Greetings from Yak and Erna

ccardTime was, when someone wanted to send a Christmas card it had to be signed and stamped and put in a mailbox. I think it was 1997 when my boss received a bad box of Christmas cards he was supposed to send out, but they were bad because they were not in his name.

Instead the name was Yak and Erna Debrakaleer from Topeka. He asked a couple of us if we wanted them and on instinct we both said we did. We split the box, each with designs on sending out Christmas cards to unsuspecting friends. I wrote a cool newsletter to go in each one. He decided to just send his signed, with a personal note to each person. I never figured out how to get mine sent, but my coworker did. He contacted a Mailbox Plus store in Kansas and had the cards sent from there. Over Christmas he kept hearing family members tell tale of getting cards from someone they didn’t know named Yak and Erna, two people who clearly knew something about them. My friend never let on that he was the one who sent the cards.

Here we are 15 years later and I’ve never stopped regretting the fact that I never sent my cards. Then came my moment to make good on my plan.

My brother joined a multilevel marketing company called Send Out Cards. It’s based on the idea that everyone sends out greeting cards, or should. It’s a pretty cool idea. I went ahead and signed up to have a small amount taken out of my PayPal account every month. Turned out, though, that I seldom used the account. So, thinking that I would exhaust all the funds I had in there, I created a card and sent it to about 20 friends and family. The return address said Yak and Erna Applewhite and included a made-up address in South Carolina.

This was the message on the inside of the card:

Holy cow, folks! I’m sure you can understand the tardiness of our annual Christmas greetings, what with the courts and the media attention and everything. We thought about sending you a card anyway, but Jake had hid our address book under one of the fenders of the pickup and didn’t think to tell us until about a week ago.

Life has finally settled down for us. You know us well enough to know that we’ve had a more than casual relationship with law enforcement in the past, but never all at once. I won’t go into too many details, because those have been spelled out in the newspapers. There are just three things we want to reiterate:

1.The police have become pickier about defining “kidnapping.”
2. Even if someone asks you in writing to hit them in the head, the law still considers it “assault.”
3.We honestly thought that girl was a mailbox.

Of course, you’re our friends, so we don’t have to explain that to you. We are going to miss Jake, Ellen and Spike for the next few years, but we trust they will make good friends and learn important job skills in the meantime. That alone gives us a reason to think we’ll have a good Christmas, even if we are celebrating it three months late.

We hope you had a great Christmas and look forward to hearing from you and hearing all your good news.

It takes a little longer for Send Out Cards to get out there. Several days later I saw this from one of my friends on Facebook:

OK FB peeps, help me out here.We got a “Christmas” card in the mail today, addressed to both of us from a “Yak and Erna Applewhite” from SC. I’m guessing it’s a joke or promotional thing, but I don’t get it. In summation the card alludes to legal issues, saying: “with the courts and the media attention and everything…” the card wasn’t sent on time. It then says: “You know us well enough to know that we’ve had a more than casual relationship with law enforcement in the past, but never all at once. I won’t go into too many details, because those have been spelled out in the newspapers. There are just three things we want to reiterate: 1. The police have become pickier about defining ‘kidnapping’; 2. Even if someone asks you in writing to hit them in the head, the law still considers it ‘assault’; 3. We honestly thought that girl was a mailbox.” Huh?! Seriously, can anyone shed some light on this?

I was pretty excited, especially because another friend posted that they got one, too. Then it got a little troubling when one of the first responses was “Not funny. A little disturbing. A lot Creepy.” Another friend of my friend suggested calling the police. I wasn’t worried that I would get in trouble. I’d explain it was a prank and figure everyone would be cool with it. But since I was operating under an account held by my brother, I was worried he’d lose whatever privilege he wanted. My friend knew it was a joke and wasn’t going to call cops, but I knew I’d never be able to hide it at work anyway, so I let on.

So if you got one of the cards, now you know its source. Please don’t contact the authorities.

2 thoughts on “Greetings from Yak and Erna

  1. Very late comment here, but I’m the coworker you mention, who received the original box of cards.

    Those cards had a long and illustrious career, as I sent them out, yes, from Topeka, every year for several years. Always with a personal note, and some bizarre references sure to leave the innocent recipients scratching their heads.

    Overall, the effort bore considerable fruit in the form of lots of laughter, guessing, and head scratching to determine who the prankster may be. Of course, I got to be involved in the guessing because I was close to all the recipients.

    One year, Erna and Yaak sent out small gifts with their cards, reflecting their “unique” style. It was a hoot.

    Anyway, it was a fun blast from the past to happen across this post. (Actually, a recipient of the cards, who now knows it was me, sent me the link to this post. Evidently, they decided to google the Debrakaleers, and found your post!)

    Thanks for the laugh. Good times!

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