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  • Lacking mailing addresses for my Cowbird friends and sufficient postage, I am posting my family holiday greeting card here, featuring vignettes of Turkey from last year and this. Admittedly it’s not terribly Christmas-y, but it might help to chase those polar vortex brrrs away. (Who knew I’d feel nostalgic for 115° in the shade?)

    But instead of the usual boring updates on family comings, goings and altercations (see my Thanksgiving story for all of that), I’m offering a spot of something that keeps me equilibrated in these desperate times. No, not the whiskey; it’s a gift of laughter, courtesy of my friend Ben Alper, a humorist specializing in political one-liners who actually sells them to network TV shows. Here are a few recent ones culled from his weekly email blasts (you’ll have to imagine the rim shots, though).

    • After a tearful South Korean President Park Geun-hye took responsibility for a scandal, saying it’s “all my fault” stunned American politicians asked, “You can do that?” The corruption she’s being impeached for is so serious she’s now being considered for a position in the Trump administration.
    • Melania Trump has vowed to take on cyberbullying as first lady. This, of course, means her husband will have to give up his Twitter account.
    • Donald Trump named retired Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his defense secretary. This could be a tough conformation. In addition to not being a civilian for more than 10 years as rules dictate, Mattis has never been tested for rabies.
    • Sarah Palin and Scott Brown are reportedly both in the running to become secretary of Veterans Affairs. My hunch: They're both praying the interview questions are true/false.
    • Carrie Fisher has confirmed she had an affair with Harrison Ford while filming “Star Wars” – but will not confirm their wild and wooly threesome with Chewbacca.
    • A 112-year-old Nepalese woman says she's been smoking for 95 years. She said the key to her longevity is only smoking one pack after sex.
    • The Mall of America in Minnesota has hired its first black Santa in its 24-year history. On his first day of work, a mall cop pulled his sleigh over for having a reindeer with a faulty red nose.
    • A Pennsylvania woman tried to run over her ex-boyfriend with her car while he was setting up a Christmas light display outside of his home. In her defense, she did yell “Merry Christmas!”

    But seriously folks, wherever you are and whatever holiday you celebrate or eschew, I hope you’ll be basking in familiar familial and friendly affections and affectations of the season. Enjoy, and then gird yourself, for in January the tidings will be not be so glad. Speaking for myself, the words I would most like to hear then aren’t “Happy New Year,” but “Welcome to Canada!”

    But unfortunately, I hear Canada is building a wall and making America pay for it. Cheers anyway.
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