“What do the girls want for Hanukkah?” I asked my sister-in-law over the phone.
“If you can find them some Hatchimals, you’ll be their favorite aunt,” she replied. “They’re sold out everywhere.”
“What’s a Hatchimal?” I wondered. My kids were well beyond the toy years and I was out of the loop on the latest must-have gifts for little girls.
“It’s a thing in an egg,” she replied. “You have to hatch it.”
“What kind of thing?”
“A thing. You know, a thing... in an egg.”
I had no idea what she was talking about. What was the appeal of a toy egg? Did you have to sit on it to get it to hatch? After it hatched, did you have to feed it little worms or pre-digested food? And how long would the darn thing stay in the nest before it would fly away? These are the questions that kept me up at night. That, and wondering how much more weight I would gain over the holidays.
My sister-in-law insisted that these hatching animal things were awesome toys, although she had never actually seen one because no one could get their hands on one. Why she thought I would be able to get one was beyond me. I had no connections with any of Santa’s elves and the only eggs I had any history with were the scrambled kind. But my nieces wanted one and I wanted to be their favorite aunt, so I told her I’d do my best.
I went online and checked all the usual places, but all the hatching thingamabobs were out of stock. Then I looked at some of the less usual places and found one of them. But when I checked to see how much it was, it said to call for the price.
So, I called.
“Hi, I’m calling about the Hatch animal toy,” I said to the person on the other end of the line. “I want to get some for my nieces and I’d like to find out the price.”
“Oh, those are the must-have toys of the season!” she told me.
“They’re in very high demand,” she assured me.
“I know,” I replied.
“We have just a few, but we can get you one for the extremely reasonable price of fifteen-hunred dollars.”
“Fifteen dollars?” I said. “That’s great!”
“No,” she said. “Fifteen HUNDRED dollars.”
It took me a minute for the number to sink in. When it did, I lost my mind.
“FIFTEEN-HUNDRED DOLLARS? ARE YOU INSANE?” I bellowed.
“They’re in very high demand,” she repeated.
“That’s more than they want for Hamilton tickets!” I sputtered. “What’s in the egg? A gold chicken?” I was aghast. As much as I loved my nieces, there was no way I was going to spend $1,500 on a toy egg for them, no matter how cool it was.
“Sorry, but I think I’ll pass,” I said.
“That’s too bad,” said the seller. “I’m sure your nieces would have really liked one.”
“It’s OK,” I replied. “I’ll make them an omelet.”
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