Dear Mom and Dad:
Your overall behavior toward me during the quarter that just ended, declined 62% from the previous period. I’d like you both to pay especially close attention to two numbers: collectively, you were off by 43% in Compliments Paid, while up 78% in Instances of Guilt-Inducement. (You, Mom, constituted the bulk of this increase, with a whopping 114% rise, and this figure, particularly when coupled with your 96% hike in Laying of Unfair Blame, should give you something to think about as you plan your strategy for the coming quarter.)
In a quarter in which your overall Emotional Detachment Index rose 37%, even our auditors found it surprising you showed an upturn of nearly 50% in both Hugs and Kisses. Regrettably, Cheek Pinching Your Grown-Up Son in Public was also up 28%.
The past three months saw marginal declines in both Statements That You Think You’re Dying and Warnings I’ll Be Sorry When You’re Gone. But these minor improvements were easily offset by a sharp up tick in not only Declarations of Doubt Over Whether You’ll Live to See a Grandchild but also Entreaties to Stop Fucking Around and Get Married Already.
As for your loan-loss reserve, it ought to reflect that the $250,000 you provided as seed money for my hydroponic-birdseed business won’t be paid back anytime soon. Yes, yes, I know I promised up and down and swore on Aunt Mildred’s grave that this time things would be different. But the reallocation of these funds to other people’s pockets—done with truly admirable efficiency, I’m certain you’ll agree—was the result of forces beyond my control. Cousin Jerry, my financial advisor-astrologer, says I was caught in a double-whipsaw effect of the mortgage crisis and Mercury in retrograde. No one could have seen it coming, he says. No one. Not even Buffett. And Jerry should know. As you’ll no doubt recall from my Q2 report, he sat next to Buffett last June while waiting for a flight out of Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Buffett really opened up to him—gave Jerry a real behind-the-scenes look at his noggin.
Q4 is, of course, always a special time for me, but my birthday dinner this year—despite a delicious entree of braised cod with broccoli rabe and roasted fingerling potatoes—was marred by an 89% surge in Appeals That I Once and For All Find Myself a Real Profession and Go to Medical School. And while you did a very thorough job of scratching off the price on the back cover of the book you bought me, the black Magic Marker slash along one edge suggests that Birthday-Present Expenditures were down substantially versus last year.
The Holiday Meals category saw a notable bounce, by 58% over last quarter, in
Dinner-Table Arguments, Simple. (Dinner-Table Arguments, Tears Shed, meanwhile, were up 41%.) This Thanksgiving, for the thirty-fourth straight quarter, Mom greeted me at the door with an addition to the You Look Heavy—Have You Gained Weight? column. Please be aware that if this sort of performance continues, the Holiday Meals division will be shut down entirely.
The Communications sector also showed cause for serious concern. The number of days with a minimum of ten calls to my cell phone rose 61% this quarter. Calls placed just moments after you’d hung up, only to realize you’d forgotten to tell me something, jumped by a factor of four, mirroring the change since last quarter in long messages—defined here as messages with a duration of at least two minutes—left on my voicemail. In the Accounts Payable section of this report, under the subheading You Remember Us—We Gave Birth to You, you will notice that complaints I call you far too infrequently nearly doubled, with the most significant shift occurring in the weeks following my birthday.
This brings us to e-mail. And while I understand you’re still feeling your way through this new and exciting world, you will really need to reverse the upswing, reflected in this quarter’s 52% spike, in Forwarded Jokes, Chain Letters, and Really Hilarious Lists. Rest assured I’m fully aware of the Top Twenty Pro Athletes and Hollywood Stars You Never Knew Were Jewish But Actually Are. More worrisome is that the past three months have seen a doubling in Repeat Mailings of the Same Exact Message You Forwarded from Uncle Irving Two Weeks Ago. If you want to avoid being downsized in the new year, you should look to eliminate such redundancies.