Hope, Happiness, Thanks

Japanese Garden – Looking in from the outside,

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
whispering, “It will be happier.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson

As newspaper headlines go, the above quote is an unusually poetic outlier, but it’s what first greets you on the front page of today’s paper. Holidays are typically slow news days. Most of the engines of news have closed shop for the day. Today being an exclusively American holiday tends to temper this tendency, what with the rest of the world carrying on without us, but this holiday being a particularly introspective one will mute whatever news has occurred overseas. We have ourselves and whoever we’ve managed to gather to us and to hell with the rest of the world, but that kind of attitude, while it may seem appropriate for this particular year, is not in keeping with the spirit of the day.

File this paragraph under do as I say and not as I do. An informal survey—me looking out my front window—has deduced that most of our neighbors across the street have chosen not to heed the advice of health officials. None of their cars are around this weekend, indicating that they have gone to see grandma or some such. They have new babies to share. I wish them well and hope that their Zoom-less Thanksgiving does not result in an ICU-mas for any of them. I feel that by outing them like this that I should have really done it on Next-Door. Isn’t that where nosey neighbors go to tattle on one another?

Anne and I will be playing it safe this year. Enjoying our own little holiday home alone together. We’ll be burning up the long distance wires as we reach out to touch all of our certain some ones. As bad as this year has been, we still have plenty to be thankful for. All of our family members, save one, are hale and hearty. That is the most important thing. And all of the rosy vaccine news of late, lends credence to Tennyson’s whispered promise. There may be dark days yet to come, but we’ll muddle through and look for more happiness in the new year. 

Let’s Get Phygital! Phygital! ¹

Holiday Place Settings—Extra Settings are for Elijah, Godot and Their Plus-Ones

‘Twas the night before… Wait, wrong holiday. Can’t go there yet. Today, on all Thanksgiving’s eve… Don’t even! Oh, well… Tomorrow is a national holiday, but I am afraid that amongst its calendar neighbors, it has become a bit lackluster of late and this year, 2020, hasn’t been particularly kind to the whole giving thanks department. Gone are the days of Pilgrim’s pride, which were vastly overrated, if you ask me, in my not quite so humble opinion. We want to change all that. Humaning you holiday is our purpose driven goal. 

We here at Regenaxe, Federer & Smith would like to offer you our outstretched and sanitized hand. Sure, we hail from Madison Avenue, but we’re not going to tell you how to enjoy your Thanksgiving by dumping a whole pile of corporate jargon monoxide on top of you. We would much rather spoon feed our pabulum.

Hi, I’m Mark and I would like to be your storyteller for tonight. By storytelling, I mean story-doing. Humaning the whole hyper-telling process for you, drawing you in, making my vision yours, so that we can act out our solutioning together.

Apropos of nothing, have you ever noticed that you can create one new and really interesting word, by hyphening two rather plain and ordinary words together? Plus, the spellchecker doesn’t care that you’ve just created a new word out of thin air. I call that a win-win. Now, I’m just spit-balling here, but the game of Scrabble has these two blank tiles that until you lose a letter or two can be played as any letter that you want, but why just limit yourselves to the original twenty-six? I say let them also be hyphens. What possibilities! I hope as you scroll through this post that you find this idea as thumb-stopping as I have.

But I digress. We here at RFS want to make your holiday meal as tasty, convivial and safe as it can possibly be. Let me enumerate, first tasty. We offer a wide selection of purpose-driven lifestyle brands (Blue Apron, Chipotle, Goop, Godiva, etc.) that are prepared to lead you on a delightful customer journey to the dinner table. Just don’t eat the Goop. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is much better for you when applied externally. Think of it as an after-dinner spa treatment. There I go again, second. After you’ve first lifted that fork and taken that first bite of our truly scrumptious snackable content, wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to look around the table and see all of your friends and family smiling back at you? Let’s get Phygital! Building on current Zoom technology, we can offer you our [insert TLA² here] app. Through your phone, and with our app, you can enjoy a convivial and safe supper, with all your love-ones, virtually. Better than real life, it comes with a mute button for Uncle Fred.

This concludes my elevator pitch and just in time, because we have just arrived at your floor, the penthouse. I hope that I have been able to convey to you some of the warmth, the brand heat that we feel for you. Now enter, your party awaits you, have a nice time and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.


  1. Thumb-Stopping, Humaning, B4H, the Strange Language of Modern Marketing by Tiffany Hsu and Sapna Maheshwari
  2. Three Letter Acronym

Ascertainment

Wavering Flag, Vito Acconci, 1990

Three weeks after all of the votes were cast, we finally have a decision. While, most of us came to this conclusion almost three weeks ago, more than a few could not face reality. I feel your pain. Four years ago, it was my pain too. So, how about a decision that everyone can agree with? Well, almost everyone. I’m sure that there is still a Nostra-dumbass or two out there that have yet to come around and embrace these end-times of the current administration. Yesterday, both the Keystone state and the Great Lakes state certified Joe Biden’s victory. These twin death knells, combined with a rising chorus of dignitaries calling for the loser to just give it up and pack it in, were enough to tip the balance and cause you-know-who’s collapse. The GSA floodgates burst open and transition money began to flow. Can you say ascertainment? Like in the process of finding something out for certain. It had certainly taken long enough.

Wavering Flag, Vito Acconci, 1990

Goodness, gracious, great balls of yarn! Anne is knitting up a storm, in the form of a cap for me and a sweater for someone else. She likes to get all comfy on the couch, with one of her projects in her lap, all warm and toasty. My cap is the easier of the two and she likes to work on it while there is a distraction going on, like the Zoom meeting last Sunday. The sweater is more complicated and requires more of her attention. The sweater is a Christmas gift that has to be shipped, so she would like to give priority to that item. I of course have a different opinion. Me, me, me…  So my mission is to distract her, which I am very good at, but just enough that she can’t concentrate on the sweater and has to work on my cap. You see, goodness has nothing to do with it. I am not being very gracious, because it is all about those great big balls of yarn.

Wavering Flag, Vito Acconci, 1990