In February of 2008, my cousin Armando Zavala played the cruelest birthday joke that anyone can perform on a relative, or so I first thought. Upon opening a blank card, I immediately checked to see if either cash or a gift card might have slipped out; however, neither of the two was present. Thus, to the best of my ability I tried to hold back the perplexed look on my face and pretended to read the front of the card; after all, he was sitting right next to me. But deep down, I asked myself three questions. First, why did he do this to me? Second, should I continue pretending to read the front of the card? Finally, should I say thank you? At that instant, he must have read my mind because he laughed and then proceeded to give me the real gift, a red paperclip. Soon after, I really contemplated saying, are you serious? A paperclip?! Fortunately I wisely refrained, because what happened next changed my outlook on life forever. He gave me the YouTube link for “The One Red Paperclip”, and challenged me to barter for something bigger than a house.