Thursday, December 31, 2020


Recent photo of those damn bears who refuse to shit in the woods

Eric’s Holiday Letter 2020

Dear friends and family,

In these unusual times, at least there is one thing we can count on: we still have to sit through advertisements for Viking River Cruises every week on PBS, even though we can’t go on Viking River Cruises.

I’m sure many of you were wondering if it would be possible to produce Eric’s Holiday Letter during a global pandemic. Well, thanks to millions of dollars in federal grants and small business loans, the answer is yes.

I am pleased to tell you I have not had to lay off any of the medieval monks who hand transcribe each copy of my letter that is sent out. I never paid them anyway, but I do provide room and board.

I have been working closely with city and county officials to create a clear set of guidelines for producing and reading this letter. These guidelines will vary depending on your location, so please consult your own local officials before reading.

First, the most important thing is to make sure you thoroughly disinfect the outside of the envelope before you open and read this letter. I recommend using a solution of 70% alcohol and 40% bleach. Don’t worry that it adds up to more than 100%. Math has been cancelled this year.

Next, make sure you wash your hands. I’ll wait.

That was not twenty seconds. Try again.

OK, good. You should read this letter outdoors and at a distance of at least six feet. Use binoculars if you need to. Please don’t read this letter in person to a large group of strangers. Read it to members of your own household, whether they want you to or not.

The stamps and return address labels used for this letter are self-adhesive. The envelopes were sealed using a damp sponge. I did not lick any part of this letter, even though I wanted to.

In order to get through the reading of this letter safely, California has developed a simple roadmap to recovery that uses color-coded tiers. Once you meet certain benchmarks, you may move into a less restrictive tier. If you fail to meet those benchmarks, you may be forced back into a more restrictive tier.

The colors California has chosen for the tiers don’t have immediate associations for most people, such as red, yellow, and green. We try to be a little more creative here on the Left Coast. So, for those of you not living in California, I thought I would share our color-coded tier system with you:

Cerulean: This is either the first tier or the last tier, depending on which direction you are facing. It really does make a big difference, so try to face in the right direction.

Classic Blue: Pantone color of the year for 2020 is Classic Blue, intended to promote calm reflection, which perfectly captures the essence of the past year. In this tier everyone must watch Tiger King and then regret it.

Teal: Nobody knows exactly what this tier means, but we’re pretty sure it’s not good.

Dusty Rose: In this tier you should avoid elective surgery. In the next tier, though, you can get surgery just for fun!

Salmon: Is this the darker orange color of raw salmon or the lighter pink color of cooked salmon? You will be stuck in this tier until you figure it out.

Medium Gray: If you print out the California tier system on a black-and-white printer, every tier will be this tier. In this tier you must stand by your door 24 hours a day waiting for Amazon packages.

Burnt Umber: Don’t ask.

Midnight Pink: This is the tier in which pink becomes so dark that it is not actually pink anymore and should really be renamed. In this tier you are allowed to eat at outdoor dining venues and get a tattoo. But you have to do both.

Corduroy: This isn’t even a color so you don’t need to do anything special in this tier.

Lemon: This is basically yellow. In this tier you should still be able to buy toilet paper but it won’t be a brand of toilet paper you would ever want to use. You will buy it anyway and stick it in the back of your garage with the thought that you will only use it if you exhaust all other options, such as using actual sandpaper.

Lime: This tier is kind of a light green. OK, so remember that emergency toilet paper in the back of your garage? You’re going to have to use it now.

Lymon: This tier is the portmanteau of lemon and lime that was coined for the soft drink Sprite. Sprite is completely clear, so that is the color of this tier. In this tier you are advised to just forget that toilet paper was a thing that existed. Have you ever used a bidet? It’s pretty nice.

Fire Engine Beige: Imagine if fire trucks were beige instead of red; well, that’s the exact shade of beige that this tier is. In this tier you are allowed to shower and put on pants. In fact, you have been allowed to do that in every tier. You know that, right?

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)      Q: Wouldn’t it make more sense to use numbers for the tiers, instead of random colors? A: Yes, that would make more sense.

2)      Q: When will there be a widely available vaccine to protect us from getting these holiday letters? A: Sadly, even when a vaccine becomes available, it may not provide permanent immunity, meaning you will probably get another letter next year.

3)      Q: When this is all over, will I be able to play the piano? A: Could you play the piano before? Q: No. A: Then you will still not be able to play the piano.

4)      Q: What should I do with this letter? A: For the sake of humanity, the CDC has recommended that you destroy this letter. Just like every year.

Stay safe and wear a mask! Happy Holidays! Wishing you all the best for 2021!




Cliff O'Neill said...

How do you manage to be so consistently brilliant!? Happy New Year to you fellas! Waving from our hermetically sealed condo in Crazytown!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cliff! Happy New Year!