Excuse Me Sir, Could You Tell Me How To Get To Damascus?

November 28, 1959

Dear Santa,

I know it’s only Thanksgiving but I’m sending my Christmas list now since I know you’re very busy this time of the year getting ready for the holidays, making toys and reading letters from kids like me, so here’s what I want for Christmas.

The Tiger Joe Motorized Remote-Control Tank. It comes with six shells I can shoot at my sister to keep her out of my room. Don’t forget the 4 D-sized batteries.

The REMCO battery-operated Fighting Lady Motorized Assault Battleship. If you run out of Fighting Lady’s, the Battle Wagon Battleship is OK. Besides, it has more guns. It also has rockets, torpedoes, depth charges, missiles and jet fighters that you can launch from a ramp. It has everything. I think I like it better. If you run out of either one of these two, I’ll take the U.S.S. Enterprise Aircraft Carrier. You can raise the jets up and down from the flight deck.

The Jet Fighter Cockpit by Ideal. It has a radar screen that lights up when you’re on target so you can fire missile darts at Commie jets or your sister. I’ll need the Steve Canyon helmet to go with it. I saw it on Channel 5.

The Marx Battleground Play Set. It comes with soldiers, tanks, artillery, jeeps, landing craft, machine gun nests, and enemy tanks and soldiers that look like Germans but could be Japs. It’s hard to tell.

The Remco Whirleybird Motorized Helicopter. It comes with soldiers, jeeps and guns too. It doesn’t fly but it moves along the ground, makes an engine noise and the blades go round.

My mother says I can’t have the Mattel Shootin’ Shell Winchester Rifle. I had the Mattel Fanner 50 Shootin’ Shell .45, but my mother took it away. Both fire plastic bullets. I shot my cousin Richie in the head with the Fanner 50 when I was chasing him around the backyard at my grandmother’s house. He cried and ratted on me, the big baby.

The Remco Marine Raider Bazooka. It comes with four shells. I could use it to blow up the Tiger Joe Motorized Tank. And I could shoot Richie the rat.

I saw the Tommy Burst Detective Set on the Mickey Mouse Club. It comes with a snub nose pistol and a badge. Sgt. Friday on Dragnet has a badge and snub nose pistol, but he doesn’t have a Tommy gun.

Or you could bring me the Mattel Thunderburp Tommy gun. It doesn’t need caps or batteries. John Wayne had one in that movie Back to Bataan. He killed a lot of Japs with it.

Or the Johnny Eagle Lieutenant M-14 rifle and .45 pistol set. It fires caps and bullets and it ejects shells and has an adjustable sling.

I want the Booby Trap Land Mine by Remco and the Mattel Guerilla Booby Trap. I can set traps for my sister.

My mother said that after what happened to my cousin Richie, I can’t have a Daisy B.B. gun. I might put an eye. I promised her I’d only shoot at birds and cats, but she still said no.

I’d really like a couple of model plane kits and model ship kits, you know, the ones made by Revell, but my mother won’t let me, not since that time I blew up a battleship in the bathtub. I was watching Victory at Sea on TV, the episode about Okinawa and the Kamikazes. I filled the battleship with lighter fluid, stuck a firecracker in the smokestack and lit the fuse. It was really cool. You should have seen the flames shoot up and the pieces fly all over the bathroom. But I didn’t get all the scorch marks off the ceiling before my mother got home, though.

I blew up an F-86 fighter jet once but I didn’t use any lighter fluid this time. I hung it from a string in my bedroom and stuck a firecracker up the tailpipe. When it blew up, a piece hit my sister in the face and left a mark. I told her if she ratted me out I’d punch her in the head.

I don’t need any socks and underwear. I got enough on my birthday last June.

Ok, that’s about it. If I think of anything else, I’ll drop you a post card.

Merry Christmas!

Your pal,

Michael

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