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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy January First, 2029! Hope this missive finds you and yours well and profitable, and that you’re not too hung-over from celebrating (or mourning) your bottom CRAS line. We had a few hi-jacked pages, but nothing that interfered with sales. (Did you hear about ChristianBooks.com? They actually bowed to pressure and dedicated half their front page to a non-marketing message on the 25th. I’d hate to see their numbers this year!)

As most of you know, our big happening was getting caught in the little skirmish in SeaTacPort last January. We were very fortunate to be about half a mile away from the actual incident. No external injuries, thankfully, although we did suffer some PTSS from hearing the explosion and being delayed in traffic for half an hour. Little HunyGirl (can you believe she’s four?!) is still talking about the “big boom.” We filed a Variable Inconvenience Claim: Terror-Motivated of course. Happy to say the folks down at the Religious Recompense Fund were very prompt. We received our reimbursement the next day and have used the money to build a ten-foot security wall around the property. Right now it’s just plastisteel, but after we cover it with stucco, it should look quite nice.

Well we were so impressed with our experiences with the RRF that Falcon and I both decided to campaign for Oprah again. You have to admit that the idea to tax religious organizations to pay for the injuries of those caught in terrorist attacks is just genius. And what she’s done with the military—

Oh, that reminds me. Ben-Chang has news. He’s been promoted to master sergeant! He’s only six, but he has forty-six confirmed live kills with only three bot casualties in his unit! We couldn’t be more proud. And he loves it. Blackshadow (we’re all Blackshadow supporters, of course) even brought him an up-graded system. Of course, he still thinks it’s one of those video games. We don’t let him watch the real news. (We don’t watch the news!) Someday, though, he’ll realize just how influential he was in the War Against Nuisance. So far his little avatar has fought in Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, and Amsterdam. Oprah’s idea to turn our military completely over to contractor drones has had such a wonderful affect on world affairs. Ben-Chang said that things have been so quiet in Kabul that his unit had to get work guarding a local farm. I guess flowers must be very popular there, because the farmer gave them quite the bonus.

Which, honestly, we’ve needed. As you know, Falcon has six parents to support. That is one thing we wish Oprah would focus on more. With mandatory retirement at forty-five, even Falcon and I don’t have much time left in the marketplace. Ben-Chang’s been able to fund our parents’ retirement cruises for two years, now. HunyGirl is working on her recruit qualifications and will be able to help out some when she starts her Green Tour in February. I’m afraid that if our parents are still alive in another six years, though, Falcon’s parents will have to move into town. Thankfully, my seven parents bought cruise insurance during that two-month window it was available. They really love their cruises, and it’s so nice to be able to see them so much. Just last night, after pulling guard duty, Ben-Chang played Wiiii lacrosse with his Grandpa Betty while s/he was sailing the Mediterranean. Well, until the Sanctification of Sacred Holiness disabled the satellites. Because of the interrupted family time, Ben-Chang and Betty both received enough from the RRF to go on a virtual tour of the Virgin Geosynch Resort. Ben-Chang liked it so much he’s studying zero-gee warfare and applying to the Blackshadow Orbital Operations Branch as soon as he turns seven.

I do hope he gets in. Kids have such a short amount of time to play before they have to grow up, don’t they? I suppose you’ve heard about our Cassiopeia. When she graduated from Blackshadow and decided to study sociological marketing at Yale Virtual, we were so proud. To think that our daughter would have such an influence on commerce and capitalism! Most ten-year-olds have to go to two years of junior analysis before moving on to such a difficult curriculum. But she flew through the entrance exam and really seemed to enjoy her studies. I think that became her problem. She always was a bright child (you’ll remember it was she who developed the artificial intelligence algorithm on Blackshadow’s scavenge-bots) but honestly, catching on so quickly gave her too much time to herself. She fell in with the Ender’s Liberation Movement. As many of you know (Sorry about that! I don’t know how she broke into Falcon’s LiveSpot account, but we’ve since restricted her access to our private flists.) she’s lobbying to convince Oprah to study the effects of combat on our young Blackshadow gamers and provide counseling opportunities should they suffer PTSS. We have to support her freedom of expression, but for all her book-smarts, we really worry about her common sense. Ben-Chang has shown no distress working for Blackshadow, and we don’t expect him to when we explain how real the games were when he graduates at age ten. And HunyGirl loves her training. Cassiopeia hasn’t yet taken the harder ELM line and demanded the youth avatar program be shut down, but be sure if we catch even a hint of it, we’ll file a VIC:TM claim and get this worked out.

Ah, well. The more things change, the more they stay the same. My mothers are more than happy to tell anyone who will listen how I spent one year around my ninth birthday trying to convince them that December was originally set aside for family and religious holidays and December 31st was a celebration of the coming New Year. How embarrassing, but I actually thought Commercial Recovery and Acquisitions Season was corporations’ attempt to brainwash the foolish masses into spending money. My mothers wisely let me have my little rant, knowing that once I held my first million-Euro check for programming advert-bots at Amazon I’d change my tune. And now I’m senior director of subliminal marketing. Things have a way of working out.

Love from,

Maria Soon-Lee Groober-Tet-Longcoski
Falcon Zeppler Hanover-Longcoski
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