Dmitry quietly burned with anger at the loss of the game he’d felt so confident about. He refused to consider that he’d lost his edge.
Chairman, feigning innocence, offered, “Oh, my goodness! It seems that the accumulated number of points seems to favor Moi! I am elated with the thrill of the game, though also somewhat embarrassed to admit that I am perspiring to the very limits of my body wash and deodorant! This much excitement clearly warrants a shower, quickly followed by a massage from my trusted masseuse. I dare say that with all the strenuous activity with the gamer station implements, I may feel those overworked muscles in the morning. I wouldn’t trade even a moment of the extended workout, no matter how many sore muscles I will have to contend with! The gamer’s win is soooo exhilarating! This is even better than the group interview of three secretaries at once for the privilege to work under me!”
Dmitry rolled his eyes in contempt for Chairman’s win in the game of Stocking Stuffers. The ongoing prattle from Chairman after the win grew more vexing with each statement. Fed up, Dmitry finally insinuated, “Chairman, if you’re going to behave like this every time I let you win, I’m going to quit doing it!”
Chairman abruptly stopped his gloating session. He was thoughtful and silent for a minute and then sarcastically queried, “Am I given to understand that you deliberately forfeited a winning position in the game of Stocking Stuffers, so your old friend wouldn’t feel badly? Dmitry, I am truly touched by your altruistic gesture! Had I but known you had feelings of compassion for your old friend, I would have won by a smaller margin. You are a much more generous human being than I would ever have imagined. I feel compelled to put you on my generic holiday card list in a non-denominational way as the old druid/pagan rituals come into shopping vogue.”
Now growing weary and annoyed at the sarcasm and verbal jabs at him, Dmitry asked, “Is this the way you always behave when invited to someone’s house to play games on a rainy day? You pout and are surly when you lose, but you’re insufferable and surly when you win. It’s a good thing I haven’t had to endure your insufferable surliness more than once. I confess I am more than willing to put up with you being pouty and surly from here on out.”
It was Chairman’s turn to be annoyed that Dmitry insinuated that he had let him win. He countered, “I can see we ARE in a mood, aren’t we? I win one contest of Stocking Stuffers with plenty of suffering, and you are now ready to quit playing!
“One time you let me take the first turn at the three doors, even though you had first draw privilege, so now I will give you the same courtesy. I won, but I’m willing to let you choose which door the spoils have been placed behind.”
Dmitry, almost unable to believe the generous offer of the Chairman, did a double take before he beamed. “What ho, Chairman! You genuinely surprise me with such a magnanimous gesture! Is it possible that under that rough, coarse exterior there actually beats a heart of flint to circulate the Freon in your veins? I will not disappoint you by turning down the right to draw first and will choose your lucky door number three.”
Chairman smiled as he replied, “After this, Dmitry, you won’t be pouty and surly the next time we play and you lose, right?”
Both men stared at each other momentarily across the high definition video displays of their conference call. Dmitry grinned and snickered as he asked, “Who said I was going to let you win next time?”
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