You probably know how tough it’s been this year down here in the lower forty-eight. The effin economy's been all to hell, the wars are dragging on, and even the blasted weather is acting up. Our Jersey tomatoes were for shite this summer and my neighbor’s gotten to wandering around the neighborhood in her nightdress. Everywhere I look I see people behaving badly, especially on the road, though that’s not a new story. I mean, you’ve been warning us about being naughty or nice for a long time. I sure hope that things are better up there by you, but who knows – I doubt if there’s anyplace in the whole world where you can escape the insanity. Strange that none of the articles I’ve read on global warming mention its likely impact on your workshop or those little elves of yours, though there seem to be a lot of people worried about polar bears. Go figure. I prefer reindeer to bears anyways. I hope your team is alright.
I’m writing to ask you, please, don’t bring me any more presents. Probably not what you want to hear – I mean, I don’t want to put you out of business too -- but I’ve got a real problem: I’ve got no place to put all the stuff you've been bringing me for the last twenty, thirty Christmases, let alone anything new that you might carry down my chimney four weeks from now. I can't take it any more.
The attic is full, the basement is full, the garage is full. I’ve got four closets on the main floor and a pantry – all full. This past spring, when it looked like I might have to dump this property (at a loss!), I even leased two 300 square foot spaces at the Store-It-Ur-Self out on Route 517 and filled those suckers up too. I don’t know what to do, since I can’t afford any more space and I gotta be prepared to move out of here at a moment's notice if the the bank starts threatening my arse again. There's only so many lawn sales you can hold in the rain.
I’ve got two Belgian waffle griddles, a pasta maker, a spice grinder, three forest green cardigan sweaters, two VCRs, a stereo surround-sound system, an extra sub-woofer, an elliptical machine, a foosball set, a percolator, an espresso machine, a leaf blower that never worked, a scooter and a moped, a bunch of Matisse prints, two cutlery sets, a DVR, two full cartons of acetone, four personal grooming kits (one in leather, one in faux leather, one in a box, and one in a paisley cloth sack), a plastic guitar, a LEGO set, a portable DVD player, a New Jersey Devils jersey, warm-up jacket, and cap, a cocktail shaker and tumbler set, an ultra-sound pest control device, a dehumidifier, a humidifier, an air ionizer, a mandoline, a Duracell powerpack and air compressor, a Star Wars costume kit including light sabers, five different sized Rubiks cubes, a water cannon, at least half a dozen jigsaw puzzles, an electronic translator, two camp blankets, an Orvis fisherman’s vest, a universal clock radio, cartons of electric cords, a Dell laptop, a Sony camcorder, an aquarium, a Gateway desktop still in its “cow-skin” box, a Thomas Kinkade glass snowman, a bulletproof briefcase, a set of rabbit ears, a duffel bag, cheap flatware for eight, tire chains, assorted salad bowls, a messenger bag, a complete set of black nylon ballistic luggage, an authentic hibachi grill, two Weber grill implement sets, a hand-crank emergency radio, three mag lites, at least a dozen pairs of gloves, three of which are missing one hand, an instant wine chiller, sheepskin slippers, cloth slippers, rubber slippers, cowhide moccs, a motion detector, a portable weather station, a solar battery charger, walkie-talkies, two sets of multi-sized digital frames, a folding bike, an exercycle, a set of weights, fifteen Hummel collectible figurines (two cracked), a set of poorly balanced MacGregor golf clubs, a case of Johnny Walker Red, blankets, my Apple LCIII, thirteen cans of Coco Lopez, slankets, a couple of cans of tennis balls, dozens of pillows, a neck brace, a La-Z-Boy recliner, two file cabinets, assorted pillow cases, a draughtsman’s table, a Poke boat, a deep fryer, a wrought-iron hearth kit, a bullwhip, fourteen (count 'em!) photo albums, a set of Adirondack deck chairs, a telescope along with its tripod and replaceable eyepiece, three floor lamps, a framed poster of Bob Dylan, a "banker's" table lamp, boxes and boxes of old versions of Microsoft Office software –- aw, dammit, Santa, why am I listing all this junk? You get the picture. And I haven’t even begun to get into the tapes, the CDs, the DVDs, the laserdiscs, the older iPod models, the bundles of magazines held together by twine, the books – god the books, milkcrates full! A few years ago I started to keep a running inventory of all this stuff, but ran out of steam -- there's way too much to keep track of.
And just last week one of my buddies gave me a Kindle. What the hell am I gonna do with that? Put it in the drawer next to the travel iron I've never used and that extra set of long-life candles I keep on hand in case the power goes out? Or maybe in the freezer between the boxes of french bread pizza and bags of peas.
Dear Santa, I'm lost already. Please stay away. I'm sure there are plenty of people who can use whatever crapola you're gonna be doling out this year, but not me. Especially if I have to get out and live in my Subaru. Thanks for your understanding. One of these years, when I've had a chance to sort through all my possessions and get rid of most of 'em, maybe I'll be ready for your kind of Christmas again. Until then, keep going when you see my roof, stay cool and take care as you make your rounds. Lots of folks up here keep guns.
PK in the terrarium