A Wikipedia Christmas

Dec 8, 2010 at 6:00 am

Dear Santa: As usual, I’ve had a tough time deciding what to ask for this year. I started to ask for an end to human suffering, but that seemed like more than you and the elves could pull off on short notice, especially during a recession.

So I lowered my sights to something more modest, like ending factory farming or mountaintop-removal mining. But I know you like to keep the focus on me, so I decided to keep things simple and hit you up for something you could get online, like a Kindle or a Tesla Roadster.

But then it hit me: It would be awesome to have my own Wikipedia entry! I know it’s really vain, but it would be seriously cool to read my life story on Wikipedia, where everything is known to be factual and professionally sourced and editable if it’s not flattering. Now, I know you’ve got a lot of iPads to build, so I took the liberty of jotting down some basic info:

Jim Welp (a portmanteau of “Jim” and “Welp”) is an American secret agent, tofu sculptor and semi-professional raconteur best known for his kind eyes and ability to grow hair fast. After an early stint shot-gunning Pabst Blue Ribbon, he launched a professional career that led to a personal fortune estimated at several thousand dollars. Today he is a co-owner of the Denver Nuggets (not the NBA team but rather some nuggets of indeterminate origin once owned by “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver) as well as several popular clubs, including a jack and an ace.

Early life: Welp was born to Günter and Ciara Welp, both renowned for their accomplishments in the arts. Günter is a skilled dinner-theater actor and the personal gemologist to a distant cousin of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Ciara is a popular limerick contributor to the Paris (Kentucky) Review who has also written numerous movie scores, most notably the stirring kazoo movement in the smash independent detective musical, “Where’s a Dick When You Need One?”

Welp’s teen years are a bit of a mystery (partly because of his highly fictionalized characterization in the Japanese anime classic “Melancholy Catechism”), but most historians agree the era was marked by awkward dancing, long showers and the occasional ill-advised perm. An early obsession with flannel led to a lifelong bond with lumberjacks.

Literary career and substance abuse: After taking a year off to hike Peru (Illinois), Welp enrolled at Diogenes College, where he changed his name to Yim Yelp and double majored in lawn tennis and the puns of Bennett Cerf. His fascination with Cerf set him on a day-long odyssey of exploration that led to an unfortunate addiction to allergy inhalers and donuts fried in Crisco. Exhausted and penniless, Yelp checked himself into the Henry Ford Clinic, where he learned to reject anti-negativism and penned the instant classic “Cerf and Turf,” which unfortunately sold zero copies worldwide (and even fewer at home).

Family life: After his recovery, he met and fell in love with his soul mate, Chervil, a healing priestess and recovering pastry chef, who patiently listened to Yelp’s unconventional ideas in the hope that a good one would eventually emerge. After a whirlwind romance, the two were married in a Christmas-Day barefoot ceremony atop a cliff in Athens, which everybody found chilling because it gets cold in Georgia in December. Incessantly hounded by paparazzi, Yim and Chervil went into hiding, where they experimented with shade-grown figwort lattes and passionately studied the arcane but beautiful language of the DOS operating system. When the paparazzi turned out to have been imaginary, Yelp reclaimed his given name and emerged from hiding. He and Chervil took to a thrilling life of riding the rails, which upon closer inspection turned out to be a 1989 Dodge Caravan, which upon washing turned out to have been a hand-me-down davenport all along. Their loving union produced two strikingly handsome and witty children, Golden Boy and Princess.

Today, Welp divides his time among counter-terrorism sonnets, scorched-earth multiple-choice questions and post-journalism journalism, much of which is collected in his 2010 book, “Summary of My Discontent,” which makes a lovely holiday gift and is available at Carmichael’s Bookstore and Amazon.com.

Awards: Welp won the 2007 Arial/Idaho Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the field of sans-serif potato mashing.

I hope that makes it easy for you, Santa. You’re the greatest. Merry Christmas! Love, Jim