Christmas Funny Contemporary

                                 The Gift of  Maggie

                         (With apologies to O. Henry)

Author’s Note: Nobody told a tale with a twist better than O.Henry. His short story ‘The Gift of the Magi’ is a classic, perfect for the holiday season and it can be read in about five minutes.  If you’ve never read it, or if it has been a long time since you have, I’d urge you to look at it before you tackle my definitely updated version.


   A mere 1.87 Billion dollars! All that painful selling of her entire  crypto holdings in Coinology ---a few million dollars worth at a time--- so that she could buy shares of Screecher  for her beloved Elon and thus rescue him from financial disaster. That was all she had come up with! It had been a huge sacrifice, but her heart said she had to do it. And Christmas was coming. All Maggie could do now was fall upon her king size bed adorned with Milos 1020TC Sateen Sheets and Pillows and weep.

    In her quarters down a hallway as long as the  corridors of the Ritz Carleton, separate from the office and bedroom suite of her great love Elon Oxx because of his insufferable snoring, Maggie pulled herself together and went to the massive window of her bedroom which overlooked the estate gardens. To get that paltry 1.87 billion dollars along with her holdings in Coinology she  also had   auctioned off her super yacht, gave up her  Gulfstream G-700 and discreetly sold a diamond tiara which had once belonged to Grace Kelly but now sat in the buyer’s private collection.  She had planned to surprise Elon with many times the amount and pull him out of his tail spin, but she had fallen far short. The happy holiday  which she had been looking forward to was not to be.

     And then suddenly she had an idea. She turned and faced her Kate & Laurel Nobles Radius Framed Wall Mirror   lost in the thought which now came to her: She would buy Screecher shares on the open market and she would do it  on margin! Securing the billions and buying the shares  would save Elon’s precious company and allow him to offer a healthy severance package to the formerly- employed army of wicked software engineers who snickered as they waited for him to fail. 

    Quickly she picked up her iPhone and called her broker’s private line. As she dialed she knew her precious  Elon  was proud of nothing as much as Screecher. Oh, the nay-sayers were quick to claim he had paid a ridiculous amount for the company and was unlikely ever to  see a profit. They said it was the decision of a man with an ego the size of Siberia with a  heart that  matched its  climate. But Maggie knew differently. She knew how successful Oxx had been, building the first hydrogen car which he cleverly dubbed the ‘H’ Bomber and how it was selling all over the First World like an IHOP weekday special. And she knew about his adventures in space exploration with his company LDL--- LetzDuLaunch. But nothing came close to Screecher in his affections. He was a visionary, a seer. She believed in him and now she would save him.

    When her broker came on the line  she told him what she wanted.

    “Maggie, do you really know what you’re doing?” He asked. First, you’ve got to raise billions to meet the fifty-percent capital reqirement. Then you’ve got to get firms to loan you billions more to buy the stock. You won’t have a penny left if your scheme goes bust and I can guarantee you that given your close relationship with Mr. Oxx it is likely that you’ll be targeted by the SEC and the FBI if Screecher fails.  You could be behind bars next Christmas instead of skiing at St. Moritz.”

Maggie gripped the phone tighter against her ear. “I don’t care, Mr. Offmade, I want it to happen for him. I have faith in my man.  It will all work out just fine, I know it.” Fresh tears coursed down her cheeks. “It’s nearly Christmas, you know.”

    Offmade’s sigh came through the receiver like intergalactic  static. “I’ll do my best. But you better stay on the line with me as this  might take some time.”

    Maggie did hold on. And Offmade came back  a dozen times to tell her that this brokerage or that arbitrager had agreed to pony up a portion of the money, but if the price continued to decline and there was a margin call they would come after her in a way that would make the Paparazzi pursuit of  Princess Diana look like a sack race at a church picnic. Still, her broker said, she was going to be short a considerable sum. Maggie nodded. “I think I know where I can go to get the rest of the money” she said.  She hung up and called her dear friend, a woman who was a financial and scientific genius and had made a fortune of her own in the bio-med field. “Liz”.

    “Maggie,” came the happy reply. “We haven’t seen each other since that marvelous week in Aruba. I’ve been thinking of you.”

    Maggie began telling her friend  what she was trying to do and why but before she’d  even gotten half way through her tale  the other woman interrupted and said, “It won’t be a problem. I’ll dedicate all my holding in the company to make up the difference.”

    Maggie nearly burst into tears again. “ You would give up all those shares in Theranos for me? Oh, Elizabeth Holmes, you are a genuine and dear friend.”

    “Not another word,” Elizabeth said. “Consider it done. Look, I’ve got to go, two gentlemen in blue serge suits are knocking at my door. But we will get together soon one way or the other.”

  The next  few hours  seemed to fly. Soon Elon would come back to the estate, tired after a long day of jousting with stockholders and the press and that silly congressional committee which had begun to investigate his purchase of Screecher and was now asking rude questions about who and what he would and would not allow on the platform. Once home Maggie knew he would fall into his favorite Lamborghini manufactured LBF-750 massage chair and vibrate himself into a trance.  If he were in the mood, she would sit reversed on his lap, her beautiful legs thrust through the portals thoughtfully engineered by the Lambo technicians and ergonomically designed to accommodate amorous couples. If not in the mood, she would stand beside him and hold his hand as his eyes closed and he smoked a dubbie of Singhalese ThunderStruck. Either way, it filled her with joy to realize that shortly Christmas would indeed be wonderful and her beloved would have a huge weight lifted from his sloping shoulders.

