This time of year always brings back memories of my grandfather. He was a powerful, wealthy and slightly insensitive man who owned a number of wildly successful sweatshops on the lower east side of Manhattan. I was only 5 years old when one day he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me away from my sewing machine to impart the following words of wisdom.
"Remember and cherish your heritage, you little idiot," he said. "The Jews are a great people, and we can accomplish anything, as long as it doesn't involve guns or ice fishing!"
I made a mental note that I should never move to Minnesota and asked him how much longer I would have to work for him.
"Until you pay off your debt to me," he said. "But stop complaining. I pay you a buck an hour and that's twice as much as anyone else here gets!"
At that time I owed him $76,000.00 but since I was working 18 hours a day I knew it was only a matter of time before I paid him off. However, as luck would have it, my grandfather met with a rather unexpected death when an electric toaster accidentally fell into the tub while he was taking a bath. This afforded me my freedom, so I began attending public school in New Jersey, which I found to be far more horrifying than working for my grandfather.
Anyway, I've tried to provide a more tender method of parenting, and as a result my kids have never had anger management issues, other than the time I couldn't get them good seats for a Britney Spears concert.
It's hard to believe that my daughter is in her twenties! She's is so worried about pollution that she has chosen not to get her driver's license and belongs to an activist group called: Hummer Owners for a Safer Environment.
My ex-wife and I have invested in a new summer camp that is truly one of a kind. It's a camp for aspiring sports agents, which our nephew Oliver attended and enjoyed immensely. Enrollment for this coming summer has doubled, although many returning campers have bounced their checks, so we are now only accepting payment via credit cards and certified checks.
I look forward to a prosperous 2013, and while I haven't been following politics lately, I believe that both parties are capable of bringing us back to times we've only read about -- like the ice age.