A Classic Christmas Letter

10 December 1989

Dear Sir or Madam,

Mr. Satterthwait wants me to assure you that this is not merely a form letter.

First of all, every single one of these is being typed out individually by me, Doreen, his personal private secretary with my very own two hands! (There is some sort of doohickie on this machine that you can push, a button or something, I guess that’ll automatically make copies, but golly, I don’t know where it is exactly, and Mr. Satterthwait specifically instructed me to do these all one at a time so they’d all have that personal touch—isn’t he wonderful?)

Second of all he wanted me to make it very clear that each and every one of you — relatives, friends, drinking partners, business associates, former wives, former lovers, former high school teachers, vascular surgeons, one night stands, nearly one night stands, chance acquaintances, and the three lucky strangers whose names he picked out at random from the Manhattan phone book —that each of you has a very special and totally unique place in his heart, and that over this Holiday Season he’ll be hoping that each of you has just absolutely the most wonderful and scrumptious Holiday ever! (And that goes positively double for me too! Because even though I don’t know you from Adam, I guess you’ve got to be a pretty terrific person, all right, for Mr. Satterthwait to take the time from his busy schedule —yesterday he spent two hours getting fitted for Porsche Carrera sunglasses —to ask me to sit down and write to you!)

Anyway, to bring you up to date on Mr. Satterthwait’s career, he’s still writing his new book (and just between you and me, it’s absolutely fabulous and I’m sure he’ll get some sort of really valuable award for it!). He’s also working now in some sort of top-secret hush hush consulting position where he has to privately interview a lot of Swedish tourist women for the Greek government, and they (the government, I mean) told him they don’t even want me to know what it’s all about, if you can imagine! Whatever it is, he comes home late in the morning just so tired and bedraggled it would make your heart break!

He’s also helping the Mayor of Paros by conducting negotiations for him with the Countess Mathilde De La Mole, from Paris, France. The Mayor, Mr. Satterthwait says, wants the Countess to build a big sausages-making plant here on Paros (she’s in sausages in France), and Mr. Satterthwait has to be up at the Counters’s villa at all hours of the day and night talking to her. I don’t really trust this Countess person, she’s one of those slinky foreign type women with dyed hair (and not even dyed blonde!), but whenever I say anything about her to Mr. Satterthwait, he just smiles and tells me not to worry. He’s so trusting and open. (But honestly, sometimes I think a person can be too trusting, don’t you?)

Golly, I see I’m running out of space so I’ll close this up by hoping, for Mr. Satterthwait, that you have a super Christmas or Chanukah or, if you’re of the pagan or Buddhist persuasion, a really nice weekend!

Sincerely,

Walter

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