..Jon Simonds..

Bascially Brooklyn
Letter to the Editor

(Note: I am not the Editor, however, I will continue to read all letters received to Basically Brooklyn if you'll forgive me for not printing every one - Jon Simonds.)

I have decided to take the time to sit and write you this letter in an effort to clarify a few things. First and foremost let me assure you that, contrary to rumor, I am indeed in good health.

As many of you know, or as each of you will come to know, as the years pile up we do tend to slow down a bit. Not by choice, mind you, but merely by the very virtue of our age. Oh yes, I can still gaze upon the natural beauty of say, Angelina Jolie, and feel the mind ignite with the foolish drive of youth, but the body, with all its mileage, is much more inclined to exhaust from the memory of all the energy one must extend the early years of courtship, thus forcing me to do little more than remove my spectacles and submit to a much needed momentary nap.

Occasionally, I am disturbed from this peaceful slumber by the gentle tap of the Mrs. reminding me that Angelina has her Bradley and Madonna is flirting with Arod. I consider telling her that Madonna is always flirting with "arod," but we've been together forever and I fear my wit has grown as old and tired as I am.

Secondly, I should like to take this opportunity to dispel any rumors regarding my residence. Yes, I have a home in the North, but I mostly live in Florida. I like Florida. The temperatures during the winter rarely dip below 60 and doesn't often climb above 80. Rudy occasionally needs a flea bath but he seems rather content lying in the den, snoozing and listening to classical music on the radio. My home in the north is little more than a small apartment I maintain in the Bowery. The Mrs. and I love the city crowds, the smell of the subways, the fragrance of food and the nightly symphony of the traffic that hums hurriedly beneath our window. Lord knows, we spend half the night listening to the hum of engines, the pierce of siren synthesizers and the occasional crunch of the bass drum.

I shall also utilize this opportunity to blame the parents for all the disinformation put out about me. For example, I rather prefer blue Armani pin-stripped suits, (though I will confess to having several plain gray ones from JC Penney), as opposed to that gaudy red one everyone dresses me in. I'm not really sure where that came from, but I suggest they save it for the rappers with all those heavy gold chains as I much prefer not to stand out in a crowd, in spite of the fact that I am rather large and have considered approaching the producers of "The Biggest Loser," but fear I shall lose my anonymity and be followed by paparazzi everywhere I go. This would never do as it would thoroughly annoy my Mrs. and I would do nothing to disturb the blissful marriage in which I share.

Furthermore, does anyone really believe I go flying around, all night, on a sled and slipping down chimneys? Anyone who values their marriage doesn't go out for half a night, let alone all night and quite frankly, at my age, chimney sliding is out of the question. The way my knee's are these days, if ever I did manage to get down a chimney without breaking my bloody neck, I should think that it would take the rest of the night and half the day just to climb back out. Besides, does anyone really believe there is a chimney for every home?

There are a lot of apartments out there, you know, and I'm not one to discriminate. I visit the homes of Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Bindus and everyone else there isn't the space to list. When I first started this gig there were a lot less of you. Now? I had a roach problem down in Florida once and believe me, even they cannot maintain the pace of humanity.

Finally, elves are not, nor have they ever been toy makers. Nowadays, those would be the Chinese. I do have a few that live with me. Eliot, for example, has lived with the Mrs. and I for more years than I care to remember. I just can't find anyone to compete with him in the kitchen. His Baked Alaska is second to none and Ella is obsessive about cleanliness, not that the Mrs. was ever untidy, mind you, but she has also gotten on in years and deserves the help every now and again.

And finally, just to let you in on how I do manage to get it all done, let me bring up things like Toys for Tots. I don't have to visit everyone of you, you know, though I am busy all year round. You know those canned food drives? You ever get that impulse? Oh, ho, ho, ho. It's a spiritual thing. It requires a lot of concentration and focus and by jingle, it works. You may not always get what you want, but as that chap I spoke with one night back in '67 will tell you, you'll find, you get what you need. Yes, that was my Christmas gift to him.

Well, I should thank you for this opportunity to put to rest any rumors of my demise. I know the world is spiraling towards economic disaster, that times are tough and things look grim, but I can tell you as one whose been around for a while, it's all nothing new. We've been through it all before. It's a lot like Christmas, you know. It just doesn't come around every year, and after all, we still have one another.

Christopher Cringle

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