Pope John Paul II
Vatican City, Rome
Visiting the great expanse of wealth and beauty which is the Vatican
City last Summer, I was struck by the amount of thought and expense
which went into the construction of everything I saw, from the largest
stone edifice to the smallest jewel-encrusted icon. Everything in your
ancient city was rich and luscious, evidence of the extent to which
the artistic creativity of the Western world has been influenced by
the powerful Catholic Church through the centuries.
There was, in fact, one particular element of your fantastic walled
city which especially impressed me. This was the large radio antenna,
rising twenty feet from its base upward toward the heavens. The elegance
of its intricate three-dimensional lattice structure was perfectly offset
by the sharp, thorny metal spikes protruding from it at regular intervals.
Like the other parts of your urban treasure-trove, it truly seems very
But as much as your antenna is beautiful in and of itself, don't you
think that it could become so much more meaningful when applied to a
Christian theme in some concrete way? Specifically, I think that were
you papal people to erect a huge statue of a crucifix somewhere in your
mighty village, and then affix the antenna around the enormous Jesus's
forehead as the crown of thorns, it would be very fitting indeed.
This suggestion has many benefits. Firstly, a crucifix proportionately
large to accommodate such a thorny metallic headpiece would need to
be 191 feet tall. Not only would such a statue provide your holy hamlet
with the world's largest Christian icon (and more is better, right?)
but would broadcast Jesus's image through the visible spectrum while
receiving interpretations of His word through the radio spectrum. What
could be more apt in our media age?
Secondly, your reception would surely be improved by raising the antenna
so high into the heavens. For although the Pope himself may always get
perfect reception, human machines are of course more fallible and must
therefore be aided, lifted aloft, as it were, by the image of the Christian
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it would look divine. People
would come to your city, and rather than wonder at the inherent technology
and commercial expense of running such a large radio reception station,
they would be swept into a state of religious ecstasy by the holy statue.
Those who recognized the utilitarian functions of the crucifix as I
described above would still marvel at the beauty of its conception and
execution, remaining totally blind to its cost.
And when it comes down to it, isn't that what all the art and beauty
of your city is all about? To relieve the poor, hard-working Catholic
from thoughts of money and commerce, to raise him up to a state of fantastic
ecstasy through the beauty of the papal treasures without regard for
their material value, while at the same time proving that the money
he gives you is put toward a good cause? Aren't your city and museum
and grounds simply meant to make believers forget all about the gold
and emeralds and rubies and see nothing but a heartfelt love for Jesus
through the ages? Well, then, I think that a 191-foot Jesus antenna
would be just perfect. Whatever the cost.
Amen and Hallelujah,
No answer from His Holiness on this one, but Popes are
busy guys. I bear him no malice.
Pope John Paul II
The Vatican, Rome.
Throughout history, certain unique privileges have been accorded to
the papacy, many of which are rightly rarely invoked. You hold the authority
to make vast changes involving fundamental elements of everyday life,
potentially provoking generations of confusion and chaos. Such power
should be administered very carefully, and not without prudent deliberation.
But when, after the most careful consideration, it seems indeed necessary
to invoke some latent papal power for the good of posterity and for
humanity in general, regardless of the immediate and temporary obstacles
that might arise, it is up to you to seize that opportunity, to grab
ahold of the reins of papal privilege, and to better the plight of all
I believe that now is one of those times.
You, your holiness, have unique jurisdiction over our calendrical
system. You can change it, and I think you should.
My proposal is that March be made the first month of the year, and
February the last.
I hold this position for a number of reasons. Most holistically, Springtime
begins in March, which marks the beginning of the natural cycle of Life
through Summer and Autumn and into the deathly cold of Wintertime. Having
January as the first month of the year syncopates our natural rhythms
with this natural cycle in a most unnatural way. Our calendar opens
on the season of death, while we should more appropriately celebrate
New Year's Day as the return of blossoming, burgeoning life to the wilderness.
I suspect that the ancient Romans knew this truth. With March as the
first month of their year, the prefixes of the months September, October,
November and December enjoyed their significance in the names of the
seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months, respectively. My proposal makes
sense numerically, linguistically, historically, and spiritually.
