Magazine February 8, 2021, Issue

The Least Wonderful Time of the Year

An Oscar statue stands during a media preview, Los Angeles, Calif., 2019. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

I   check the return address of the package on the doorstep and my heart sinks: another one of those indeterminate-origin envelopes bringing me unsolicited Hollywood suck-up crapola.

Several times a week I receive a mailer full of junk originating from an otherwise unidentified “Shipping Department” in someplace like Rancho Cucamonga or Calabasas. The latest package contains two small Japanese-style lunch boxes. Within one are two tiny, square, black ceramic saucers and plastic cutlery; the other has ten fine little paper pyramids, each containing a bag of green tea. There’s also a tiny machine with a crank on it, and two

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C’mon, Zingerola!

Before we roll over and submit, we need to figure out whether we’re dealing with purposeful malevolence or good ol’-fashioned human clusterbuggery.

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