I’ve had a lot of fun over the years with the old European legend that animals are given the ability to speak in human voices on Christmas Eve. It’s a treat after working with a cat who says only “meow” the other 364 days of the year. I hope you will notice, I did it again this year. However, when this comic strip ran in 2008, I received a very angry letter from a distraught woman who said her mother’s maiden name had been “Helen Waite,” and I had ruined her Christmas by abusing her mother’s name and memory in such a tasteless and vile manner. Now, I can’t take credit for the joke; I think Pliny the Elder perhaps could. I remember getting a birthday card from a girlfriend in high school which said, “I gave your gift to Helen Waite, so… etc.” I think the poor woman had heard the old canard so many times that she just snapped when she saw it again the funny papers. I hope she doesn’t see this.