No time for the usual introduction as I smash through the fourth wall like the Kool-Aid Man after his latest parole hearing! WILLFUL DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY– OH YEAH!
You! Yes YOU! The one reading this letter– somehow I can communicate with you while you are reading this. You can write your very own Christmas letter! No permits, licensing deals, or shady backroom arrangements required. Start with some objective events of the past year, sprinkle in a few things that you really wanted to have happened, and finally top it off with some quasi-random pop culture references. Once complete, send it to your printer, upload it to your website, and, if your time and budget permits, have it incorporated into an elaborate car wrap for your daily driver.
Now that you are ready for everyone read your work of art, here are some suggestions on who may want to read it:
Friends and relatives.
People whose jobs require them to interact with you socially.
Small, furry woodland creatures.
And, it kind of goes without saying, aliens.
To help illustrate my point, I started ad libbing letters in my brain-area for people on my route based solely on our limited social interactions. Here are two examples.
KARA: This morning my UPS driver told me I needed to write a Christmas Letter. Who am I to argue? Well, I guess I have to argue a little bit that Christmas was a few weeks ago now. So I would like to welcome everyone to my “Commemorating 2020 Right Before I Toss It In A Boat, Push It In The Lake, and Light It On Fire” letter.
JEN: So, it turns out that when you change jobs you don’t necessarily get to keep the same UPS driver. I miss Todd. A lot. All I have left are my memories and a random video on my phone of Todd coming into the store room. I like to think of it as my own game of “human Pokemon.” But seriously everyone, if you are considering changing jobs please take this into consideration.
Also keep in mind this expression of individuality can be based around ANY generally recognized annual celebration such as Arbor day (“I am Groot”) All Hallows Eve (“My Zombie Life– A Musical!”) or Festivus (“Let the Airing of Grievances begin!”).
OK, enough of the public service announcement– back to me for a while.
I remember when I first built my website he was always ready to jump up and race off to handle every HTTP request in a fraction of a second. Twenty some years later I took a closer look and realized that he mostly was just sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos, and passing gas. I did a little research and found out that “website obesity” is a real problem. I started writing back in the mid 1990s so some of my stories have gotten around to some rather unsavory hosting platforms over the years where they undoubtedly picked up extraneous HTML code. I spent an entire weekend doing [INSERT WEBSITE TECHO MUMBO JUMBO HERE] and now my website spends his time eating celery, working out to retro Richard Simmons videos, and asking me why I don’t get more traffic coming to my site anymore. If you haven’t already visited my website, you can check it out at Lutfey.com. Pretty much everything I’ve written for the past quarter century is uploaded. I was blessed with a short but uncommon last name and relatives who didn’t have much interest in the Internet revolution.
Despite an extensive internet search, I am no closer to understanding why I spent the entire month of March with the theme song of “WKRP In Cincinnati” stuck in my head. “Maybe you and me were never meant to be, but baby, think of me once in a while.”
On my birthday I decided to ride my age in miles on my bicycle. Then I looked outside and realized the beginning of April is not really the best time of the year for this type of activity, so I slightly modified my goal to ride my age sometime during the year. After riding around the bike trail in Loveland twice I was a mile short so I rode around my neighborhood until my odometer displayed the correct number. My goal now is to make this an annual event until I’m old enough to not remember I made the commitment. Anyone considering such an endeavor but is concerned with their physical abilities might consider using a different unit of measurement such as kilometers, city blocks, or feet.
Since the “random future predictions” section has been trending well with focus groups over the past few letters, I thought I would change things up a bit this year and make a list of environmentally themed predictions:
A new mutual fund called “Short Florida” will be rolled out in an effort to benefit financially from rising sea levels.
Southern California will solve water shortages by covertly building tall fences along mountain peaks on the continental divide in Colorado in order to keep more snow on the western slope.
Scientists will confirm that global warming can be avoided if everyone takes all the unused CDs, DVDs, and “free AOL trial discs” and hot glues them to their roof shiny side up.
Florida is going to fund efforts to fight climate change in the state by investing heavily in the “Short Florida” mutual fund.
In fun number news, I realized that I now have written letters for more years of my life than I haven’t. (25 to 23) Being 47 years old, I am also bracing myself for having to spend the next six years not being a prime number. And before you say anything, everyone seems to forget that 51=3*17. I mean, really, how hard is that to remember? I’ll just have to make the best of it and look forward to my next prime number birthday in 2027.
While I would like to think I will die in some Star Trek-esque manner that will leave my atoms scattered through neighboring corners of the multiverse, I am preparing for the contingency of dying a bland, pedestrian death. In such a case here are some quotes that can be read at a memorial service, recorded on my cell phone’s voicemail, or affixed to my “head jar” (in case I live through into “Futurama” times).
I’ll be waiting for all eternity for the next season of “Wayward Pines.”
That which doesn’t kill you brings you one step closer to that which does.
I was immortal right up until the end.