BARLOW, DELAWARE –
In what you fear might be a case of a person taking the Christmas spirit perhaps a bit too far, your friend today turned in his notice at work, so that he could stay home the rest of December and hand-letter over a thousand Christmas cards in time for the holiday.
A Few Warning Signs
The friend, whom you met at a scrap-booking convention in 2009, has always enjoyed working with his hands. And you looked forward to receiving his impressive bespoke cards every year, each more intricate than the last.
However, after receiving last year’s card, which was created with tiny colored scraps of paper the size of sand grains glued together to form a Santa, you became concerned that your friend was getting in a little over his head.
And so when he said he had been researching the use of a pestle and mortar to grind lampblack for ink, you suggested he consider the store-bought version, since no one would know the difference. But your friend said he enjoyed the challenge of making his own ink.
Just Getting Started
And then when he bought several sheep to use their hides for parchment, and slaughtered them in his suburban driveway filling the gutter outside his home with bright red blood, you suggested perhaps he consider asking a butcher to give him some skins. And your friend said that you should relax, and that slaughtering animals was a part of nature.
And then when he began soaking their skins in lime and sodium sulfide in large metal barrels, filling the neighborhood with a nasty stench, and bought several turkeys and plucked them so he could use their feathers for quills, you thought he was getting close to crossing the line. But your friend said to just back off and get the hell off his property or he was going to have you thrown in jail for trespassing.
Ancient Art Of Filigree
And then when you realized he was staying up all night to study the art of filigree from the Tang and Song Dynasties of ancient China, practicing by the light of a lantern filled with whale blubber, you thought perhaps you should call someone.
And then when you found out he was raising bees to make beeswax to seal envelopes, and that he was smelting a signet ring in his basement to imprint his initials on the sealing wax using a blast furnace he had stolen from an abandoned factory in the dead of night, killing a security guard in the process, it really wasn’t a surprise when you found out that he had quit his job. In fact, it was almost kind of expected.
And although you are extremely concerned about your friend’s mental stability, and should contact someone in his family immediately to get him some help – you have to admit, that would be one pretty cool card.
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