One day, as his wife was getting ready to go to work, Erik Mallasch decided to spring a surprise on her. But when he struck up a conversation while she was drying her hair, she grew suspicious. Was it the mundane questions, or was it the fact he was recording the whole thing? But then he handed her a note, and when she read it, her jaw hit the floor.
By all accounts, Erik is a fairly average American guy. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, he studied at the Alaska Pacific University, and he and his wife, Brittany, married on November 11, 2006. They live in Anchorage, Alaska, with their three children.
Erik does, though, have a passion for carpentry, and he has a YouTube channel where he goes by the name of The Naked Carpenter. In his words, “I’m an average Alaskan guy learning the craftsmanship of carpentry. I love wood, I love making, and I love making knowledge accessible to others.”
Erik’s videos show him making and building items as varied and wide reaching as a cabin by a lake and a sign for his friends’ wedding. It’s a pastime he has a clear and obvious love for, and that is a sentiment echoed in another non-carpentry video that he’s shared on his channel.
This particular clip is a standout on The Naked Carpenter, for this time the star is not a piece of wood. In this clip, the leading character is Erik’s wife, Brittany. As she prepared to leave for work one day, Erik proved that she, not carpentry, is his number one love.
The video begins in Erik’s garage-cum-workshop. Planks of wood lean against the work benches strewn with power tools, towered over by cluttered shelves. Observing that it’s cold, Erik invites the viewer to go with him to surprise his wife.
Erik takes the viewer around the house, gathering some objects for his wife’s surprise. He opens the door to the bedroom, and he goes upstairs. In the kitchen, he grabs something from a small duffel bag, and back in the bedroom, he grabs a green cushion from a closet.
Erik goes to the bathroom, where Brittany is blow-dying her hair. Erik lets out a little laugh. Immediately suspicious, Brittany says, “What are you doing?” Trying to play innocent, Erik asks, “What?! What are you doing?” You’re not fooling anyone, Erik.
Trying to keep it cool, Erik strikes up a mundane conversation. “So, what do you have today?” When Brittany replies by saying, “Work,” Erik can’t help but laugh. He asks if she’s excited for work. She says, “No.” But then who ever is, really? Then things start to unravel.
Erik asks Brittany if she’s nervous because the camera is on her. She says, “A little,” and she explains that it could just be the way that he’s asking her questions. It’s an unusual situation, to be fair. So what exactly is Erik up to, filming his wife drying her hair?
Erik confesses, “I got you a gift for work today.” Unsure what’s happening, Brittany takes the small gift bag that her husband hands to her. She opens it up and pulls out a bottle of Airborne. For those who don’t know, Airborne make health supplements. Work can’t be that bad, surely?
Erik said the pills were to make Brittany feel better when she’s sick. But alongside the vitamin C was a note. Brittany pulled it out of the gift bag and asked, “Do you want me to read this right now?” “It’s another gift,” Erik admits. Well, if nothing else, at least Brittany likes the paper.
Then the surprise really starts to unfold. Reading the note, Brittany says, gasping, “$500 spending cash?!” After she picks her jaw up off the floor, she asks, “What’s this for?” By now, we’re all as curious about what’s going on as Brittany.
But Erik isn’t giving anything away just yet. Well, except for more presents, as he hands Brittany another gift. This time he hands his wife a green travel pillow. And then another, as he gives her a passport. Brittany flicks through the passport and is highly amused by her photo in it.
As all of the pieces of the puzzle come together, the full picture starts to reveal itself. So Erik shows Brittany his cell, and her jaw drops. But is it confusion or disbelief? Maybe both. “Read that,” Erik says. “What is that?” she asks as she takes the phone.
“You’re not going to work today,” Erik tells his wife. Brittany gasps as she has a closer look at the phone. “I just took ten days off, and we’re sending you to Germany.” On the cell screen is a travel itinerary for Brittany to spend ten days with her best friend, who lives there.
“Oh my gosh!” Brittany exclaims, mouth open in disbelief, a tear rolling down her cheek. Erik says her flight leaves in 17 hours. But, before her departure, the plan was for the family – Erik, Brittany and the kids – to spend some quality time together for the day. Work, then, was not on the agenda.
“What?!” Brittany can’t believe what is going on. “I don’t even comprehend this! I don’t understand,” she says, still stunned. As if to reaffirm what she’s being told, she repeats, “Tonight? Ten days?” she asks, clutching her chest, breathless at the shock.
For those of you as unable to process this as Brittany, Erik had sprung the mother of all surprises. As he reaffirms, “So you fly to Germany tomorrow morning at 3:00 a.m. And I’m gonna watch the kids.” That’s ten whole days Brittany gets to spend with her best friend.
As Erik laughs while he tells his wife the plan, it’s clear that the surprise couldn’t have been better received. Shocked as her husband tells her what’s happening, Brittany is on the verge of tears. It probably was one heck of a secret to keep while he planned it, but as Erik says, “Her reactions are priceless.”