Christmas Gifts



Merry Christmas.

“And God bless us, everyone.”

Christmas shopping: pleasure or chore? For many people, possibly a bit of both. What will you get the Uncle with the “unique” sense of humor? Or the Grandfather, a former engineer, who gave up carrying a slide rule in a holster (google, if necessary) only after lodging an “official protest?” Or the Aunt who always knits gloves for everyone, even though the sizes are never quite correct and the color choice is always “a bold fashion statement.” This year the statement is Teal.

What would you give famous people? Some of whom may truly have everything, including a Tesla model S. Don’t worry. That problem has been solved. After soliciting opinions from “confidential sources,” here are the consensus opinions of what the following news makers will receive.

Donald Trump. Courtesy of PBS (public television), he will receive a “White House Renovation.” The cast and crew of “This Old House” will do the actual work, but, of course, President Trump will have the final say (after consulting, unofficially, with his adult children) on every aspect of the project. His philosophy will be: “Since it is My home, there can be no conflict of interest with anyone, any network, or any country. Everything will be the best. The Best. I promise you.” Alterations from the present décor of the Presidential residence and work space could include (should the First, and Best, family wish): less wooden furniture (ie, antiques), and significantly more Gold and Marble, Brass and Glass. Mirrors would be emphasized. The overall appearance would be less Presidential, and more palatial, more Louis XIV and less Washington and Jefferson. More Versailles and less D. C. Foreign dignitaries would be more overwhelmed than intrigued, the better for dealing with Heads of State, as well as Congressional leaders.

Barack and Michelle Obama. The HGTV network will give them a show tentatively entitled: “Movin’ On Up –After The White House Years.” Premise: They buy and renovate a home in Washington, D. C. The 5 family members (Mr. and Mrs. Obama, Sacha, Malia, and Michelle’s Mother) will do the work themselves. Ideas will come from everyone, but Michelle is in charge of all projects and will do the heavy lifting herself. Barack will explain to the viewing audience: “This project will be more successful than anything I was able to accomplish in my work with Congress.”

Hillary Clinton. She will receive an invitation to participate on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). Following the wonderful performance of 16 year old Olympian, Laurie Hernandez, hopes are high for Ms. Clinton. Her success may lead into the start of a clothing line: “Pants suits as ballroom wear.” Any prizes, money, or trophies won by Ms. Clinton will not come from, or go to, any Wall Street individual or firm. Her credibility with “regular folks” will skyrocket. Plus, a follow up appearance on “Jeopardy!” is almost certain.

Vladimir Putin. His gift = An invitation from Donald Trump to visit him in his Northern White House: Trump Tower. Through “back channels”, Mr. Putin has requested an opportunity to see how a capitalistic President lives. As a secondary benefit, Mr. Putin could learn the President’s hair care secrets without resorting to hacking to obtain the information. President Trump would take the opportunity to announce a trade agreement with Russia: Trump products, beginning with his ties, would be sent to Mr. Putin, eh, Russia and, in return, a wall would be built separating Russia and Finland –paid for by Russia. President Trump, after proclaiming the arrangement, will explain: “With me as President, who needs NATO?”


Serena Williams. The television network ABC will announce it has signed Ms. Williams to a contract replacing Jimmy Kimmel as host of its late night talk show. (She will continue her tennis career as long as she wishes.) In addition, she and her sister, Venus, will provide the network with the show’s sole sponsor: their joint clothing line: Grand Slam Outfits. Their rationale: “If Donald Trump can sell ties to Russia, we can sell whatever we want to anyone.”

Denzel Washington. His gift will come from Hollywood = his third Oscar for acting. He will be named Best Actor for his performance in “Fences.” He will become the first person of color to win 3 Oscars for acting. He won in 2002 for “Training Day” (Best Actor) and in 1990 for “Glory” (Best Supporting Actor).


James Corden. His holiday gift will be a Carpool Karaoke visit from Taylor Swift. Unfortunately, at a traffic stop, Kanye West will remove Ms. Swift from the car. Anticipating this possibility, Mr. Corden brings in Annie Lennox at the next stop and they will sing a duet of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”

Barbara Walters. ABC, her former employer, hires her to come out of retirement to conduct the first White House interview with President Trump. Her price, according to ABC, was “HUGE.” Said Ms. Walters: “This is the only interview for which I would come out of retirement.” President Trump’s response: “She is so lucky that I will make time for her. And I’m doing it because SHE is not nasty. I will be the BEST interview she’s ever had. I guarantee it.”


Maya Moore. She will receive a contract to play pro basketball for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. In the last 3 years, the team has lost 81% of their games. Their team is built around a nucleus of 7 players who are 6’10” or taller –and frequently injured. They have no outside scorer. None of them has ever played on a championship team. Ms. Moore can remedy those weaknesses. She was a 4X All-American in college (Connecticut) and 4X All-Pro in her 6 years in the WNBA. She has played on 6 Championship teams: 2 in college, 3 in the pros, and won a Gold medal in the 2012 Olympics. Most important, she averaged 19 points per game in both college and professional ball. She has skills and a track record the Sixers don’t. With her, they may be able to win half their games…in time.

Lady Gaga. Her gift will come from Lin-Manual Miranda (creator of “Hamilton”). He will cast her to play the lead in his next Broadway musical: “Marilyn: The Life of Ms. Monroe.” Impressed by Gaga’s five number 1 pop albums and her work with Tony Bennett, Mr. Miranda’s comment, written on her copy of the script, was: “You were born to play this. You can do anything.”




About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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