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Dear Santy Claus,

This is your old buddy, the Calibrator, writing from sunny South Florida with my annual wish list. As always, I respectfully request you respond to this list promptly and in full.

First off, this swamp could stand a few feet of snow, and I ain't talking about the kind Mercury Morris used to shove up his nose by the shovelful -- there's enough of that here already. No, I'm talking about real snow, the kind that falls from the clouds and covers the land in a pristine blanket of white. It's December now, old boy, and the weather outside is beyond frightful. Only a Gila monster could get in the Christmas spirit in this kind of heat. And enough already with the sand and palm trees. You may be interested to know, in fact, that some person down the street decorated the palms in front of his house with festive lights and whatnot. What a freak! I consider it nothing less than your sacred duty to bring the hammer down on this sacrilegious cretin at once. It's coniferous evergreen trees or bust for bad boys like us, eh, Santy?

I won't ask for much this year, mostly because you unceasingly fail to deliver the goods. How you manage to maintain any sort of decent reputation year after year is beyond reckoning. The bald truth -- and I think it's high time you admit this -- is that the North Pole is nothing but a self-contained fascist empire that you lord over with an iron fist. Unmitigated power might impress clueless elves and occasionally give that doddering wife of yours a warm feeling in the nether regions, but it has done little over the years to ensure an efficient gift-delivery system. Allow the situation to persist, and I assure you the day will soon come when your smug, lackadaisical attitude and faux jolly demeanor will be met with maximum resistance. The Christian hordes will trample down your door, and all will be lost in a bloody upheaval of epic proportions. Retribution will be swift and absolute. You will beg for mercy, yet none will be given.

Now then…

I would like every yuppie actor who has appeared on one of those singularly annoying Gap commercials in the past 12 months to be stripped naked, smothered in barbecue sauce, and roasted on a slowly revolving spit for three days, after which the whole lot of them will be tossed to a caged pack of starving wild dogs.

I would like Jewel finally to admit on the record that she is an empty-headed, blithering fool who, without benefit of her large and sumptuous breasts, would still be living in a van somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness.

I would like Jerry Lee Lewis and Courtney Love to couple and have a child, which Mrs. Calibrator and I will then raise as our own flesh and blood. This will not only save Mrs. C. and me the trouble of having our own child, it will also genetically guarantee that we will not have to waste hundreds of valuable hours teaching the kid how to pound a piano, thrash a guitar, swill alcohol, do drugs, handle firearms, and otherwise raise all kinds of serious hell. Regardless of gender, the child's name will be Damien.

I would like you personally to see to it that teenage mutant sex toy Britney Spears somehow trips and falls into a vat of boiling battery acid. Whoever told Jennifer Lopez she should make a record should be tossed in behind Spears as a simple matter of good taste. And while you're at it, why not give Ricky Martin the old heave-ho as well. That talentless ass is a blight to upstanding Latinos the world over. Frankly he should have been boiled alive years ago.

I would like to have the entire Elvis Presley millennium bootleg videotape collection that some wacko in Missouri recently offered to sell me for $2000 via the Internet. Naturally I don't have that kind of spare change lying around the apartment, nor do I have the slightest idea what the bulk of the collection could possibly amount to. Nonetheless it sounds like the perfect gift for an avowed Elvis geek such as myself. By the way, the seller's name is Larry, and rumor has it that his entire operation is totally illegal.

I would like to hear South Florida's own angry, heavily tattooed, rap-rock king Crime Cassara sing "America the Beautiful" at John McCain's gala presidential inauguration ceremony. Barring that, I would like to hear Crime rap a few verses of "Amazing Grace" at Jesse Helms' gala funeral proceedings, which, with any luck, should be taking place any minute now.

I would like VH1 to do one of its Behind the Music biographies on the two guys from PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who donned seven-foot-tall celery costumes and stalked country crooner Kenny Rogers during his recent swing through Broward and Palm Beach counties. One of the stalkers claims that, through years of ungodly genetic breeding, the chickens that are served in Kenny Rogers' Roasters worldwide are nothing less than "Frankenstinian." Now that's a compelling news bite, and I'm certain VH1's millions of discerning viewers would like nothing more than to see two giant celery stalks fully explain their well-intentioned yet undeniably strange behavior on national television.

And finally, the last time I checked, local bombshell rock violinist Randi Fishenfeld needed a new pair of leather pants. I would very much like her to have those pants, and I would like them to be as formfitting as possible. Further I would like Randi to drop by my apartment and model her new leathers for me at my every convenience. If she shows up drunk and silly, all the better.

OK, Santy, that's it for this year. I'll consider it a worthwhile expenditure of the time it took to write this letter if you fulfill just one of my wishes. Of course with your track record, I'm sure that's asking for far too much. In any event have a fine Christmas, you demented old loon.

Yours in the loving spirit of the season,

The Calibrator

Send your holiday cheer to Calibrations, P.O. Box 14128, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302 or e-mail [email protected].

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David Pulizzi