It’s been quite a few years since my last letter, and I suppose I owe you an apology for not keeping in touch. But you’re not going to get one. In fact, I’m still waiting for your explanation of The Great Christmas Disappointment of 1979.
Let me jog your memory in case you’ve forgotten. I was a 5-year-old student in Mrs. William’s Kindergarten class, and there was no doubt in my mind that I was firmly on the Nice List. Sure, I had recently spent a few recesses in Mr. Mueller’s room for questioning his abilities on the football field, and a reprimand for stuffing my apricots in my milk carton to avoid eating them. But I was sleeping during nap time, sitting quietly and attentively through each Mr. Goodbody episode, and hadn’t had to wear the Dunce Cap once!
So, when you arrived at the school to hear our humble requests for Christmas, I was confident that my wish would be justly granted. When Mrs. Williams informed us that we would be lining up by our last names, starting at the end of the alphabet and working back, I couldn’t believe my luck! Instead of having to follow Carmen Dohler (possibly the Valedictorian of the Nice List members), I would be directly behind Aric Finch (yep, Naughty List).
I’m not sure what Finch asked for, but I could tell by the look on your face that I would have no problem getting my simple dream fulfilled now. The butterflies in my stomach were churning as I hopped onto your knee. I assumed no introductions were needed, so I calmly and clearly stated what I wanted, and expected, from you that year.
“I would like 4 tickets to the Super Bowl for me and my family, but if that is too much, I would be OK with 2.” I looked into your eyes, expecting to see the sparkle succumb to tears as you processed the simplicity and beauty of this child asking for only one small gift.
Instead, I saw a quizzical look on your face, and my holiday cheer evaporated when you replied, “How about some Hot Wheel stuff.” I was quickly removed from your red slacks and pushed to the other end of the room to glumly put on my snowsuit and moon boots for recess.
So, here we are again, only this time I’m asking for a stand-up retro arcade game. Don’t let me down again, BIG GUY!