Dear Valued Reader:
In appreciation for your loyalty and support this past year, I had planned to thank you by sending each of you your own personalized Dick Yarbrough Christmas card - suitable for framing - that you could proudly show your envious friends. The cards might even become a collector's item some day and you could take them to the Antiques Road Show and make a lot of money which you could then spend on a new Ferrari. It is the least I could do for you.
Unfortunately, the bean counters at the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield told me that given the fact that there are a lot of you around the state who see this column, the postage would be approximately $280,000 and my tongue would fall out of my head from licking stamps. I don't have $280,000 and I need my tongue to lick cake batter. I love cake batter.
That means I must subject you to a Christmas letter like the one you get each season from some cousin in Nebraska that you never see, talking about people you don't know and things in which you have no interest. That sounds so much like my column that I thought it worth a try.
It has been an interesting year in the Yarbrough household. In February, the Woman Who Shares My Name had her hip replaced and now is known now as the Bionic Woman Who Shares My Name. Not only does she have nerves of steel, she has a hip made out of the stuff, too.
In June, the Georgia Press Association awarded me First Place for Humor Columns. This is twice in the past three years that I have been so honored. I understand that members of the General Assembly are demanding a recount. They don't think I am very funny. That hurts because I think they are a riot.
In July, I was privileged to have a month-long exhibit of my paintings in Marietta. A lot of people came to the show and marveled at how far Paint-by-the-Numbers has come over the years. One attendee said I look much older in person than I do in the picture that accompanies this column. Art critics can be pretty brutal.
In September, I got pneumonia. In October the Bionic Woman Who Shares My Name had more surgery and in November I blew out two discs in my back. Our doctor is now giving us Frequent Flyer miles.
There were a few disappointments this year. I had hoped to be invited bass fishing by former Gov. George E. Perdue. The invitation never came. Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why. I gave George E. a lot of positive ink in this space, even comparing him to two of Georgia's greatest governors, Seth John Cuthbert and Humphrey Wells. Go figure.
Gov. Nathan Deal did not see fit this year to appoint me to a cushy job in his administration or put me on some state board so that I could stand around at cocktail parties and talk about how important I am and what big buddies the governor and I are. This isn't going to help my case to point this out, but I think Gov. Deal is scrapping the bottom of the barrel these days. He has appointed a private investigator to the board that licenses private investigators, only this appointee isn't licensed and never has been. Not only is that weird, I think it is against the law.
There were some high points: We gained a new granddaughter this summer. Mandy Bragg, a public school teacher, married Nicholas Wansley, a public school teacher. That gives me four public school teachers in the family. I know the "school choice" legislators are thrilled beyond words.
The year ended on a positive note with You-Know-Where Institute of Technology managing to once again finish a solid Number Two in the state football championship. Fortunately for them, they didn't have to play Georgia Southern. As you know, I try to find the good in every situation.
I hope you have enjoyed catching up with the doings in the Yarbrough household this past year. I look forward to hearing about your year. However, if George E. Perdue has taken you bass fishing or Nathan Deal has appointed you to some high-profile job, please don't tell me. It has been a good year and that would ruin it. Merry Christmas.
Reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.