29 letter cards card mail note tradition christmas countdown illustration days til 10000000, 12000000, 10011000, FEA, krtholiday holiday, LEI, public holiday, 12025004, religious event, rite, ritual, 12014000, 12014001, krtchristianity christianity, krtchristmas christmas, krthanukkah hanukkah chanukkah, krtjudaism judaism jewish jew, krtwinter winter, krtxmas xmas, religious festival, religious holiday, krtfeatures features, krtlifestyle lifestyle, krtnational national, krtreligion religion, krtworld world, leisure, LIF, REL, krt, mctillustration 2007, krt2007, lx contributor coddington ware mct mct2007, lx contributed
Well, let’s see what’s in the holiday mailbox.
Christmas cards from the people who got them out early, wishing us Joyousness and Merryful.
Charity solicitations from the organizations I support, including the one that buys oxen for people in countries where oxen come in handy. You don’t have to buy a whole oxen; you can buy a share. I hope the oxen shares do not arrive in a series of boxes with assembly instructions.
Catalogs. And more catalogs — 14 of them, in fact. You’ll probably recognize these basic genres.
1. You gave money to MPR 15 years ago so we assume you want a box set of some BBC show about people walking around manors, wondering if the servants overheard what they said about the vicar.
Example: “Inspector Scones’ Understated Homicides.” In the seaside town of Itchwich, not much happens — except for the occasional eccentric murder. Sometimes tea is involved. This collection of much beloved BBC mysteries follows Inspector Scones as he solves utterly civilized murders that temporarily upset bourgeois norms. It’s amazing what goes on in a small town — and reassuring that Scones is always there to find the culprit!
Bonus feature: a documentary on the real Inspector Scones, who was convicted in 1998 of serially murdering 148 residents of a small seaside town.
2. You are a fascinating free spirit who defies convention, lives life on your own terms and celebrates your own uniqueness, so here’s a bunch of stuff that has to do with cats and wine.
Example: Artsy Scarfy! Based on the watercolors of a famous French impressionist, this scarf will have all your friends saying, “Where did you get that lovely Monet-inspired neck fabric?” Will you gently correct them and tell them it’s based on the works of Manet, in your own inimitable, high-spirited way that makes people feel small and resentful? Of course! Cotton fabric also works great wiping up spilled Chablis.
3. You bought some work boots online, so here’s: Awesome Bro Crap! A Catalog for Dudes.
Examples: A beer koozie shaped like a jockstrap with a John Deere logo, and it’s wrapped in bacon. There’s also a Chuck Norris Grill — just point it at a cow and it turns into a pile of well-done steaks (not shipped to overseas addresses).
And don’t forget “The Best of Hold My Beer™” — a six-hour compilation of guys being guys, including such classics as “Cletus Went and Got His Big Toe All Shot Off” and “Bonfire in the Icehouse.”
4. Someone sent you fruit once, so for the next two decades you’re going to get a catalog offering boxes of grapefruit the size of cannonballs. It’s Davey and Horid’s Glossy List of Overpriced Spherical Edibles!
Example: Pomme de Grand-mere Smith. Some people call them Granny Smiths, but we think that using French words and packing them in confetti swept up from Bastille Day parades justifies a 400 percent markup.
5. Because we bought the subscriber list from Public Radio, we figured there’s a chance you’ll like this catalog of Things That Make People Assume You’re Smart.
Example: the Whadda Hellizit. Sure to be a hit with any chemistry-minded person in your life, the Whadda Hellizit uses the Periodic Table to tell time on a puzzle that creates a photoelectric cell to display a customized message on a welcome mat. You have no idea what that means, but your grandchild probably will.
And check out the Passive-Aggressive Snooty Sweatshirt. Select from such mottos as “My Equibum Is Lower Than My Quantirum.” It means nothing, but other people will laugh anyway, pretending they know Latin. Identify poseurs and fakes on the spot, and judge them silently in your mind.
6. We always get a thin catalog from that company with the odd, clunky name — Hamburger-Schlekemecker or something. It’s expensive stuff.
Example: Personal Toothpick Warmer. Have you ever tried to extract a fragment of kale with a toothpick, only to be repulsed by the idea of “room-temperature wood”? The Piq-Waarmr is imported from Denmark, where they know about cold toothpicks. It keeps your picks toasty warm, ready to use. Propane tanks not included.
I’m not saying they bought the mailing list from the same people who sold my name to AARP, but I opened the catalog at random and saw the Thinning Hair Boar Bristle Brush and the Voice Clarifying TV Speaker because everyone on TV just mumbles these days.
There’s probably a paintball rifle with a scope for dealing with kids who cross your lawn. A bifocal scope, if you know what I’m saying.
7. The Olde New England Grandma Store. This is the catalog that has all the stuff no one makes anymore.
Example: Rexall’s Carbolated Bunion Salve. And Eau D’Eisenhower Cologne. They specialize in candy you can’t find anymore. Remember the great taste of Chinaman’s Braid licorice twists? Dutch Loaf candy bars?
Every year I buy one thing from a catalog, which is why they keep coming. And that’s fine! One day I may want to watch the adventures of Inspector Scones, if it’s remastered for 4K HD.
And also if they boost the volume. It’s not the accent. I swear he mumbles.