Friday, December 26, 2014

left to right: Simon Le Bon, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins, Bono, Eric, Sting, George Michael
So, I was listening to a cooking show on the radio the other day as I was driving home from work--and this wasn’t even the classy public radio cooking show; this was just the cooking show on the traffic station. Anyway, the host was talking about rice and she happened to mention that in the olden days processed rice was covered in talc to make it look nicer, but recently they stopped doing that so you don’t have to rinse the talc off anymore before you cook it. Just to recap, YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO RINSE RICE ANYMORE! I had no idea! I feel like such a fool! Well, as you can imagine, I’ve wasted so much of the past year unnecessarily rinsing my rice that I haven’t had time to do anything else!

And now it’s time for my annual holiday letter and I don’t have anything written. What am I to do? Well, I just realized this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of my holiday letter, so I’ll write about that. I think I wrote the first one back in 1989. I remember it well, because it was before typewriters were invented, so I wrote it by the shape of a Christmas tree. Many of you wouldn’t have received those early editions because the circulation was pretty small back then. But since then it’s been spreading. From a single, isolated copy here on my computer in Burbank, it’s been transmitted to friends and family in several states and even to other countries.

FOX NEWS: “Why isn’t the president doing anything to protect us from this growing threat?!”

THE PRESIDENT: “You’re overreacting.”

FOX NEWS: “We aren’t overreacting! We’re just reacting more than the appropriate amount! We need to shut down the entire US Postal Service until this holiday letter can be contained! It just makes common sense!”

THE PRESIDENT: “If you do that, you’ll just force these letters underground and then we won’t be able to track them. It would be counterproductive. Look, I know you’re scared. These letters get more ridiculous every year. I get it. But we have the situation under control. In fact, I’ve just appointed a Holiday Letter Czar.”

Well, that should do it. But, just in case, I think we also need a benefit concert for all the people who have had to read these letters for so many years. In honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of this letter, we’ve invited back all our old favorites. Several versions of Eric from over the years will be joining us:

1989 ERIC: “Duuuude!”
1993 ERIC: “Dude, where’s my car?”
1998 ERIC: “Ahoy, mateys!” (Remember that year I became a pirate?)
2002 ERIC: “Whassup?!” (Remember that year I became really annoying?)

No, I don’t remember that, either. Anyway, we also have some real singers to help out:

STING: “I’m honored to be here.”
BONO: “Anything for you, man.”
ADELE: “Sorry, I can’t. I have that thing.”

What thing?

ADELE: “Dignity. But I’m giving money to Doctors Without Borders, so please stop calling me.”

OK, we’ll just have to do this without Adele. We’ll be singing the classic 1984 Band Aid song Do They Know It’s a Christmas Letter (Read the World). I hope you remember it. Please feel free to sing along:

STING: “At Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid. You’ll get this letter, but that’s the price to be paid.”

BOY GEORGE: “And in this world of plenty, there’s so little time to spare. But you’re stuck reading this at Christmastime.”

GEORGE MICHAEL: “But say a prayer. Pray for the other ones. At Christmastime, but when you’re having fun...”

BANANARAMA: “There’s a world outside your window that endured these letters for twenty-five years. And the only water flowing was the bitter sting of tears. And the postman’s bell that rang there was the clanging chime of doom...”

BONO: “Well, tonight thank God it was them instead of you!”

CHORUS: “And there won’t be snow in Burbank this Christmastime. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is rain. Where the letters make no sense, they’re so meta and too dense. Do they know it’s a Christmas letter at all?”

SIMON LE BON: “Here’s to you, reading a letter about reading a letter. Here’s to them, let’s hope the next one’s a little better! Do they know it’s a Christmas letter at all?”

CHORUS: “Read the wo-orld. Let them know it’s Christmastime. Read the wo-orld. Let them know…”

OK, I’m going to have to stop you there. It doesn’t usually snow in Burbank anyway. And, while “read the world” does rhyme with “feed the world,” it doesn’t really mean anything. Other than that, the song was perfect and you all sound great! And we’ve helped raise awareness of holiday letters. Most important, you’ve made it to the end of another one. Wishing you all the best for 2015!