Dear Greg Garcia,

How long have we been going round and round in this grisly circle of ours? I laugh at our early awkward attempts: spiked roadways, bomb and counter bomb. Boobytraps, red herrings, poison cocktails.  Ah, Christmas memories.

I still remember the slash you left on my right shoulder from the razor dual outside that cabaret in Amsterdam.  I tell people it was a Segway accident.  I don’t know what you tell people about your seizures during fireworks displays, but I still have the powder burns to remind me of Johannesburg.

I have to say, in all our years of trying to push a period on the end of each others’ sentences, you’ve struck a blow I haven’t found it easy to counter.  I’m speaking, of course, about your award-winning comedy television series “My Name Is Earl.”

I could call “cheat” when you enlisted the charming wiles of Jason Lee to carry out your plan.  That technically breaks out rule about not bringing civilians into our death dance.  But I now understand Jason has his own blood samba with Bruce Lee’s descendants, so in his way his hands are as bloody as our own.

But what genius!  What subtle, nerve-twitching needlework!  Every time I introduce myself, to hear the words –

“Oh! ‘My name is Earl!’ Right?!”

Or –

“Where’s your karma list?”

Or –

“Are you like a redneck?”

Or –

“Where’s your big mustache?!”

Poetry, Greg Garcia, poetry.  A barb so socially pervasive, so lingering, that you’ve turned every unsuspecting stranger into a sleeper agent.  It will be twenty years or more before people forget it. 

As your mutual partner in this game of annihilation we’ve been playing throughout the centuries – I salute you.  I applaud you.  And yes, even a little bit, I admire you.

When we spat our blood on the devil’s handshake some forty generations ago, I would never have believed I would be the one conceding.  But I am.  All my attempted reprisals have fallen flat.  You spotted the assassin courtesan I sent to your PTA meeting.  You recognized me disguised amongst your Golden Globe statuettes.  And, try as I might, it’s clear now that my competing TV series about a pediatrician struggling to fix his own karma – “My Name Is Greg Garcia and I Touch Children” – will never get past the pilot stage.

So be it.  You’ve won, Greg Garcia.  For now.

In 2016, I’ll be changing my name to Edward Earl Newton.

But don’t think this is over.  This isn’t the war.  This is but a maneuver to better position myself for the final blow.  And not to spoil the surprise, but when you celebrate your twentieth wedding anniversary with your real wife who is in no way an exploding  death-bot planted in your life decades ago using advanced Cold War technology, I’ll be sending flowers.

Funeral flowers.

Best wishes in your endeavors for 2016.

Your eternal enemy in this world and beyond,

Edward Earl Newton

I actually am changing my name to Edward Earl Newton, effective Jan 1st, 2016.

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