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Santa has a message from Glenn. Photo from Keellings.com
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Dear Santa,


As you know, I’ve been a relatively good boy this year, certainly as compared to last year. And now that my community service is done and many of the civil suits settled, I feel like I’m finally working with a clean slate!


We’ve not always communicated efficiently in the past, and so I’m keeping this year’s wish list short and “civil-tongued” — I think that’s the term you used in your reply to last year’s letter. You’ll note that this time around, per your request, there are no overt threats against Mrs. Claus or the elves if I don’t get my way. I am willing to make some changes if you are.


So here’s my Christmas wish list, please let me know if you need any further clarifications, invoice numbers, or celebrity home addresses. Thanks, Nick! You’re the greatest!


All I want for Christmas:


Please teleport Tyra Banks to the exact geographical center of the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. I finally caught an episode of America’s Next Top Model, the latest in America’s new pornography of cruelty-and-humiliation-based “reality” programming, and that woman deserves some time alone. I figure it’ll take her a few months to find her way out, and this should at least put the show on temporary hiatus for a while. It’s OK by me if you want to give her some warm clothes and food or whatever. It’s also OK by me if you don’t.


Do that sneaky fly-around-the-planet-in-a-night thing you do and switch the reels at all the theaters opening King Kong so that millions of people globally will see Syriana instead. Hey, I like Pete Jackson as much as the next guy, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to have Syriana top the box office reports? And then wouldn’t it be fun to watch the citizens of the world achieve a collective moment of clarity, rise up in a series of bloodless revolutions, and tear down the Western military-industrial-oil complex? I think that would be fun.


While we’re on the subject, any way you can get my government to stop lying to me in 2006? Long shot request, I know. Thanks, anyway.


See if you can get Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces to accept my marriage proposal. This is, of course, my annual Rock Chick Crush request. If you check your files, you’ll see that over the years I’ve asked for your assistance on this matter with Siouxsie Sioux, Sinead O’Connor, Tanya Donelly, Laura Ballance, Liz Phair, Melissa Auf der Maur, Shirley Manson, Cibo and Matto, that crazy girl from Elastica, Ms. Dynamite, Poe, the character Lisa Bonet played in High Fidelity, and, um, Billie Joe Armstrong. I am willing to make a lot of exceptions for Billie Joe Armstrong.


Really and sincerely — do whatever you have to do to get Dave Chappelle back into the Comedy Central studios to make more Chappelle’s Show episodes. To the extent that I understand what’s going on, I totally back Dave and his choice to walk away from the soul-crushing Hollywood machine, because Dave is a genius and I defer to his judgment on these matters. Unfortunately, Dave is a genius, and so he needs to get back to work regardless, because that’s what geniuses do. Paradoxical, isn’t it? Please figure it out and get us a Season Three, thanks. (As a Plan B, give the reins to Sarah Silverman. Have you seen her pitch video? Maybe while you’re at it, see if she’ll marry me, too.)


I actually could use some socks this year, thanks. Also, one of those sonic toothbrushes, and a new motorcycle.


Can you please somehow convince all the old, dumb, unfunny syndicated newspaper cartoonists to retire, so that all of the young, smart, funny cartoonists looking for work can get published? That would be nice. It’s puzzled me for a long while — how is it that every other genre of entertainment turns over constantly with new blood and ideas, and yet three generations of my family have been skipping over 90 percent of the funny pages while eating our breakfast cereal? The exception here, of course, is Marmaduke. Because that dog is huge, and the joke somehow never gets old!


Round up all the studio executives responsible for canceling Arrested Development and have them meet me in the alley behind my house. I want to have a talk with them. May as well also grab up the knuckleheads who cancelled Joss Whedon’s Firefly and bring them along, too.


This is such a dumb coincidence that I almost hate to mention it, but I really do need two new front teeth, having lost them in the Ron Artest incident last year in Detroit. You and I both know that I did the right thing there, but we Pistons fans are somehow still getting grief about the whole thing, and meanwhile I look like one of the Hanson brothers. Maybe a Paul Wall grill, and a bottle of some that stuff DJ Screw used to drink when remixing and/or undergoing dental surgery, just to take the edge off a little bit.


Peace on earth, goodwill to all, and a swift kick in the ass to Spielberg and Lucas so that we get the new Indiana Jones movie while Harrison Ford can still memorize his dialogue. Yes, I know I’m obsessed with this, but someone has to light a fire here, and it may as well be me. Or, more to the point, you.


Well, thanks in advance, Santa. Say “hello” to Rudolph for me, and to that weird kid you got in the shop that still wants to be a dentist (maybe he can help with the front teeth thing?) Let me know if you guys still want in on that time-share condo in Miami — I’m guessing you could use a little sun. Good luck with the Big Trip, and keep an eye peeled in case Tyra starts wandering north. It’d be just like her to show up on the porch, trying to bum a ride back to L.A. Honestly! Some people!


Yr pal,


Glenn

Glenn McDonald writes about popular culture from his home in lovely Chapel Hill, NC. His humor essays have been described as "grammatically consistent" and "remarkably frequent". He is editor of the Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me daily news quiz at NPR.org, and a film critic at the Raleigh News & Observer. He lives virtually at www.glenn-mcdonald.com.


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