My letter to Santa Claus

Imperator Fish


    Dear Santa,

    It’s not easy for me to write this letter.

    I have been an admirer of yours for many years.  I have been impressed with the way you have embraced reform within your own organisation, and not shied away from making brave decisions.

    I have supported you during the tough times, and when things have been good. I was right behind you when the elves launched legal proceedings after you made them all redundant and hired them back as independent contractors at half their hourly rates. What did they expect? That they could continue to do nothing for most of the time, working barely two months in a year while collecting a generous salary? And when you finally broke into the lucrative Chinese market I celebrated your success.

    But being a friend sometimes means having to be a critic. I want you to succeed, but I also want you…

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Losing a baby – things I’ve learned about miscarriage

The Happy Baby Project

1. You may not realise anything is wrong. You may not bleed, nor feel cramps. In fact, you may be blissfully unaware that there is a problem at all until a scan, when instead of a kicking happy baby, you see a lifeless thing floating asleep, or you see nothing at all.

2. A scan will forever be a hateful thing – rather than excitement at looking at the screen, you will always wish the screen to be turned away from you, expecting a “sorry, there’s no heartbeat”.

3. And while I’m at it, sonographers have the best poker faces in the world. Fact.

4. After the scan, there is a lot of waiting. Waiting for further scans, waiting for tests. Waiting to miscarry naturally or waiting for pills to make you miscarry. Then there is waiting for appointments, waiting for operations to remove tissue. Finally there is waiting for your period to…

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How Jessica Mitford Exposed A $48m Scam From America’s Literary Establishment

David Gaughran

Cerf1Jessica Mitford took on the American funeral industry, the California Department of Corrections, and the Ku Klux Klan, but it was her 1970 exposé of The Famous Writers School which led to Time calling her “The Queen of the Muckrakers.” And if a courageous editor hadn’t reversed his decision to kill her story, it might never have happened.

Mitford had been aware of The Famous Writers School’s existence for some time. Anyone who was a frequent reader of newspapers, books or magazines would have seen its ever-present advertisements, inviting aspiring writers to cut out and apply for the free aptitude test. While Mitford was suspicious, she didn’t have anything concrete until her lawyer husband took on a new client.

Bob Treuhaft was approached by a 72-year old widow, living on Social Security, who had cleaned out her bank account to make a down-payment to The Famous Writers School. On the…

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On My Father’s Birthday: A Letter To The Man Who Killed Him

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Dear Sir,

I don’t know your name, but you killed my father on June 9, 1973, in Stockton, California. My father was thirty-two years old then; I was ten. If he had lived, he would have been 74 on November 29th.

The year my dad ws killed The year my dad ws killed

I am a 51-year-old woman now; my father has not been with me for most of my life, and yet I still feel his presence; I still miss him. When I was ten, and he was killed, I hated you. In fact, I hated you for many, many years. Somehow I got it in my head that you were a drunk driver and killed him while driving drunk. Perhaps someone told me that, or maybe it’s just what a child creates, to make sense of a senseless world. Admittedly, that story helped me for a while. It gave me a place to focus my…

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