I have since found out they have been in secret contact for weeks.
But it's okay - they were only conspiring to get me THE BEST PRESENT EVER!
It was this signed photo of Neil Armstrong!
I am a big fan of the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.
Many years ago - when I finally had a job and some money - I started collecting Apollo memorabilia.
Most notably the autographs of moonwalkers.
I know it is silly - but we all have hobbies!
Over time I've accumulated quite a collection but never Neil Armstrong.
This is because he had "retired" from signing autographs and buying a second-hand version is super expensive (and risky, with forgeries everywhere!).
THE MIDDLE PART
I left my collection in Australia when I moved to the UK in 2002.
But eventually I had it shipped to the UK.
Mrs PeriodicVideos admires my passion but does not particularly like space photography plastered everywhere.
BUZZ - sits on my office mantle
So most of the collection lives in a secure trunk, with just a few pics on "public display".
For very special (and nerdy) guests I unlock the trunk and show off the collection.
Many of them are framed with elaborate plaques and mission patches, etc.
One such guest was Destin, who stayed with us in the UK last year (along with his wife Tara).
Destin has a long family history with rocketry and NASA. I am sure he will be an astronaut one day.
He loved the collection and, like everyone, was told that it is missing a Neil Armstrong.
The elephant not in the room, I guess!
THE LAST BIT
Unbeknownst to me, Destin and Mrs PeriodicVideos plotted to acquire a Neil Armstrong autograph.
(Of course, the great man sadly died last year - an older signature is the only option)
I had no idea, but my wife was being suspiciously guarded about her email communication in recent weeks!
(I have since learned it was because Destin was using "Neil Armstrong" in the email subject fields!!!!)
And last night - very much out of character - she asked me to switch on Skype so she could test something!?
Then Destin called me and the trap was sprung.
The signed picture was revealed and Destin was able to enjoy (and photograph) my bemused response.
CONFUSED - Destin watches me get the gift
I later learned that Destin - ever the stickler for detail like Armstrong himself - had put the autograph through a rigorous and costly authentication process.
I feel a bit disappointed that I was perhaps not excited enough about the gift - but honestly after all these years, I was just a bit shocked.
Best present ever.