You fat old mountebank:
Remember me? I’m the one whose mom kept getting me classic secondhand children’s books like Pollyanna and Honey Bunch and the Dachshund of Doom when what I ASKED for were graphic novels about the zombie apocalypse. I wrote to my uncle, suggesting he look into collectibles, figuring he was loaded enough to send a few NFTs my way. But (unlike me) he believes in you, so I bet you’ve convinced him to send me a bunch of cheap used doodads. Could you cut that out, you white-haired crypto-creep?
IRATE, WITH SHORT FUSE
This IS a wonderful time of year, isn’t it? Sitting under the tree and opening up…our phones to see the images of the gifts we now own but can’t actually touch. It brings tears to the eyes (if you use the right filter on your Tik Tok video.)
Forgive me for being one half fuddy and the other half duddy, but I would like to make a plea, in retreat, for things which are tangible, or fungible if you prefer. Nothing beats the rustle of the paper, the first glimpse of what’s inside, the new present aroma of those wool socks two sizes too big that Aunt Booney knitted. I know, having inside information, that your father is going the smell the fresh leather of a new belt, and hope you get to experience that as well. You do seem to need it.
Since it’s my trade, I have nothing against the giving of secondhand wonders, either: those old-fashioned collectibles you feel your generation has outgrown. The cheap used postcards I hope people are giving by the boxful this Christmas are merely things living people have laughed at, growled about, or even cried over, when they received these, or later, reflecting on how the cards made them feel when the sender was still sending messages from this plane of existence
Not everyone has sympathy for what their ancestors felt about something. If you are one of these, which is probably a good, solid bet, all is not yet lost for you, pumpkin spice sauerkraut. You can make use of the secondhand postcards you are given, or you may join the horde of freeloaders who look at postcard auctions online to swipe the images and use them to make NFTs of their own. You can thus make enough money to buy wonderful Christmas presents in 2023.
But here’s hoping you find something under the tree that makes you reel back with shock and cheer. And, as always at Christmas, I wish you something rather better than you deserve in the next 365 days. L’chaim!