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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The X-Mass Bottom Line

Dear Retailers of America,

I am writing this to let you know that we all think you are doing a swell job of promoting the birthday of baby Jesus—an often overlooked cult figure in our society of cult figures. If it weren’t for your over-eager promotion of the birthday of Jesus and its related orgy of shopping I feel that many among us might come to think of December 25th as merely a Christian religious holiday to be observed with dignity and reverence.

Who has ever made a buck off of reverence? Have you ever tried to sell dignity at a shareholders meeting? Ha! I don’t think that the words “business” and “dignity” belong in the same fiscal quarter let alone the same paragraph or—God forbid—the same sentence. If we start getting too carried away with this whole “dignity” thing how are we going to sell all of this tasteless garbage we bought from the Chinese slave labor shops? It is all subjective anyway because isn’t what one person thinks of as “undignified,” another, more business-oriented person sees as tomorrow’s landfill fodder? Don’t people who work at landfills need jobs too? Thanks for looking out for them.

Thanks to the retailers of America, Christmas will be much bigger this year than the release of the Incredible Hulk and quite possibly on a par with those delightful Matrix movies. There is little fear of Noel wallowing in obscurity like some crappy foreign movie. Thank you for promoting X-mass for almost two months before the actual release date of December 25 with a free-for-all of catchy Christmas music, decorations, heaps of cool related merchandise, and Santa action figures for the little ones (In market research surveys Santa figures were 28% more popular than baby Jesus characters—forget about crucified adult Jesus dolls, total bummer for the kids.). I love it when November has barely raised its meek head and I am already scorched by the forest fire of marketing that aims to burn down an entire fiscal quarter and then some.

I know what you may be thinking. You may be thinking that perhaps the public would prefer that the Christmas holiday promotion be postponed until a more appropriate date. Perhaps we could wait until after Thanksgiving to let Americans reflect on that celebration of gluttony before doing the hard-sell on this, our biggest commercial holiday. Sure this might be more “tasteful” or less “vulgar” than your current marketing strategy but these accusations are usually made by people who wouldn’t know a bottom line from a hole in the ground. And speaking of a hole in the ground, I say we take critics of the Yuletide marketing blitzkrieg and throw their lifeless corpses in a big hole—freaking communists.

Never forget: The business of America is business and 40% of that business is X-mass holiday related.

God Bless

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