16B -Se Michigan Daily Week l Magazine - Thursday, Dumber 10, 1998
O Weekend etc. Column
AN OPEN LETTER TO JOLLY OLD ST. NICK
Dear Santa, 10 Dec 1998
It's that time of year again, and I figure
I should send a word or two to you in my
own defense lest you make any snap judg-
ments and place me on the "Naughty" list.
I admit I haven't been perfect. There
were times when I should have done
things a little differently. For irstance, I
wrote a column about the wedding of a
frend early in the fall; perhaps you
remember it. In it, I described my friend,
i* terms of funkiness, as comparable to
Wilson Philips. In retrospect, this is an
unfair comparison, and not at all honest.
I ie's much more like Neil Diamond, but
without the massive and inexplicable pub-
lic support. Also, he can't sing.
Now that we're on the subject, I'd like
to take this opportunity, Santa, to point
out that the incident with the shopping
cart and the old lady was not my fault. I
distinctly yelled that she should get out of
the way, and she neglected to take my
advice seriously. If she'd listened, she
would have avoided injury entirely.
Instead she overreacted and died under a
ie of canned green beans. She was
doomed to her fate the moment she decid-
ed to challenge my warning, and no
amount of whining will change that.
But I begin to stray from my purpose
some. Santa, please do not bring anyone
any toys this year. I can't think of anyone
who truly deserves them. Well, perhaps I
do, and perhaps one or two others; but this
is just my opinion, which - although
unassailable - is only one voice out of a
Santa, I guess
what I'm requesting
is that you refram
from rewarding stu-
pidity. I'm not refer-
ring to ignorance, as
there are instancesy
in which ignorance
is excusable. Let me
give an example to
make my argument
more concrete. You
may have been ANDREW
watching when I MORTENSEN
recently ordered I(
two slices of pizza fit' (I '
from a local pizza AN )
establishment. As I
recall, the cashier ignorantly charged me
for only one piece. And when I looked at
him quizzically, expecting him to realize
his mistake, he merely asked me to step
aside so he could serve the next customer.
If this sort of ignorance were allowed to
spread, the world would soon become a
perfect place. War, I imagine, would dis-
appear into the dusty vaults of memory;
money would become obsolete, and with
that obsolescence, the stock market would
fold, increasing national happiness a thou-
sand-fold; murder, rape, larceny, avarice
... all of these would fade from the
human consciousness, and prosperity and
peace would reign.
Unfortunately, such ignorance is not the
dominant feature of mankind these days.
Stupidity has long held that title, and
shows no sign of ever relinquishing it.
And you, you fat jolly old oaf of an elf, are
doing nothing to help the situation.
According to the pamphlets your pub-
lic relations director sent me, you quite
willingly bestow Christmas gifts on any-
one who makes a conscious effort to take
responsibility for their mistakes. This is
far too lenient. You can't help but recog-
nize this. In my opinion, which we've
already established unassailable, there are
certain offenses which cannot be over-
looked in the holiday spirit.
There is, to pluck an example, the
clumsy idiot who spilled his entire choco-
late milkshake in my lap a few weeks ago.
He immediately affected a remorseful
attitude and claimed it was an accident,
but I knew better than that. In my experi-
ence, there's no such thing as an "acci-
dent;' and the term itself is little more
than a wall behind which the vicious hide.
Give him no toys, Santa. On Christmas
morning, please see to it that a small but
particularly effective brute squad of burly
elves administers a fatal beating to him.
It's the only just thing to do.
Along those lines, I'd like you to do
something to the moron whom I discov-
ered urinating in the elevator at my apart-
ment. Perhaps you can arrange for him to
have an "accident" I suggest castration.
14 Dec 1998
Until receiving your letter, we here at
the North Pole branch of Kringle
Enterprises had been unable to put you on
either the Good list or the Naughty list.
Now, thanks in large part to said letter,
we've reached a unanimous decision, and
we're pleased to report that come
Christmas morning, you'll be getting
exactly what you deserve.
Kris "Santa" Kringle
15 Dec 1998
I don't mind telling you that that bit
about me getting what I deserve has me a
little concerned. If you could find it in
your hugely compassionate heart to do so,
would you please send a note explaining
what you meant by that statement? It
would soothe me to no end.
Sincerely wishing you the best this ho!-
18 Dec 1998
Please rest assured that I meant what I
said. We've been able to base our decision
squarely on your personal conduct this
year. Your letter opened our eyes to your
personality. I'm proud to say that yours is
the most appropriate gift of the year.
K. "Santa" Kringle
19 Dec 1998
Is it possible for you to overlook a few
of my mistakes this year? Nobody's per-
In the spirit of charity,
YOUR GUIDE TO
SURVIVING A COLLEGE EDUCATION
24 Dec 1998
Author: Robert D. Honigman
Ho ho ho!
K. "Santa" Kringle
You'll invest thousands of dollars and years of your
life in a college education. But your education
won't be complete unless you learn how dorm
overcrowding, bad off-cam pus housing, and grade
competition help the U exploit students. Also learn
why "father knows best" authority is ruining your
Full text available at http://universitysecrets.com.
Also sold at Borders and Shaman Drum.
Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD - It's been a
year to expect the unexpected.
Just as few in Hollywood pre-
dicted that such films as "There's
Something About Mary," "The
Waterboy" and "The Rugrats
Movie" would become instant
mega-hits, many had high expecta-
"Godzilla," "BASEketball" and
"Babe: Pig in the City."
This week's victim of height-
ened expectations is "Psycho,"
director Gus Van Sant's remake of
Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller.
The film stumbled out of the start-
ing gate, grossing $10 million at
the box office for beleaguered
What happened? Analysts say
"Psycho" needed a bigger
response both from teens who nor-
mally rush to see horror films and
from older audiences who were
reminded of Hitchcock's thriller.
"I think that Anne Heche and
Vince Vaughn, while they are
great, didn't appeal to the 'I Know
What You Did Last Summer'
crowd,' " said Paul Dergarabedian,
president of the box-office track-
ing company Exhibitors Relations
Co. Inc. "I think younger audi-
ences go for younger personali-
ties," he said.
As for older audiences,
Dergarabedian said they might
have been turned off at the thought
of a studio remaking a Hitchcock
"Psycho" carried additional
baggage; for weeks, Universal
has been under a spotlight
because of turmoil in the execu-
tive suites. The studio needed a
strong showing from "Psycho"
and three other year-ending
films to bring the studio out of
its box-office doldrums. So far
"Psycho," the "Babe" sequel and
"Meet Joe Black" have been
filled with unc e
pa re n'' .f
three weeks with
It's nice to know
You can count on.
Online Dining Guide
Complete menus from your favorite dine-in and carry-out
restaurants available online 24 hours a day.
25 Dec 1998
I write to you at my mother's command
in order to thank you for the wonderful
gift. It is the best fake rubber dog drop-
ping I have ever received.
31 Dec 1998
K. "Santa" Kringle
Andrew Mortensen can be reached on
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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