McGee Christmas letter, 2006

Dear friends,

This year has seen many changes in my life. Firstly, my boss was blown up at work (not for the first time) and headed off to Mexico for a while. Then my book finally hit the stands and became a national best seller. Tommy and Lisa at work still can't seem to accept the disclaimer and think I wrote about them.

I used the extra revenue from the book sales to stock up on essentials: I replaced my phone with a Nokia N90 and the dual head display at home with a plasma screen. I updated my chairs, bought a new watch and got my typewriter fixed (it was thrown at a psychotic home intruder by a Goth last year, but that's another story). For some unknown reason, every time I buy a piece of electrical equipment, the brand names are wiped off. No, I still haven't got a couch.

I also bought a Porsche Boxter. Fortunately, it hasn't gone the way of the Camaro but if one of my female co-workers ever gets a hold of it, I'm sure it will.

I went on a bit of a health kick this year taking on a personal trainer and doing a bit of Tai Chi in the park once a month. Lost a bit of weight in the process but that might be due to the fact that I gave up burritos for breakfast. I still don't have the kind of body you'd expected to see from, say, an autopsy assistant. I did my first head-slap at work. Granted, it was only on me, but it's a start.

I finally gave up the ties. Thanks for all your unsolicited comments over the years, by the way. The stripes have been well and truly retired, and even the blue, red and white diamond one I wore every day at Norfolk has gone. I now possess some T-shirts that don't say MIT or West Pac. There's a blue one that seems to get lots of comments.

Oh and I grew out the buzz cut. Too many people kept telling me it made me look too old, too fat or too intimidating. Now every time my hair gets ruffled, young women keep saying 'squee'. Go figure.

Work has been keeping us all on our toes. It started well with a chick fight almost every week (one of which I taped on the Nokia). For a short while there, we had a Probie below me. Then she got transferred to legal and I regained the nickname. We still see quite a lot of her; especially in autopsy.

Since then I've helped harbour a Mossad agent from the FBI, used my knowledge from the Antiques Road Show to convict someone, slept with Abby in the lab, dug through piles of vomit (that BS in biological engineering is really coming in handy), and watched the sun rise over an open grave with another guy (another chance to use the Nokia). Unfortunately I missed out on Halloween (and dressing as a snow elf), due to a case but on the upside, I got to brush up my Klingon.

I had some more trouble with poison ivy this year. Not only do I seem to break out in a horrendous rash just by looking at the stuff, but it also seems to act as a diuretic, resulting in a rash in the most uncomfortable place imaginable. Fortunately, both my boss and Abby the lab technician found a simple concoction to ease the itch. Why they didn't tell me about it last time is anyone's guess.

At one point my sister Sarah was accused of murder but the death turned out to be collateral damage from one of her more vitriolic blogs. I still haven't worked out what the goldfish were doing in the park near the body….

Not so lucky on the relationship front this year. Apparently neither funerals nor Armani shops are good places to find soul mates. Doing better than my boss, however: his latest love interest looked like the Borg Queen. I also learnt that not all women carry handbags and those that don't can hurt you: A lot.

I think I passed my sexual harassment course but ever since then the two women I work with have been throwing themselves at me. Even one of the males accused me of getting him pregnant. One of these women was nearly asphyxiated in a prototype AI car whose makers inexplicitly decided to locate the kill switch out of reach of the only passenger seat in the car. At least they weren't as dumb as the actual victim who chose not to use her laptop to either hit the kill switch or smash a window. By the way, does ANYONE out there still write in assembler? Fortunately, the bad guy admitted guilt in the complete absence of any actual evidence. Makes our job so much easier when that happens.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Tim.