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2016 Holiday Card. Buchanan & Buchanan.

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2016 Holiday Card

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2016 Firm Holiday Card Lampoons

1. A Year Without a Santa Claus: The never-ending brawls of the Presidential race between our nation’s own Heat Miser and Snow Miser inspires this year’s theme, as we pay tribute to the Rankin-Bass classic stop-motion animated television special “A Year Without a Santa Claus” (1974). The brouhaha dominated world media, every day for the entire year. We are all exhausted and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. In our version of the story:

  • Jingle Bells (attorney Rob Buchanan), in the red-felt tunic on the left side, is a bright, effervescent, and insightful elf leading the movement Santa started decades ago for helping good people injured by the misconduct of others. This elf gets his nickname from the large sack of noisy coins he safeguards as Treasurer for the 45,000 attorneys of the State Bar of Michigan.
  • Jangle Bells (on-staff nurse Helen Hicks MSN), in the red felt medical tunic, carefully guides a large flock of drones delivering good tidings and care packages to injured boys and girls. Santa now stays home.
  • Ignatia Thistlewhite (receptionist Shelly Sichta), wearing the headset on the right, handles the traffic in our special airspace. We see from the badge on her chest that she holds the distinguished rank of “B & B 2.0,” after returning to our headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan following an 8-year mission in Utah rescuing animal misfits.
  • Mother Nature (paralegal Leslie Caliguri), donning a stylish Dachshund nesting hat. She does challenging work, reducing temper warmings and maintaining an environment suitable for habitation. Warmings in this region are very real, notwithstanding the uneducated doubters who constantly vent hot gas. We see her using Pokemón Go, a new smartphone app that is all the rage in 2016. She is finding and capturing these wild Pokemóns.
  • Sir Kris Kringle (attorney Jack Buchanan), the gentleman dressed in a red suit adjusting his removable Van Dyke bristles, is always in a great mood and enjoys the action. On his lapel, he wears the coat of arms for the noble and global International Society of Primerus Law Firms.
  • Jessica Kringle (office manager Janna VandeGriend), the woman in the blue dress (not the one in the blue pantsuit), ensures seamless operations and enjoys the excitement. A stickler for detail, here, Mrs. Kringle checks the pouches behind her incisors to ensure nuts stored in the cheeks are secure for the long 2016-17 winter ahead.

2. Violent, Destructive, and Unpredictable Tempest. Our nation witnesses a ghastly, unpredictable, and cataclysmic tempest this entire year, with gales peaking five months after a sister cell decimated the United Kingdom in June 2016 on the other side of the Atlantic. Snow Miser (Democratic nominee Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton) and Heat Miser (Republican nominee reality-TV star Donald J. Trump) clash in an endless and ruthless war for the Presidency of the United States. In contrast to past US elections, this one has no rules, no timeouts, no boundaries, no limits, and no mercy. Anything goes! Truth, honesty, and integrity sit this one out. Its conclusion in the wee morning hours of November 9 surprises everyone, especially people who had opted for warmer temperatures.

  • Here, we see Snow Miser with a pocket of facial tissues and slurping down a bowl of chicken soup to knock out a last-minute case of decimating Comey Plague. To pass time over the next 4 years recovering, Snow Miser has a Pinocchio doll to snuggle and a mailbag stuffed with reading material as a great pillow.
  • Heat Miser looks handsome, dressed in a Dr.-Cliff-Huxtable-OB/GYN sweater of Cosby-Show fame. He delivers his version of a victory sign, which is challenging to see because his fingers are so tiny. His wife and children demonstrate their support for the firebrand. A trusty caveman club, one of many celebrity perks from television days, lays within an arm’s reach and ready for persuading.
  • The Presidential seal, now with scratches, dents, and fecal splatter, lays in the frozen drift at Snow Miser and Heat Miser’s feet.

3. Santa’s Workshop Evenly Divided. Santa’s Workshop has two wings:

  • The left half is cool, transparent, and glistens in light. Over the next few weeks, Heat Miser works vigorously organizing a January 20, 2017 move in, and he promises everything will be pure white.
  • The right half flashes, sizzles, and magnifies sunbeams melting everything around. The Heat Miser’s exceptional construction crew erects the structure, fortifying it with steel girders haggled from the Chinese for nearly nothing. He gilds everything with gold leaf: the outside of the wing is wrapped with gold-mirrored glass and the inside is stuffed with gold handles and faucets, cherubs and statutes, and floor-to-ceiling portraits.

4. “Up from the Ground Came a Bubblin Brew. Lead that Is. ‘Flint Fifth’”.

Come and listen to my story about a man named Rick.

A poor Gov’ner, barely kept his captaincy led.

