Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2012 15:37:36 -0500
From: Jackson Moore <email@example.com>
Subject: Whistleblower Protection
Sorry to email at what must be a particularly busy time of year for you and the tiny northern Foxconn elves, but I feel the need to bring certain developments to your attention in order to clear up some understandable misconceptions surrounding any reports of my “bad” behavior this year.
- Frankly, I fear that Chippy the Snitching Elf is a less than reliable witness. I’ve tried to reason with him on several occasions (most recently when I saw him watching me as I chewed on the Roku remote), but he simply stares back at me with agate, expressionless eyes. Not only is his behavior unnerving, but I fear he may very well suffer from a mood and/or personality disorder. Furthermore, it’s my understanding that he is supposed to move around our house nightly to gain different vantage points, so I imagine you’d be interested to know of his decision to take up a semi-permanent residence in our liquor cabinet. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t moved from the gin bottles and cocktail shakers except for the day he spent lying motionless on the floor beneath them. This is a shame, since I am very well behaved while sleeping, and he never bothers to visit my room upstairs.
- Before any formal evaluation of my behavior takes place, I must protest that I suffer gravely from my family’s apparent “girl child bias.” More than one member of the family has frankly stated a preference for girls, and this rampant sexism can’t help but color opinions of me. What might be considered a minor offense when committed by my preferred sister, Abigail, often becomes an inflated crime when my participation is alleged. Until recently, I thought my legal name was, “Dammit Jackson What Now.” My own father also continually uses my name interchangeably with the dog’s, seemingly unable to determine which of us is responsible for upsetting him.* Surely you should take these mitigating circumstances into consideration when checking your list the second time.
- Because of the diminutive size of our Xmas tree, I fear that not all of your expected presents will fit beneath it. If it’s easier for you, I welcome you to place all the gifts for my family in my crib on the 25th, as there is ample room. I will sort them and see that all presents make it to their intended parties!
* For the record, Hogan is undeniably naughty and probably deserves nothing, but please do not penalize me by erroneous association with the counter surfing Rhodesian Ridgeback.
This year’s Toy of the Year* award goes to the Elf on the Shelf. Congratulations, pragmatic hunk of felt and plastic, you avoided the recycle bin for another year and won our praise, but beware the fickle apostasy of little believers! The ice thins quickly as Abby ages beyond four.
In case you’re not familiar with this crazy, velvet rocking beast, the Elf on the Shelf is a book/toy/video/voodoo doll that makes it kitten-play to extort good behavior out of your Santa-fearing children. The rules state clearly that kids can’t touch the elf, and that the elf reports back to Santa each night on how well each child has behaved. As an adult, all you have to do is remember to move his elven ass to a new location after your kids fall asleep, and you’ll be watching your traumatized minions fall right into line until Christmas morning.
Been good, Abby? Good for you! Santa is pleased with you. Been bad, Jackson? Doh! One of your toys just morphed grotesquely into a lump of anthracite coal. (Note for chronically misbehaving kids and contrarians: put some cash into an Obama-sodomized coal stock like Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., and you just might have the last laugh when you get older.)
The elf’s effectiveness is limited only by a parent’s wickedness. Eat, Abby, the elf is watching. Go to bed, Abby, the elf can hear you. Put down the steak knife, Jackson, and step away from the snitching elf. In hindsight, it may have been an over-reach insisting that Jackson toilet train himself before turning one, in order to get a good report from the elf at the North Pole, but hey… no really permanent harm done and that kid has something to strive for next Christmas.
We pulled Chippy von Chisel (our elf’s name) out in November this year, but next year we might roll the dice and bring him out in July.
* Smart observers of the Moores might complain that we actually had possession of this toy last year. Although this is technically true, we failed to truly grasp Chippy von Chisel’s potential in time to save us from last year’s bitter December of tears. But this year… well… this year that little red bastard is working out swimmingly as a key weapon against the ever-seething tiny person rebellion.
Now that a year has passed since Jackson moved in with us, differences between Jackson and Abigail are becoming apparent even to the casual observer.
- Whereas Abigail tends to build things (or mandate that her parents construct things for her), Jackson tends to knock things down.
- Whereas Abigail sees little use for food or drink, Jackson views every food group as its own brand of weapons-grade projectile.
- Once Abigail is asleep, she’s almost certain to stay asleep for at least a couple of hours. Jackson, on the other hand, has almost entirely eliminated daytime napping altogether and I fear he’s actively working on cutting back on his night-time sleeping hours as well.
- Whereas Abigail now agrees to wear a presentable ponytail, Jackson has grown an angry, blonde mullet instead.
- Whereas Abigail reminds you if you forget to brush her teeth, Jackson celebrates the arrival of each new tooth by crawling up to reclining adults and biting them in the spleen.
- Whereas Abigail occasionally whines at us, Jackson perpetually drives us to wine… or vodka… or hydrogen peroxide.
- Abigail takes relaxing baths in water; Jackson takes the water from baths and deposits it throughout the bathroom with the frightening efficiency of a baby hurricane.
- You can turn your back on Abby for a moment without serious injury; Jackson sees all human backs as signs of weakness and challenge.
- Our babysitter can put Abby to bed. Our babysitter dares not come over until Jackson is already locked away in his crib.
All in all, if given a choice this holiday shopping season, I suggest purchasing the 4-year-old girl over the 1-year-old boy.
Jackson eats like a horse and dances like Stevie Wonder.
I asked Jackson to give me a sign that his athletic prowess would be sufficient for him to scholarship himself through college without any parental financial aid. The following still shots provided just the confidence I needed to cash in his nascent 529 Plan and book a trip back to Jamaica! Thanks, little buddy. Can’t wait for your first Masters.