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

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners



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.


The Latest