Friday, December 17, 2004

The 2004 Christmas Card

Well, there it is ... the photos are small, but you can click on them to enlarge and get the basic story. Make sure you read the captions beneath to get what is written on the actual card. Recipients open to see the first picture on the front face of the card, followed by the second picture on the inside of the card. So here is the story behind the story:

* I came up with the idea back in the summer. The graffiti wall is in our basement, and it was a mess after our contractors turned a window into a crawlspace for the new addition. I knew I'd have to paint it - so why not let the boys trash it first?

* If you sometimes think that your kids' memories of childhood will be dominated by you restraining their wild behavior, allow yourself to let them - no, don't just let them, encourage them - to trash a wall. They were in pure kid heaven. At one point, Billy said to me in utter glee "Why are you letting us do this? You sure know how to spoil us." Indeed it is a good question, and part of the answer is - now I have that ace up my sleeve - should they ever complain we were to strict, out comes the 2004 Christmas card to prove we were libertines.

* The photo chosen for the graffiti wall didn't give the best view of the graffiti, but it was the best photo for the poses and expressions of the boys, so we went with it. So here is a list and an explanation of the graffiti:

"Sue Everybody" is a reference to the Jerky Boys. If you don't know what this means, I could never explain it to you - for those of you in this camp, you can prefer to think of this as the unofficial slogan of the John Edwards presidential campaign.

"We (heart with an X over it) the Yankees!" Unfortunately all that was left in the picture here was the Yankees portion, leaving the false impression that we like the Yankees. We don't.

"Bush-Cheney 2004" and "W '04" You can see the Cheney part, and the very bottom of the W symbol. By the way, did you know that Dick Cheney's daughter is a ... oh, nevermind.

The usual symbols - a Spiderman symbol (clearly visible), the Superman symbol (also visible), the Batman symbol (not visible), and the Rescue Hero symbol (not visible). There are also a couple of dinosaurs.

"Kilroy was here" is standard graffiti, and I believe there is a law that requires that it be included on any graffitid wall. Because our house has been crawling with inspectors from time to time in connection to the addition, I didn't want to get busted for ommitting this.

* For those you who are going to try this at home, you need to know the following - over 100 cards were sent. The pictures were $0.29 per pic, or $0.58 per card; the card stock and the paper cutter used totalled $40, or $0.40 per card; envelopes and stamps ran another $0.42 per, charcoal brickets totalled about $0.04 per card; paint to fix the wall came to about $0.17; labor, at my standard billing rate (which admittedley includes a hefty profit margin that does not go to me), $30.00 per card. Finally, the main characters in the card ... priceless. If you ignore the priceless part, that comes to $31.61 per card.

* Well, now it's time to think of next year's idea, although the pattern has been that every other year has been the standard picture with no ulterior motive.


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