     Still Maggie bit her lip. Might her present be interpreted  as if she was trying to usurp his power, as if she really didn’t trust in him to rescue Screecher from oblivion on his own? Elon knew how much she loved Coinology, how it had made her successful and powerful in her own right. And now, with that sale, would he think she was trying to overwhelm him with guilt? If she’d had the talent she could have raised the money in other ways. An actress might have gone to Harvey Weinstein. Or, If she were a true jet-setter, she would have dashed off to Saudi to visit  Mohammed bin Salman. But the result would have been the same. Her dear Elon was a sensitive man. She could only hope he would accept her gift as one of love and adoration.

    At exactly seven p.m. the security cameras caught her beloved pulling into the circular driveway. The rear door of the Bentley opened and he stepped out, the color video revealing  a man who, though just in mid-life, looked pasty and worn down. She heard the estate’s Rustica Cathedral front double door whoosh open and counted the footfalls on the Calacatta marble flooring of the foyer, and then the quiet padding up the carpeted grand staircase to the second level. Her heart pounding, she allowed ten minutes to pass before she walked the corridor to his suite. He was already in the chair, rubbing his temples, eyes shut.

  “My angel,” she said.

    Elon’s eyes opened. A smile flickered. “Maggie. What a day.”

    “A bad day?”

   “Yes and no,” said Oxx. “It’s nearly Christmas and I realized I have been remiss.  I’ve been terribly preoccupied as megalomaniacs tend to be and  I need to do something to show you how much you mean to me some of the time.”

   Maggie’s eyes glistened. “ I feel exactly the same way.” She  took his hand. “My darling E, don’t be mad at me. I did something today for you. I wanted to give you a present for the holiday that would have the greatest of meaning. So today I bought up every share of Screecher on margain, the entire float, including the Class-Z shares which holders were only too glad to be rid of.  You’re now safe from corporate predators and bankruptcy.”

    Oxx’s mouth dropped. “You did this for me? How?”

      “I sold my yacht, my plane, my  jewelry---and all my holdings in Coinology.” She rubbed her thumbs and fingers together. “And I borrowed a ton of money. But while the shares I’ve sold may be counted or, heaven forbid discounted, what can’t be counted is my love for you.”

    For a moment Oxx sat in stunned silence. Then he kissed her hand. “For me…” his words trailed out as a whisper. “You couldn’t know it, Maggie, but I made one of my impetuous and counter-intuitive decisions today for you: I sold Screecher. Lock, stock and barrel. The ink is on the contract. I sold it for pennies on the dollar, so I’m afraid your wonderful gift was for naught. Your fortune is gone.” Then Elon smiled. “But don’t fret my darling. As I said, I realized I needed to do something for you. I know how you feel about Coinology and I know how much you believe in crypto and its future. So, not having any way of knowing what you did, I went out and took what funds I’ve salvaged from Screecher and  bought a gift for you worth a billion dollars.”

    Maggie’s eyes grew large. “ Coinology? You bought me a billion dollars worth of Coinology? Oh, E, the irony of it all. We both lost something, but we’ve gained as well, haven’t we?”

    Oxx took both her hands in his own. She could feel the pulsing of the LBF through her fingertips. “ Indeed we have,” he said. “But actually Coinology is yesterday’s news. They’re based here in the United States and frankly, sooner or later will prove to be a risky investment given its tax status and other issues. So I contacted a friend of mine, a great pal who is smart and successful.  His name is Sam and he runs a dynamo of a crypto company headquartered in the Bahamas. It’s called FTX. And that is where the billion has gone my sweet, to grow into a mega-fortune for you over the next few years.” Elon and Maggie hugged and held each other tightly. Then Oxx consulted his Apple Watch 8 Golden Concept Diamond Edition. “And now darling let’s have dinner.”

Post Script: The magi, as you know were wise men---wonderfully wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Christ-child, the first to give Christmas gifts. And here I have told you the story of Maggie and Elon, two children who were not so wise. Filthy rich at one point? Yes. Spoiled by the money? Of course. Certain they were better than other mortals and smarter as well? You bet.  So a last word to the wise of these days: Forget crypto. Stick with consumer staples and health care.


November 23, 2022 16:15

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Mark Linsky
18:49 Dec 01, 2022

Hi Lindsay: Thanks, glad you enjoyed 'Maggie'. I am going to read/comment on your work later today or tomorrow. Keep writing! Best, Mark.


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Lindsay Flo
11:47 Dec 01, 2022

I agree with Wendy's comments, the puns! Haha. I think my favorite was actually the main one, Elon Oxx. Anyhow: a funny take on an ages-old story set in modern times with a slightly depressing nod to the way that "things" and money have more value than love (and yet, I did feel like Elon and Maggie loved one another. :) Overall, an enjoyable read, and an educational one as I had to search The Gift of the Magi to remind myself.


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Wendy Kaminski
03:51 Nov 28, 2022

The puns in this were so terrible, I think they gave me Taurus. I LOVED IT! My favorite, though, had to be LetzDuLaunch. I laughed out loud. :) This was such a great take on a classic, well-done! (By the way, in case you were wondering why no love til now, this only just now showed up on the feed for me. Not sure how and why that works, but YSK.)


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