By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulDear Santa: Please don't send me a thing for Christmas. There are toys I want, but take them to some little boy in Iraq. That's where my daddy is, and if he sees a little boy there playing with my toy, maybe it will make him smile. Santa, I miss my daddy so. Could you please help me pray extra hard that President Bush will think about my daddy sometimes? And Vice President Dick Cheney, too. I'll bet he's a nice granddad, who looks after his grandchildren and makes sure that their daddies and mommies get to be with them at Christmas, and all the time. I wish he was my daddy's daddy. I asked my mom if the president thinks about my daddy much, and she said, "Well, he's got a lot on his plate, honey." Then I saw President Bush on Thanksgiving holding that big turkey for the troops, and I said, "Look, Mommy, he does have a lot on his plate!" She laughed and threw a ladle of potatoes and gravy at the screen. "Now he's got a little more!" she said. A ladle is a big spoon. I looked for my daddy on the screen, but he wasn't there.—Timmy Dear Timmy: It's refreshing to hear from a child who isn't going "Gimme, gimme, gimme" all the time. As per your wishes, I've sent the PlayStation 2 you wanted to little Ibram Kaludi in Mosul. Unfortunately, he was blinded and lost his arms in a Coalition raid and has no idea what your gift is. He doesn't have a TV, and doesn't have electricity anymore, or even potable water. Potable means you can drink it without getting sick. His parents have no jobs and have to queue up for hours just to buy saltines and krill for their daily meal, and Ibram's angry brother Otay traded the PlayStation to a Marine for a couple of grenades. I hope Otay doesn't think of your dad before the president does. Have a Merry Christmas!
Dear Santa: I read in the newspaper about the nine little kids our planes killed by mistake in Afghanistan. I bet you were going to bring them some neat toys, huh? I've been good all year, and I am always careful and never go where soldiers might bomb somebody. I live in Tustin, and heard you on our roof once! I left the Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies for you, remember? I was wondering, since those kids in Afghanistan don't need their presents anymore, can you maybe bring them to me? I know other boys don't even leave you Keebler cookies, and Pepperidge Farm is a prestige brand. Thank you in advance.—Mikey Dear Mikey: I like doughnuts that I can dunk in my bourbon. I like those little baba rum candies, but you hardly see those anymore. I do not care for Milanos, and think your mom must be some dried old apricot of a woman to be buying such a fussy little cookie. Now, about you: Did you buy the cookies? Why didn't you just steal a dollar from your mom's purse and leave it out for me? It would have been the same paltry effort on your part. Meanwhile, other kids bake me cookies themselves, putting "special" ingredients in them. They are the ones who gain my favor, and who will get finer toys than you by far. As for the toys the Afghani children would have received, Santa is under no constraint to account for such "off-invoice" goods and I have a side deal going where I trade them for black caviar, so thanks anyway.
Dear Santa: I'd sure like some tits for Christmas. Can you help me out? All the other girls have tits, and you're absolutely nothing without them. I saw the Victoria's Secret TV program. I see the trampoline girls on The Man Show. I see Britney and Christina. Everywhere I look, every girl is shaking it, and I need it to shake. I'm seven years old, but I pay attention. Let's face it, Santa, I'm meat. I'm a cutlet. I need some tits to get FDA approval. Mom has me doing Pilates already so I'll look buff with my bare midriff. She got me a toy razor too. Now I just need some tits. I read that girls mature earlier now due to all the hormones fed to animals, so I've been eating all the meat I can, but I could use some help up here in the melon department, Santa.—Sally Dear Sally: Boy, is Santa ever glad that all this women's lib stuff has leveled off. It was getting to where all the women looked like Janet Reno. I say, hooray for hooters, Sally! When Santa's sliding down the old chimney, he needs something to grab ahold of. That's what makes Santa a happy pappy. I mean, it's great that women vote and think and everything, but there's no reason they can't do it with a thong on and some girlflesh flashing. Thank heavens for these post-Madonna prima donnas who flaunt it like they know you want it. Pay attention to them, Sally. They are your role models. If that wasn't what society expected of you, they wouldn't be making sure you saw such examples everywhere on TV. But listen up, Sally, these D-cup dreams are only to groom you for the future, not for you to fulfill today. It's like your brother: just because he shoots and gets shot at in video games all the time doesn't mean Uncle Sam wants him yet. Like young hams, you both have to wait until you've matured. But be ready once you hit 18, because Uncle Sam's in a quagmire and Santa's in the hot tub, and Santa says, "C'mon in, the water's fine."
Dear Santa: I'm so educationally handicapped that I don't know my ass from a lemon drop, but even so it looks to me like something funny is going on. See, a lot of people like me voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor because he said he could save the state without cutting education or services for the handicapped, or the local services such as police and firemen that were funded by the car tax. And here he is, a month in office, and it's looking like we're the first things he's stuffing up the old bunghole. Or is that a lemon drop? I wish I could think good. He also promised to investigate himself after the election, about those women, but now he says it's time to "move on." I remember the president "moved on" from lying about the war, and from not really being elected, and from ever finding the staffer who outted the CIA agent, and from a bunch of other zany confusing stuff. Moving on really seemed to settle his hash. Am I getting this right, that moving on is good to do, like if I hit your car and you're bleeding on the dash and not looking so good, I can just "move on" and everything's okay? Is "moving on" different from "getting a move on" or "busting a move"? If there's a book, with pictures, that shows me how to move on, that's what I'd like, Santa.—I Can't Tell You My Name Because the Nametag's Upside Down Dear Upside Down: There's no such book, but looking in my crystal ball I see there's a website called www.moveon.org. Maybe it can help you to understand things.
Dear Santa: I have been good all year, if good is what you call single-handedly batting down the forces of evil while a bunch of complaining Democrats buzz around like gnats. Maybe a little more than good is what I've been, wouldn't you say? I don't see anyone else stepping up to the plate of terror-licking, freedom-building hardball. You know what I'd like for Christmas? How about a big fat thank-you? I mean, every creature living on this earth should be down on its knees thanking me for being such a stand-up guy. I'm taking names and kicking ass. I got those Shiites by the short hairs. I know what Kofi Annan had for lunch. Come to mention it, Santa, I know when you are sleeping. You'd better watch out. You better not cry. I'll lock you in Guantanamo and no one's gonna know why. I'm comin' ta town! I'm comin' ta town! You better be nice to me, or you won't get no goodies.—George Dear George: I recently traded 17 tons of black caviar for 200,000 shares of Halliburton stock, so I think we're pretty much on the same team, okay? Get off your high horse. An old Chinese proverb says, "If you get in a pissing match with Santa, you'd better like yellow snowcones." Santa's old money. His money's older than rope. So keep a civil tongue in your dang head, and keep those dividends coming.