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Dear Jon Letters: Seventh Sort
Setting a Christmas budget, advice to Florida, and more.

by Dear Jon
December 4, 2000

Dear Jon Letters: Seventh Sort_Dear Jon-Setting a Christmas budget, advice to Florida, and more. Dear Jon Letters, 7th Sort. Neither the author nor The Partial Observer nor nor any of its employees, columnists, editors, or subsidiaries, are responsible for the damage you cause yourself for actually following my advice.

Dear Jon: I need to set a Christmas budget. I am a career nurse, my husband is a school principal, I have three children, a brother and two sisters, 10 nieces and nephews between 4 and 13, the office party, the church’s Christmas Tree for the poor, my Stamping Club’s Secret Angel, my husband’s “secret Santa” draw with his staff plus baskets for everyone on the faculty, my boss (I’m with a pediatric clinic), parents and inlaws and one living grandmother, Toys for Tots, my daughter’s school Newspaper Staff gift exchange, and a card list with 200 names. Where do I begin? Sincerely, Mrs. Claus in Minneapolis

Dear Claus: The perfect gift is to tell everyone where they can find enlightenment, hope, and peace: Sure it’s free, but they will thank you for it.

Because you will ignore me, you will go approximately $9,500 into credit card debt to finance what you think is love. Most of that will be for your three kids and their cousins, because “Christmas is for children.” But instead of pawning your kids off to a baby-sitter or taking a vacation day to wait in line four hours to buy the next $500 television/computer/internet gaming system, so that your kid can vegetate on violence until the entire system becomes obsolete in 14 months, try taking those hours and going outside with your kids and building snowmen. Or sledding. Or skating. When you are cold to the bone, come in and make some popcorn and cocoa. And over the next fourteen months, when your kids would be developing joy-stick tendonitis, teach them all the card games you know. Hey, great idea! Get everyone on your list a deck of cards! But don’t teach them Solitaire until you’ve taught them Bridge.

Dear Jon: This Fall I captured a butterfly. Despite the cold weather, I have been keeping it alive and feeding it grass. I don’t have a name for it, though. Any advice? Sincerely, Butterfly Keeper.

Dear Keeper: A name for a pet butterfly. Hmmm ..... How about “Chad?” But my advice is, don’t get too attached. You never know when you’ll find Chad on the floor.

Dear Jon: I'm a Viking footballfan and I am beginning to develop uncontrollable quirks in my behavior. This seems to be getting worse as the season rolls along and the Vikings are having great success as they near the playoffs. In fact, I think that I have hives that are beginning to appear on my face, back, chest and arms.

Do you think that this is a result of a fear that the Vikings might make the Super bowl and again come out as a loser?

Also, I've been having recurring bad dreams involving a buffalo and developing an aversion to pickle juice. Do you think that there is a relationship between my dream and the Vikings?

Dear Footballfan: I want to tackle the last issue first. It is unclear whether you are developing an aversion to pickle juice in your recurring dreams, or in your actual experience. This makes a big difference in how I should respond. Assuming that you are only dreaming an aversion to pickle juice, I would interpret the dream this way: If you want to continue enjoying pickles throughout your life, do not, I repeat, do NOT eat any pickles during any televised Minnesota Viking play-off game. This way, you will not have an emotional or mental association with pickles when Minnesota inevitably chokes. The buffalo in your dream stands as a warning: "Remember the Bills Fans!" They are, after all, the only footballfans more pathetic than Vikings fans, since they lost all their Super Bowls in record time. On to your former issue, about hives and quirks: As far as I am concerned, you have to be crazy to cheer for the Minnesota Vikings anyway, but you'll never be helped until you admit that you have a problem.

Dear Jon: Do you really think there are only 117 emotionally secure and healthy people in the world? Do you claim to be one of them? Should I be laughing, or should I be angry? Are you really a techno-phobe, or are you in conspiracy with the Webmaster to get more circulation to the site with this phony feud? Sincerely Skeptical

Dear Since, My mistake. There are only 116 emotionally secure and healthy people in the world. Thank you for helping me correct the totals with your letter. And no, I’ve never claimed to be one of them. I’ve never claimed the Webmaster to be one of them, either.

Dear Jon: What advice would you give the state of Florida right now? Sincerely, Voter

Dear Voter: Right now, the State of Florida should market itself as a winter get-away for people wanting a break from northern climes. But I get the drift of your question, since you signed yourself “Voter.” You are referring to the Presidential Election. I think that Florida should just defer all the issues to the U.S. Supreme Court, and enjoy their Christmas since their Thanksgiving was ruined. They should close their government and let them all get some sun. I’m serious. Katherine Harris, the circuit courts, the legislature, everyone. Go to the beach. You earned it.

Look at it this way: Harris was villified for reading and following the statutes passed by the Legistlature of the Sovereign State of Florida. Then, when the Florida Supreme Court over-ruled her and set a new deadline, Harris was villified for following the orders of the Supreme Court of the Sovereign State of Florida. Obviously, no one is going to be happy with the laws by which the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of Florida’s government operate. So they should all take December off. Let the U.S. Supreme Court appoint our next President, because that is what is going to happen anyway. Harris, Jeb, the Courts, the Counters, the lawmakers, they should all go to the beach and play some volleyball, and show America they care about as much as the rest of us do, at this point.

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