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Answering Christmas mail 

“Dear Shredder, May the joys of the season alight upon you as the first snows blanket the mountain peaks. Sincerely, Ignatius.”

Dear Ignatius, Thank you for your considerate note. May your dandruff one day abate.

“Shredder, Can you please write about how brave we were to throw our shoes at the outgoing supervisors who are voting to approve the Santa Margarita Ranch development even though we really don’t want them to? Most sincerely, The S.M. Crew.”

Dear S.M. Crew, It was brave for the Iraqi journalist to throw his shoes at the president, because he knew the outcome was a bad one for him. It would have been brave of you all to throw your shoes at the supervisors. It wasn’t brave of you to gently shake out a box of shoes at their feet. You faced no consequences except the expected media attention. That’s not bravery, that’s savvy self-interest.

“Dear Shredder, Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and peaceful New Year. Sincerely, Drago’s Automotive Group.”

Dear Drago and group. What kind of a crack is that? Piss off.

“Dear Shredder, May the warmth and joy of this season fill your heart and home with happiness. Warmest thoughts, The Elephantine Conglomeration.”

Dear E.C., If warmth and joy filled my heart with happiness, I would be out of a job. Thanks for nothing. 

“Dear Mr. Shreddder. May your holiday season and New Year be Blessed with Peace, Love and Joy. Warmly, your friends at The Public Relations People.”

Dear Public Relations People, Who says I’m a mister, you sexist flaks? Women can be horrible too, you know. And as for peace, while it’s true that piss and vinegar can ruin Christmas hot chocolate, it’s surprisingly refreshing in apple cider. 

“Dear Shredder, In this holiday season we are reminded that the things that unite us as a people are more powerful and enduring than anything that sets us apart. And we all have a stake in each other, in something larger than ourselves. So from my family to yours, I am Barack Obama and I approve this message.”

Dear Barack Obama, Please do not put a stake in me. And, for the record, there is nothing larger than myself. For a while I was in competition with a massive lichen field in the Amazon. I surged ahead by sticking to the Oprah diet. Now I’ve got the record. 

“Dear Shredder, May your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16. May your heart and home be filled with the joys of the holiday season 2008, George Bush, Laura Bush.”

Dear George Bush, Laura Bush, or Matthew (whoever actually sent this card.) First of all, your grammar is a little off. “Father which is in heaven” doesn’t sound right. Second, just go away already.

“Dearest Shredder, It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Main Street … and that means Tom is stringing the lights, Betty is baking her famous Yule log, and all the Andersons are wishing you the very merriest Christmas ever!”

Dear Andersons, Who are you people? Please don’t write to me again. I primarily correspond with past and future presidents.

“Dear Shredder, We’ve got to talk. Don’t let it end this way. Rachel Ray.”

Dear Rachel Ray, I’m sorry, it’s over between us. We should have known this crazy game was going to end badly. You are a raspy voiced, small-breasted, firecracker of a television omni-celebrity. I’m nothing more than fart-scented air, that taste in the mouth after a person throws up just a little bit, the kid in the back of the room who makes nasty wisecracks because he/she can’t access his/her real emotions. Let me go. We’ve got jobs to do. You have to come up with another recipe for manicotti, and I have to carry Diogenes’ lamp all over this fucking town, looking for an honest man. 

(RR—I might have time for a quickie.)

And then there was this real letter:

“Just got done reading your article in this week’s New Times. Best article I’ve read in a while. The first four paragraphs weren’t anything to write home about, but every piece needs an introduction. Then, McGlue ... the whole chicken nuggets to glue to Bluetooth piece was brilliant. Good to read some clever ramblings every once in a while (although I know it was a well-thought out piece that you changed multiple times). Anywho, you lost me on the whole CBS to “Murder” part. I don’t watch enough TV. Nor do I eat at “Sticky Tables.” I guess I’m just not living up to the average American, but there’s always the New Year to make goals on being average. Next time how about a picture of Rachel Ray? How am I supposed to think nasty thoughts about her if I don’t see a picture. I mean, I had to Google her to find out who she was, which takes precious time away from reading Shredder.—Graham”

Dear Graham, Anywho, may the joys of the season alight upon you as the first snows blanket the mountain peaks. P.S. You can have my Rachel Ray magazines when I’m done with them. P.S.S. You may not want my Rachel Ray magazines when I’m done with them.

Send Shredder more holiday greetings at

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