The gauntlet has been thrown down.
Each year, my friend Kevin and his family send out a Christmas card. Tucked in each of these cards is a three paragraph note detailing what Kevin's family has accomplished during the year. The paragraphs organize themselves by family member - starting with Kevin, moving to his wife and finally closing with the details about their smart, talented daughter.
It is very similar to other holiday letters we receive, except for one thing:
Kevin's family accomplishes an amazing amount of crap in one year.
Kevin, for instance, is a project manager on two major government construction projects. He's been selected by a trade magazine as one of fifty up and comers for his field. In his spare time, he got a law degree. His daughter is no slouch, either. She goes to school and takes multiple classes outside of school. In her spare time, she wrote a book.
In my spare time this year, I taught my kids to fart the melodies to all the songs on Britney Spears' comeback album.
As impressive as that accomplishment is, I still feel like something of a slacker when I look at Kevin's annual letter. So, I've decided to do something about it. I'm going to send out my own letter. Obviously, I can't go back in time and urge my family to achieve more than they actually did. No, it's much more practical for me to just lie about our achievements.
"When he wasn't spending hours working on his award-winning blog, Grim Richard mapped and sequenced his own human genome using parts salvaged from abandoned bread-making machines and exercise equipment. He also was nominated for, but did not win, a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the half life of french fries lost in the fissures of car seats."
Now, we're getting somewhere.
"His wife, when not perfecting her technique for growing breast tissue with her mind, finished writing and inking her twelve volume graphic novel detailing the history of the Middle East - making it the first graphic novel written in English, Farsi and Esperanto."
I'm starting to like my family better already. But my letter needs a little truth to keep it anchored to reality...
"Grim Richard produced and re-mixed Britney Spears' comeback album, Blackout, using "found" instruments and a beefed-up wind section...."
Yep. that's it.