Nigel had secretly decided to give up smoking on his forty-fifth birthday. My wife will be pleased, he thought to himself. I’ll keep it as a surprise.
Natalie, Nigel’s wife, had resigned herself to her husband’s forever smoking. She was tired of finding used soda cans at the back door where he went out to have a smoke. He’d stub the finished cigarette on the empty can and drop it in. She would get him a fancy ashtray for his forty-fifth birthday. It wasn’t to encourage him smoking; it was more to try to keep the back door area tidy.
“That’s lovely, dear,” said Nigel opening his present on his birthday. “Thank you!” He gave her a kiss.
Nigel’s now seventy-seven and still puffing away. The ashtray’s long gone. Natalie is forever tidying up the back door. But she insists that Nigel first clear the area of his empty soda cans full of cigarette butts.