.Die Hard. Inspiration for our holiday card this year is “Die Hard” (1988), a most thrilling holiday movie. It’s a story about how one person’s call of duty, ingenuity, and perseverance defeat a large, wily, and ruthless militia. All events happen inside an office tower, Nakatomi Plaza, on Christmas Eve when whip-smart terrorists take the tenants hostage. The underdog is John McClane, an off-duty detective who happens to visit when mayhem ensues. McClane eludes capture, secretly watches and studies the outlaws, and deploys clever maneuver after maneuver to defeat them. Despite overwhelming odds, McClane never gives up. In our version of the story, we find the characters inside the Buchanan Firm’s office tower in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ducts in a Row. Popping up on the right at the base of our building, Detective John McClane (attorney Rob Buchanan) silently navigates the system’s dark, filthy, and tangled maze of ventilation ducts to deliver disabling surprises to wrongdoers. That’s no police badge in his hand, it is a State Bar of Michigan “President-Elect” identification! In McClane’s future are captivating speeches to crowds of attorneys and savory chicken dinners in banquet halls across Michigan.
Secrets of Success. Popping up on the left of the building is the Buchanan Firm’s team of specialists:
Limo driver Argyle in mirror shades (legal intake specialist Caiti Hill) stands by, always ready to answer questions and serve you. She safeguards a stuffed bear that McClane brought for his kids.
Police Sgt. Allie Powell (paralegal Leslie Caliguri) reinforces McClane’s efforts and helps the team rout all foes.
Tech wizard Thea (nurse advisor Helen Hicks RN) helps everyone injured by wrongdoers. She listens to their stories and guides healing and finding reimbursements.
News reporter Richelle Thornburg (legal assistant Shelly Sichta) races to the scene and interrupts the regular program to keep you informed.
In Tiers. Popping up in the center is the firm’s office tower, decorated with red and orange ribbons for the holidays.
A medical helicopter flies past on its landing approach to nearby Pill Hill.
There is a broken window where an aerial performer scissor-kicked off the glass during September’s opening ceremonies for Art Prize.
A shark-filled moat circles the tower base. The landlord added the cutting-edge security feature after President Trump in September suggests it for Mexican border-wall security.
Swimming next to his waterskis in the moat is Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli of the classic television series “Happy Days.” “Jumping the shark,” as he did in Season 5, is the moment that something once popular no longer warrants attention, and makes an attempt at publicity, which highlights its irrelevance. That sums up our pop-up card this year.
Stuff Happens, On the ground floor to the right, we see Holly Gennaro (office manager Janna VandeGriend) and Joseph Takagi (attorney Jack Buchanan). They are lookouts for the team protecting everyone from danger.
Selfie Summit. In June, climbers on Mt. Everest in Nepal lined up before sunrise to summit the mountain. Hundreds waited hours to capture a selfie on top. Sadly, the oxygen tanks of a few ran out before their turn. We see climbers waiting to capture a rooftop selfie above the Rosa Park ice rink.
“Et tu, Brute?” Without warning, in May 2019 Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer elopes with insurance fat cat in a surprise union. She signs a hastily-cobbled law abolishing medical coverage of Michigan No Fault, abandoning motorists. The abolition will put injured motorists and injured passengers on Medicaid so taxpayers foot medical bills caused by wrongdoers. Here, we see newlywed Whitmer racing off with fat cat to honeymoon.
Baptism by Fire. In April, Quasimodo forgets to turn off his hot plate after warming a mug of hot chocolate in the attic of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. Fire breaks out and soon engulfs the roof and collapses the spire. Fortunately, no one suffers serious injury, and France estimates repairs will exceed $7 billion. We see a cathedral gargoyle rescuing the singed bellringer.
Swine Flew. Tiger Woods wins no major golf tournament after his wife in 2009 flogs him for playing holes beyond the 18th green. He never wins another tournament and everyone believes his career is over. However, in April 2019, Tiger proves that pigs can fly, winning the Masters Tournament at Augusta for a fifth green jacket and the President’s Medal of Freedom We see Tiger perform an aerial salute.
You Play Like a Girl. This summer the U.S. women’s soccer team dominates every opponent to win the 2019 World Cup. We see the purple-haired team captain, Megan Rapinoe, scissor the ball to outwit a pig and even the score for women. After the victory, Rapinoe declines an invitation to the pigpen.
We are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together. After 8 seasons, the final episode of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” airs in May. No more dragons. No more pitch-black episodes. No more nude entertainment for the family to enjoy. Because “The Big Bang Theory” also ends that month, fans now have only wedgies and swirlies to look forward to. Here, Daenerys bids farewell to one of her whelps.
Look! Peach Mint! This fall we watch a peach with mint leaves be tossed from one Washington D.C. house to the next. What will happen isn’t known. Here, we see that peach bounce off the noggin of Hans Gruber, the best movie villain ever. Gruber is the smartest guy in the room: he deploys well-thought out plans, knows a bit about everything, and can think on his feet and adapt.
Funny Math. After nearly two years of investigation, in March 2019 special counsel Robert S. Mueller III completes the official two-volume, 448-page report on Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We see Mueller specifying the findings for Attorney General William P. Barr. Barr, a “Jeopardy” fan, races to the chalkboard at the start to scribble an answer to Mueller’s equation. Two months later, in May, Barr reveals that he never read the findings of the report. Perhaps he didn’t have time to read the report because at Comic Con, “Star Wars” fans mistook him for someone else, mobbing him for autographs.
Kickback College. In March, high school seniors learn that nearly perfect ACT and SAT scores, outstanding grades, and exceptional extra curriculars (e.g., scolding the United Nations Assembly for apathy on global warming) isn’t the only path for admission to top American colleges. Under a little-known program, children of millionaires and wealthy celebrities secure admission if they will try a new sport and their parents make a meaningful “charity” donation to a Singer – Rick Singer. Best of all, the college diploma does not differ from a classmate who foolishly gets in the exhausting old-fashioned way. We see Geppetto’s son, a recent graduate, kicking back in his new position in regulatory compliance for a Wall Street firm.
“Show! Me! The One Knee!” In May, U.S. Representative Justin Amash of Michigan experiences a “Jerry McGuire” epiphany about his role as a representative, after reading the Mueller Report. In Amash’s vision, his party boss is parading naked down a red carpet bragging about “new clothes” and the rank and file are nodding with agreement. So, Amash quits the House Freedom Caucus and the GOP. We see him in holiday dress after sharing his awakening with the Caucus.
“Hello Alexit.” This year the world’s richest man, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is caught dashing off explicit texts and selfies to a romantic partner. Bezos’s wife doesn’t find his photography amusing so the couple divides the vast empire and go their separate ways. We see Bezos in his Halloween costume as Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers” pretending to lord over his world domination of consumer shoppers.