Dear Lew: What I Want for Christmas

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It may seem strange that I am writing to you and not to Santa with my Christmas wish list. But the fact of the matter is, I think Mr. S. Claus is the leader of a federal entrapment scam perpetrated by the Evil Government! He’s a fake! A fraud! A fabrication! I read it on a website run by a talk radio host. So it must be true! As far as I can tell, you are real. Of course one never knows with the Internet. Still, you’re probably my best bet.

You know all those department store Santas? Well, okay, Mall Santas may be a better term in this day and age. I used to think that those professional Santas were a bunch of winos. I was wrong.

But now I know The Truth. They are CIA agents out to turn our offspring into informers! Look what color they wear! Red! Aha! Republicans! So forget it! I’m sure as heck not going to write to that dubious character again. I don’t want any of my letters read by Homeland Security!

Well Lew, I think I’ve been a good boy. So I think I am due something better than a lump of coal and a bunch of twigs. I’ve learned the difference between its and it’s, lose and loose and I know by careful examination of the OED, that falderal is a perfectly acceptable alternative to folderol. I’ve even learned how to spell u2018Ahmadinejad’ without peeking! Don’t ask me to pronounce it though. Can you?

Not to mention… but I will anyway… I’ve steadily cranked out at least one article for LRC every week since the brewery shut down. Those columns have inspired gentle readers to form a select coterie of clubs, two leading examples of which are the "Tom Chartier Is a Sniveling Wanker Club" (a British group with its head office in Balham, Gateway to the South), and in the U.S. the very select "Tom Chartier is a (vernacular disturbing to sensitive readers) Club," (head office 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W. Washington DC). I’m so proud. A writer knows he’s arrived when people hate him enough to organize and pay dues.

So, I think I’m deserving of something!

My request is simple. No, I do not want the new Nintendo Wii. You don’t want me wasting my life away in front of an electronic… hi-tech… device… uh… never mind. It’s sold out anyway. Besides, I’ll just take over my son’s after "Santa" gives him one. Don’t crave the new limited edition iPod Nano in Mao Zedung Red… red’s too Republican… just like "Santa." A pair of Pink Garden Flamingos would be nice but I’m not holding my breath. I’m not sure they’d get past customs anyway. So you know what? No commercialism for me! This isn’t Sanford and Son’s yard! So no stuff!

So what else is there? I could be noble and ask for Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, but… naw… that ain’t never gonna happen. It never has and I don’t see it in the near future. And I don’t care how many Ghosts of Christmas Whatever visit George W. Bush on December 24, we have (at least) two more years of death, destruction and excessive government spending ahead of us. I know, I can’t help but be giddy with optimism this time of year! But I won’t waste time and wish for "endless war" to end.

Real Estate? Some prime beachfront property might be nice. But with global warming, proximity to the shoreline has become the primary cause of rising damp. How about a real job… you know, one that pays? Wait a minute! Am I nuts? I’m a bum! Besides, I’d have to pay taxes and we know where that money goes! Or do we?

Okay Lew, let me get right down to brass tacks here. See there’s a difference between "want" and "need." When one worries about those things one wants instead of those things one needs, a person is apt to go running amok creating Empires and depriving thousands of what they need, such as shelter, food and life. Maintaining that little distinction between "want" and "need" is rather an important thing.

What I personally need is a break! I’m fed up and my brain hurts! So can you do me the favor and get those yahoos in Washington to SHUT THE (mother of all expletives) UP! For just one week? Is that too much to ask? I think not. And with luck, it’ll catch on. That way there won’t be a single news story, presidential speech or economic report that riles the Chartier dander.

I need a vacation! I’ve already got the tropical paradise island. You just supply the silence from those Opinion Leaders. Sound like a deal?

Hold it, you say you already asked for this too? Well duh! Stupid me, of course you did! It’s a hot item this season.

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!

Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this story.

Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.

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