The real problem is that nobody appreciates genius when they read it!
Okay I lied, but I still said that to comfort myself when most people believed that the anonymous letter I sent them was from my 9-year-old sister-in-law, Bethany. Granted, the letter was completely random, but still, even though I purposely misspelled egregious, how many 9-year-olds can use that word properly in a sentence?
It all started when I was writing to an old friend. She and I were inseparable during my teen years, but we lost touch when college, jobs, and marriage put hours worth of miles between us. I hadn’t written her in a while, but it felt silly to write another, “Dear Christie, How are you? I am doing well. Timothy is too. We just blahdy blahdy blahdy blah…” I mean, nowadays a letter is a letter. Since the advent of email, letters have died off a bit, so I know I’m not the only one who squees with glee when they get handwritten mail. But after all the hours spent on the phone, the shared heartaches, the stuffed carrot I made her that she named Sargon, and that weird movie we made with completely random disconnected scenes (one of which I wore a paper bag over my head and tried to eat goldfish crackers like cereal), two friends with history like that, should not be writing crusty ol’ letters to each other.
So I opened with the following line: HELLO SPARTACUS! THIS is your wakeup call!!!
I leaned back, a little daunted. A letter with an opening like that could not, nay should not have bland content, and my recent life had been rather bland. So I decided not to write about my life at all. I decided to concoct utter baloney. I sniggered the whole way through then ran to my husband to read it to him. He thought it was pure genius. High on his approval, I typed, printed, and sent out multiple copies of this letter to close friends and family. I even hand drew a little logo for my new company.
This is the letter:
The only letter I signed with my real name was Christie’s, because it mattered to me that she knew it was me who sent it. Perhaps it would have been funnier to toy with her, since my new address is a mystery to her, but goshfriggindanggit I miss her, and really this whole shenanigan was her fault anyway. I’m sure that some of the others knew it was me, but the only one that told me so was Steve, who recognized my handwriting on the envelope from back when I used to write him soppy love letters (just kidding! I never did that. (Just kidding, I did…)). Everyone else recognized the address, but since the letter was typewritten, were apparently baffled. My mother-in-law started to get comments to the effect of: “Umm…yeah, and I also got Bethany’s writing assignment in the mail…” To which she bewilderedly responded, “What writing assignment?”
Really? A 9-year-old? Come on people! I was hurt, wounded, offended, and just plain…well honestly I tucked my tail between my legs and crawled under my covers. I thought it was funny. Tim thought it was funny. Jon and Steve thought it was funny. And I had already written a newsletter I intended to send out to the same gaggle of people. I pushed it away like putrid slime and said I would never touch it again.
Then I realized I had to.
I mean, I had already begun, and if I didn’t send the next one people would just assume I was utterly duck-up-a-tree potty. So, I sent it.
Now be honest with me, perhaps it’s not as hilarious as SNL, but if you got this in the mail betwixt bills and adverts, wouldn’t it at LEAST make you smile?
© Rachel Svendsen 2015
Newsletter used with permission from the Editor & Chief of “GOLDFISH WEEKLY” © GOLDFISH WEEKLY 2015 all rights reserved