And then one day there was polluting after a feud, and up through the ground came a bubblin brew, lead that is, ‘Flint filth.’

Well the first think you know ol Rick’s a million errors. The sin folks said: ‘Rick move away from snares.’ Said ‘Pandora is the place you ought to be. So he loaded up some muck and mooned the treasury.

Bills, that is. Cesspools. Movie stars.

In 2016, the national spotlight focuses on Flint, Michigan and sees Michael Moore, Madonna, Cher, Jimmy Fallon, Mark Wahlberg, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and other celebrities visit or donate because of its lead-contaminated drinking water. The disaster happens after the emergency management team, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to turnaround the municipality’s financial woes, drew city water from the Flint River to save money. Caustic water from the river quickly corrodes the city’s old pipes, leaching lead (a highly toxic metal) into the water supply.

5. Harambe Gives Senator Bernie Sanders a Moat Tour. Before his death in May from toxic lead at the Cincinnati Zoo (delivered by zookeepers with rifles), Harambre, a 450-pound gorilla, loves to give tours to people who drop into his enclosure. Here, we see Harambe giving Senator Bernie Sanders a moat tour, after the Democratic National Committee secretly slips Sanders past the fence and nudges him into the gorilla enclosure during the race for the nomination. The Vermont senator is ready for water fun, relaxing without a care like his namesake in the movie Weekend at Bernie’s (1989).

6. See EU later! Brexit. In June, the United Kingdom stuns the world when a thin majority of voters decides that nation will exit the European Union after four decades of leadership. Many say race has a lot to do with the vote – specifically the racial tension arising from the country welcoming in record numbers of immigrants. Here, we see Great Britain jumping from the EU community pulling a broken ripcord as aliens of every color of the rainbow inside the plane watch the limey’s descent and uncertain future.

7. The LochMess Monster. In August, US swimmer Ryan Lochte makes history at the Olympic Summer Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil delivering gold both in and out of the pool. First, Lochte wins a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle relay, anchored by Michael Phelps. Days later, an intoxicated Lochte leaves a gold pool on the restroom floor of a Brazilian gas station and trashes the place. Because of too much chlorine in his gene pool, Ryan fabricates a leaky tale of mugging and superhero feats to camouflage his sins. Here, we see Ryan strutting to the LochMess swamp carrying his Brazilian souvenir, the restroom door he mistakes for a cool surfboard. Note the 2016 door signage, with both the back-of-a-horse and transgender international symbols.

8. Musical Chair: Replacing Justice Scalia. In February, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia passes away at a hunting resort in Texas. President Obama nominates Judge Merrick Garland of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in March to fill the vacancy, and over the next 9 months Republican leaders hold no vote on the nominee before the election. They refuse to put the matter to vote because whoever fills Scalia’s seat will shift the ideologic balance of the Supreme Court, deadlocked at 4 to 4. Here, we see Republican and Democrat representatives circling the chair, ready to pounce when Eye of the Tiger stops playing.

9. “I’m Floating in a Most Peculiar Way and the Rain Looks Very Different Today. Purple? In 2016, the world lost two music legends and a sports icon. David Bowie died in January of cancer, and the artist formerly known as Prince died in April of a fentanyl overdose. Boxing champ and poet Muhamad Ali died in June from septic shock. Here, we see purple rain falling from the cloud and a bolt of Ziggy-Stardust lightning. A colorful butterfly nestles in the cocoon buried under the snow.

10. From Missiles to Mistletoe. In May, Barack Obama becomes the first sitting US President in nearly a century to visit Cuba, a country only a few miles off the Florida coast. He ends decades of hostility and US policy of economically isolating the small island governed by Communists. It is a step toward liberation worthy of Nelson Mandela, at whose 2013 funeral Obama and president Raúl Castro famously first shook hands. Here, we see Obama in stylish 44th-President swim trunks with Mickey Mouse. They walk over to greet an ailing Fidel Castro in his uniform, on oxygen, and enjoying a stogie. Obama pulls his trademark move with world leaders, capturing the moment with a selfie. The Cuban visit is true, but these two did not actually meet. Fidel died on Thanksgiving night.

11. Billie Goat Curse Comes to An End. In November, the Chicago Cubs broke the curse haunting them for 71 years, winning the World Series of Major League Baseball after a topsy-turvy 7th In 1945, Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sinais hexed the team when management asked him to leave Wrigley Field during the World Series against the Detroit Tigers because his pet goat, Murphy, smelled. Thankfully, the Detroit Tigers won that series. Here, we see Murphy knocked unconscious by the Ben Zobrist double in the 10th inning of the 2016 Series to break the curse.

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