Annual Holiday Letter: Guest Blogger, Larry Levine

Annually, my close friend, Larry, sends a tongue-in-cheek holiday letter to his appreciative audience, of which I am a delighted member.  Here is his latest:

tree ornamentThe first Covid Xmas letter … and hopefully the last! What a year this has been, full of days, instructions, fear and fake news. But not to minimize Covid. In fact before you read the rest of this letter there are several precautions you have to take.

  1. Wear a mask and be sure it covers your eyes
  2. Also cover your mouth (in case you yawn)
  3. Maintain olfactory distance. Forget social distance. The real measure is how far you can smell the other person’s breath. It could be miles. Be aware the CDC doesn’t tell you this.

santa w maskthe year we stayed home

Many readers have said “Larry, how can you write about a year that was filled with almost nothing?” I say “Ha!” For example, this year had many moments when you said to yourself, “Gee, I wish I had more time.” Well, if you did, here is how to fix it next year. First set all your clocks back 24 hours. Already you have gained a day. In March do it again so that when we go back to daylight savings time you gain a day plus an hour. Next reset your garbage collection days. If the schedule calls for Monday pickup put the garbage out on Tuesday, that way when it is picked up you gain another day. Further moves in this direction can be found in the book I recently wrote, “Defeating Time and Motion, a study in Zen.” One of the salient ideas in the book is that time is a mere concept and in reality, time does not exist. Space, however, does. So we now can think of the space continuum which gives us more time than we need.

time spaceAnd how did Covid affect your family? Write to me in 25 words or less. Now, I will tell you about my family. We have zoomed all our family fights and come to the conclusion there is something lacking in zoom. Consider this: a) zoom doesn’t let spittle fly; b) zoom has nowhere to hide and, most of all, c) zoom is exceedingly tough for anagrams.

familyJust sayin’ Covid is very close to covert. Do you think the CIA or KGB or Mossad or the A&P had something to do with it? Covid spelled backwards is Divoc. Come on! Clearly that’s David. The only question is David Who? Here are a couple of candidates. David Theroux, David Jones, David Crockett, David the King, David Bowie. It IS meaningful as to the source of the virus. If you transpose the third and fifth letters of Covid you get Codiv! Now, that’s no coincidence. Students of history will easily recognize the name and what it stands for. Finally using a simple transposition/substitution code Covid becomes kdiem. Again something for the history student. Hint. Enigma.

Now for next year. Never mind, we will put that off for a while. Imagine if it is like 2020. Makes you shudder. Here are some of the accomplishments our children and grandchildren accomplished.1) built the pyramids; 2) tore them down; 3) wrote the Bible; 4) read the Bible; 5) invented food; 6) invented geometry; 7) defeated the Huns; 8) joined the Boy Scouts.

Many readers (okay, so maybe one) have asked if this Covid letter will be an annual event. There is a simple answer to that. If you know the answer, write in and enclose an SASE with an unused face mask.  The mask with the best design will be the tie-breaker to the best answer. Winners will be rewarded. Neatness does not count.

One of the wonderful things about Covid is how it has absolved so many from responsibility. “Due to the Covid crisis delivery times are longer.” “Due to the Covid emergency our customer service may take a bit longer.” “Due to Covid your wait time for a service representative may be longer than usual.  There are 24 calls ahead of you.”

customer service cartoonMany events have been canceled due to Covid but the Rockefeller Xmas tree soldiers on. This year the 75 ft cedar from Oneonta, NY, will be viewed by groups of four in a pod for no more than five minutes (Pray tell how anyone can gaze at a tree for six minutes. Does it change shape? Color? Dance? Burst into a chorus of tree“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas?” I could gaze at 10 trees in five minutes and still have time for a cuppa.) But here is some disturbing news! The Rockefeller Xmas tree is an anti-environment move! A waste of resources. A more appropriate theme for the tree would be ‘Woodsman, Spare that Tree”. Think of how many pine pillows or toothpicks could have been made from this tree!  Enough toothpicks that, if laid end to end, would reach from Rockefeller Center to Radio City Music Hall!

A shame that this letter is ending here. Of course the reason it has to end here is Covid. Ho ho ho.  See you next year and Stay Healthy!


  1. bob belson

    Thanks..Kdiem in Hebrew means “Forward!”. Halevie!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Bob! Hope you’ll come back to see some other posts or look through my archives. Regards!

  2. Linda Levine

    You really livened up Larry’s Holiday letter! He’s pretty lively in person too. Hope he gets to be a guest blogger again soon

    • Thanks for the compliment! Any time he (or you) would like to be a guest blogger, I welcome your contributions! You both write very well!

  3. Susan Metcalfe

    Funny letter. The Rockefeller tree is not wasted. It’s cut into 2×4’s and donated to Habitat for Humanity.

  4. Larry Levine

    Arlene, you really gussied it up. Illustrations, layout, editing, all look professional. Am I insulted by this? You’ll have to wait for next year’s letter to find out.

    • Is that a compliment or complaint? 🙂 Be sure to read Susan’s comment on the blog.

  5. Most enjoyable, creative, and smart! Is the artwork your, or Larry’s? Give him our best!

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