• Mike T. and Cindy T. are on the move and now I’m starting to think if I get a phone call from Europe, it’s Interpol and they’re hunting for the Ts. How would Interpol end up calling me? Because they’ll see that TNML on the back of Mike T’s rental sled and put two and two together.
• Mike T. writes:
TNML invades Bordeaux/St Emilion France!
And then the Ts went to buy some bread:
The Ts’ new hideout spot in St. Emilion, France:
Now I know what some of you are thinking…enough of the Ts and this European trip!
And I have to push back on that statement because look at that sticker that I touched and slid into an envelope as it travels the world. It brings a tear to my eye.
That sticker is holding up incredibly well. I’ll have to tell my sticker guy he did a great job.
Speaking of Europe
John L. titled his latest dispatch, “Greetings from sunny Rome,” so I have to believe this is current and we have dueling European holiday trip reports.
• John L. writes:
I figured we can’t let Mike T. have all the fun.
If you do only one thing in Rome, then it should be to go to the top of St. Peters for its incredible views. And no being a pussy and taking the elevator half way. Real men climb all 551 steps. It’s the best 8 Euros you’ll spend in this city.
Shots fired at Christmas inflatables and the plug-in grill community!
Mark R. writes:
I’m a purist in the sense that after my father extracted all the child labor out of me and my brother to set up his idyllic Christmas displays, I’m out of any Christmas decorations. The primary reason for my continued disdain for these displays is the fact my father made me late for my best friend’s funeral, when I was 13, to find a spotlight to light his 6-foot fresh-cut wreath on the side of the house. If you’re plugging in your inflatable and calling that decorating for the holidays you’d be pals with my old man(not a compliment). You’ve invested the minimum if that. If you’re integrating inflatables with hand-strung lights maybe there is hope for you.
To add to the mayhem let me say, the people who just throw up inflatables are the same people who plug in their grills.
Now we sit back and wait to see how the inflatable wokes and the plug-in grill community responds to a strong email out of Mark. According to my records, that’s just Mark’s second email to the inbox and he is looking to start a grill war.
I like it.
• Michael J. writes:
I am indifferent when it comes to inflatables. But I have a rather unique perspective on outdoor decor. I have zero interest in decorating outside. I’m inside my house, not outside of it. Call me a curmudgeon or whatever. But I’m not wasting so much time and effort on something I won’t really be enjoying.
• Danny K. writes:
I have to agree!! Inflatables are tacky!! I can’t put the lights up like I used to but I try!! This is the front of my house!! In my opinion what really matters!! I do agree that it is for the kids!!! And that’s important!!!
Cause we were all one a long time ago and my folks went above and beyond for sure!!! Even shaking bells outside my window!! God bless America and the people that make it great!! Like y’all!!
• Chris A. writes:
Re: Christmas inflatables: Not a fan, but to each his own. I’m just thankful that folks put out something for Christmas. It was a rare house in my childhood neighborhood that didn’t have Christmas lights on them. Then the mid-70s energy crisis hit, and a lot of people shut down the Christmas lights, with many of those folks never putting them back up when times were better. Now you’re lucky to see a neighborhood where more than half of the houses are lit up.
So any Christmas lights are better than none, and the kids seem to like it, which is why we do it anyway. But the people who compete in those Christmas lights contests are certifiably insane, and have way more money and time, and energy, than I do.
Elf on the Shelf
While we’re at it, Michael J. was on fire Thursday as he fired off Christmas-season emails. Let’s see what he has to say about this whole elf thing.
• Michael J. writes:
I cannot tell you how much a hate Elf on the shelf. Do you know who’s idea it was to start doing it at our house? Not me!
Do you know who has to come up with all the ideas? Me!
Do you know who has to do most of the work? Me!
Do you know who has to scramble at 6am doing something because the other person forgot? Me!
So much work for something so idiotic. To quote the great Garfield.
“Whoever created elf on the shelf should be dragged into the street and shot.”
Christmas gifts for the wives
• Jason S. in Lynchburg, VA writes:
Read your bit on gift ideas this morning. I am usually all over what to get the Mrs. for Christmas, but this year I was a bit stumped. She’s not a big jewelry person and I’ve been fortunate that I have been able to buy her some cool things over the years. So there’s not much she needs or wants.
I decided that what she needed was an experience. So I conspired with one of my best friends (whose wife is one of my wife’s best friends) to send our wives to a cool resort about an hour and a half out of town for a weekend along with a spa package.
Like most wives, mine does so much for our family and others. She totally deserves it.
Hope this helps Screencaps Nation.
Top 5 Christmas movie comedies – ranked
• Mike N. writes:
#1. Daddy’s Home 2 (bold to put the most recent at #1)
#2. Christmas Vacation
#3. A Christmas Story
#5. Home Alone
Honorable Mentions: Elf, Home Alone 2, Santa Claus
Speaking of Home Alone 2, we fired that one up for the kids last night in the basement cave and it’s incredible how well that sequel holds up all these years later. 30 years is a long run for a sequel, especially when it’s up against a Top 5 all-time Christmas comedy. I’m not sure I’ve seen Daddy’s Home 2 all the way through, so that needs to go on the to-do list.
Christmas card recommendation to loosen up the uptight Christmas scrooge community
• John L. also writes from Rome, Italy:
I sense some crankiness today amongst our Screencaps community.
Let me strongly recommend NobleWorks greeting cards for the absolute funniest and rudest holiday messages. It is a longstanding family tradition that I bestow them on each of my sister’s 3 sons, with some cash tucked inside. Here is just one example:
Odds & Ends
• Chris B. on Tom Petty at Fenway:
This took literally seconds, and only because I left out one of the t’s:
Although, in my opinion, the Gainesville show is better. Hometown crowd and all that, I suppose.
• John R. in Houston writes:
Come on Joe, we need to know about the shrimp conspiracy. Please contact Jim M. we need answers.
I did ask Jim M. to explain the shrimp conspiracy. Perhaps he’s been busy writing because I haven’t heard back.
• And finally, Bill H. would like to have more words with me. Confession: I’m starting to lose track of the Bills that write in. Bill in Chicago really went after me over the Ohio State game. Bill H. likes to give me a run for my money.
There’s something about the Bills around here.
Bill H. writes:
Do you ever wonder what all of those Chinese plant workers think when they are manufacturing all of the holiday crap that is sent here for displays and decorations?
Thoughts might be: “So much money, so little taste”.
“Better your country than ours.”
“Thanks for the paycheck.”
“What god do they worship, the Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty or Santa Claus?”
“So much money, so little taste.”
And that’s why I do it, folks. I love waking up and seeing what’s going through the mind of the average American as he/she goes about their daily life. It’s been a solid first couple of days of December. Now it’s time for you to go out there and dominate those work Christmas parties. It’s time to enjoy those two meaningful conference championship games — we can go ahead and eliminate those.
It’s time to enjoy those Friday lunch beers after you sneak out at noon to never return again until Monday morning.
Go have yourself a great weekend. Thank you for your continued participation and support of America’s #1 ranked morning column.