The "Jesus hates it when you smoke!" ashtray featured in my last post generated strong responses. People either thought it was great or it made them feel uncomfortable. My apologies to those of you who I offended. Please don't read the rest of this post. *kisses*
A few people have asked where they can get their own ashtray...
I recommend searching irreverent, greeting card stores, coffee shops, book stores, or your local gay porn establishment. Here in Utah, it's one stop shopping. I purchase the "Jesus hates it when you smoke!" ashtray at a store where I can buy irreverent greeting cards, best-selling books, keychains, have a cup of coffee and pick up gay porn. Somehow I manage to do this with a four-year-old boy in tow, simply distracting him with the rainbow flags, kites and wind chimes that are tinkling above our heads.Speaking of the Ashtray...
Two of my local friends requested an ashtray last week. We'll call them Mulva and Juicy. Because I frequent the store where the ashtrays can be purchased, and I usually have spares tucked away in my personal gift center, I was more than happy to help Mulva and Juicy score one. These friends' kids attend the same school as our sons, so it seemed convenient to transfer possession of the ashtray at the school.
Middle Boy  had a holiday concert on Friday morning. I would stay home with Four-Year-Old Boy [uncivilized] and Chris would attend the concert. Juicy would be at the concert, so Chris could discreetly hand her the small Williams Sonoma bag cleverly containing the ashtray wrapped in white tissue paper. Mulva would not be at the concert, so I asked Chris to please deliver the small Sundance bag, also cleverly camouflaging the tissue wrapped ashtray, to Oldest Boy's  homeroom teacher. Chris was supposed to simply hand it to the teacher -- we'll call her Mrs. Teacher -- and tell her that the bag was for Mulva, who would be by at the end of the day to retrieve it.
Fat, Dumb and Happy
Note: I do not know Mrs. Teacher very well. We've only had the opportunity to chat in person during parent-teacher conferences.
I assumed things went according to plan. I hadn't heard differently. My weekend was busy with ongoing Christmas preparation. I do recall asking Chris, "Did you see Juicy at the concert?" He told me he did and shared pieces of their conversation with me.
In an unrelated Facebook comment thread, Mulva casually mentioned that Mrs. Teacher wasn't in her classroom on Friday afternoon and an attempt to find the ashtray with the help of another teacher resulted in nada.
Hmmm...Channeling Inner Special Ops Girl
Chris was outside shoveling snow. I high-stepped through the house and out the garage, shrieking, "Chriiiis!" I asked him if he gave the bag to Mrs. Teacher.
"What? Uh. No. I was in a hurry so I gave it to Oldest Boy to give to her."
The color drained from my face. "Did you tell Oldest Boy to tell Mrs. Teacher that she was to hold the bag for Mulva until the end of the day?"
I shrieked for Oldest Boy, who was in the backyard. My entire body visibly throbbed with my heartbeat.
Oldest Boy happily answered my call.
"Did you give the bag Dad gave you to Mrs. Teacher?" I manically chirped my question.
"What did you tell her?"
"I told her, this is from my mom."
FAINT.It's AAALLL Good
Somehow I managed to find Mrs. Teacher's phone number and dial it, in spite of the fact that I was convulsing. She was gracious as I babbled and explained and apologized and offered myself up for detention. I tried to throw Mulva under the bus too, but somehow it didn't work for me. It was HER ashtray after all.
Mrs. Teacher shared my "gift" with other faculty Friday afternoon during a meeting, and... THE DEAN. Neato. She said it was a huge hit, although admitted to being confused as to why I would give her such a unique gift. She laughed at the comedy of errors and offered to get the ashtray to Mulva. I told her it wasn't necessary. Mrs. Teacher seemed genuinely happy to keep it, for story value if nothing else.
Next year I'll get her a "Jesus Shaves" coffee mug. His beard disappears when hot beverages are poured into the mug.