It Was My Sister’s Birthday. My Budget Was Zero Dollars.

Give me some Scotch tape. I’ll give you eternal childhood.

I try to approach problem-solving by focusing on the best available assets. As a case study, allow me to offer the story of this one time I failed to secure my sister a birthday present a few days after inviting myself to stay semi-long-term in her lovely Honolulu home. (In my defense, she owed me a favor.)

On account of my inadequacies as a sibling, an abundance of time was not my best available asset. But I did have a Canon DSLR, the unspeakable beauty of the Hawaiian islands, and my two offensively photogenic (if slightly underfed) nephews. My sister is now the proud owner of this little photo series, which I’ll admit channels Lord of the Flies to an uncomfortable, but still adorable, degree. Point is, the solution was to give my sister her own children for her birthday. That’s smart spending.

David Jones