Chat with Deb—Happy Hallothankschristmas!

Junk mail catalogs get very strange around the holidays. Which start in September, apparently.

Jack Herlocker
3 min readOct 16, 2022

My wife and I like to look over catalogs that arrive in the mail. They’re a hoot. Probably half go into the trash without a glance, but we like looking over the food suppliers (“food porn,” as we call them) and the gardening catalogs (aka “things to feed the groundhogs”) and the t-shirt/signs/odd items catalogs.

ME: T-shirt: “It’s not an Empty Nest until they get their stuff out of the basement.” Or you can just dump it into boxes and mail it to them, like my father did. Even after I told him that anything that used to belong to me that they still had was junk and could be thrown out.

DEB: And where are those boxes now, honey?

ME: Okay, in our basement, but—

DEB: “There’s only one of me. Does that make me endangered or a limited edition?”

ME: Limited edition!

DEB: Right answer! (smooch)

ME: “Someone should write a book where the characters slowly fall in love with the reader.” I’d buy that one.

DEB: Me, too! “Sometimes before bedtime, I fall asleep on the sofa. It’s my little sleep appetizer. My nappetizer.” Maybe I should start doing that.

ME: “How old do you have to be to know what’s going on?” I can rule out 64.

DEB: Or 68. “Cleaning with a toddler around is like raking leaves in a hurricane.” Good things aunts don’t have to clean.

ME: Okay, remember how I complained about that company who took their Christmas trees, painted them orange and black, stuck witches heads or pumpkins on the top and called them Halloween decorations? They’ve expanded. They added skulls.

DEB: Okay, that’s creepy, but—

ME: To their Christmas tree night lights.

DEB: That doesn’t make— (looks at photo) Oh my!

“Now you have your friends to keep you company at night! Sweet dreams!”

ME: There’s something you need to put in your kid’s room so they won’t be scared of the dark!

DEB: “Silence is golden. Unless you have kids. Then, silence is suspicious.”

ME: Your Aunt Debbie sense usually tingles, then, I bet! “If you see me talking to myself, just move along. I’m self-employed, and we’re having a staff meeting.” Think I could get away with that?

DEB: Just look like you’re taking minutes, Jackster, you’ll be fine. “My grocery list. 1. Don’t run into anyone I know. 2. Eggs.” And yogurt, but yup, that covers it.

ME: “We wanted so badly to be adults. Now look at us.” I think our Gen Z niece and nephew expressed the same sentiment.

DEB: “I used to be able to do cartwheels. Now I tip over putting on my underwear.” You notice I perch on the edge of the bed now?

ME: Aw! Here’s a tea towel with, “I’m not a witch, I’m a broom fairy.” If we ever need a hostess gift for Ann Litts, we’re getting that. Or else one of Roz Warren’s books, I understand those work well.



Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.