at least you don't know which one."

In agreement,
Vincent said that was true,
and then went on to inspect the gift wrapping.
Prompting him to note,
"Such lovely paper Catherine."

Admitting she had it gift wrapped
she moved him along by saying,
"I thought it was pretty too...now quit stalling and open it!
I am dying to see if you like what I got for you!"

As he opened his gift,
he knitted his brow as he silently read the title.

he turned the CD over to read the index on the back,
hoping that would give him a clue as to why Catherine,
had chosen this CD for him.

Sadly Catherine asked,
"What's wrong Vincent?
I thought you liked Beethoven."

Vincent validated Catherine's
impression by saying,
"Yes I like Beethoven very much...however...
I don't believe this is..."

An over anxious Catherine,
butted in while Vincent was still talking,
and suggested,
"Great! Then let's play it!"

Eagerly, she popped the shiny new CD into the player,
and waited for the beautiful symphony to begin.

To her shock and dismay,
instead of music,
she heard:

"You might be a Red-Neck...
if your family tree doesn't fork!"
"You might be a Red-Neck...
if you go to your Family Reunion...
looking for girls!"
"You might be a Red-Neck... if you lie through your tooth!"

Catherine looked up at Vincent in horror,
and said,
"This is Jeff Foxworthy, not Beethoven!
Oh no! That man and I must have gotten our gifts mixed up!"

Vincent saw how upset Catherine was,
and he sincerely tried not to laugh at the mix up,
at the jokes the comedian was telling!

So instead, he protectively brought Catherine into his arms,
and said,
"Don't be upset Catherine...
try to look on the lighter side of this situation."

With tears brimming in her eyes,
she asked,
"What could that lighter side possibly be?"

Tenderly lifting her chin,
Vincent sweetly said,
"Just think Catherine,
somewhere in the world above,
Bubba is guzzling a beer,
eating pork rinds, and...
listening to my Ludwig van Beethoven!"

Vincent's Happy Birthday Page Index