Additionally, it seems to me that February is the ideal month with
which to conclude the calendar year. Under the system I propose, the
intercalary 29th day of February would serve as New Year's Eve every
fourth year, providing extra momentum to the specialness of the new
year. Isn't that a cool idea?
Calendrical maintenance has always been the duty of the Pope, and
I feel that it is your duty now. I think that such a bold step suggested
by me and enacted by you would be appreciated long after we're both
gone. The Julian calendar was supplanted by the Gregorian because it
was time to change. It is now time to change anew. It is time for the
Paulian calendar to take its place in (and as) history.
Good luck, and G-d be with you.
Again no answer from Rome... I'm beginning to lose faith.
Federal Highway Administration
211 Main Street
San Francisco, California 94105
Perhaps you can help me. The other evening I found myself in a small
argument with my friend Max. He said that there are areas in Nevada
in which there are no speed limits on the roads. He told me that this
is due to the fact that these "fast roads" are all straight roadways
in the middle of the desert, and that a speed limit is neither necessary
nor enforceable. I disagreed. I thought that when the federal government
allowed the speed limits to go above 55 mph, they capped it at 65 mph,
and that any faster limit on auto velocity is therefore illegal. My
friend Ed held a third, more compromising view. He claimed that there
is indeed a federal cap, that the states are allowed the discretion
of setting whatever speed limits they wish, but that if any state allows
their speed limits to exceed 65 mph, they would lose a great deal of
the federal funding on which they depend. Could you please tell me who
was right? Thank you very much.
February 26, 1991
Mr. Guy Petzall
5758 South Kenwood, Bsmt.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Dear Mr. Petzall:
Your February 5, 1991 letter requested clarification of when the maximum
speed limit of 65 mph applies and when the maximum speed is limited
to 55 mph. Both you and your friend Ed are partially correct. The maximum
speed limit on all highways except for Interstate and similar divided
four-lane highways in rural areas (outside of urbanized areas of fifty
thousand population or more) is 55 mph. The States may raise the maximum
speed limit up to 65 mph on rural Interstate and other rural four-lane
highways constructed to Interstate standards. The States can also post
lower maximum speed limits where conditions warrant.
If your friend Max believes there are stretches of roadway in Nevada
without any speed limit he had better check closely. I expect the Nevada
Highway Patrol would be able to show him the signs - after handing him
a ticket. Thank you for your inquiry.
John A. Bates, Acting Director
Office of Program Development
Take that, Max! (high-5 w/Ed)
Federal Highway Administration
Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12207-0000
Driving from Long Island to Chicago a week or so ago, my friend Laurie
and I were astounded at the number of rivets that went into the construction
of the Verrazano Bridge. It seemed that as we continued across the bridge
from Brooklyn into Staten Island, the number of rivets we passed mounted
by the thousands and thousands. So I am writing to ask you if you know,
which you almost undoubtedly do: exactly how many rivets are there in
that bridge? I have no idea what sort of scale to expect from your answer,
whether the figure is in the hundreds of thousands, or in the millions,
or even tens of millions. I just don't know, and would love to find
Looking forward to your reply....
May 8, 1991
Mr. Guy Petzall
5758 South Kenwood, (basement)
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Dear Mr. Petzell:
In response to your inquiry of April 5, 1991, we don't actually know
the total number of rivets incorporated into the bridge. As the bridge
was built as a toll facility, no Federal funding was used and consequenfly
we had no involvement in its construction.
We have, however, found some data on the bridge in which you may be
1. Each of the two towers contain 1,000,000 bolts and 3,000,000 rivets.
2. The diameter of each of the four cables is 36". Each cable is composed
of 26,108 parallel wires. The total length of wire in the cables is
143,000 miles (could reach more than half way to the moon).
3. Due to the height of the towers (690') and their distance apart
(4260'), the curvature of the earth's surface had to be taken into account
when designing the bridge.
4. Due to thermal expansion/contraction of steel, the bridge roadway
is 12' lower in summer than its winter elevation.
If you still wish to pursue your original question, you may want to
contact the owner of the bridge, the Triborough Bridge and Thnnel Authority
located in New York City.
We hope the above information has been of service to you.
Harold J. Brown
I did try writing to the TBTA. My letter was returned
"sendee not known". Must be one of those drive-by-night organizations.
Office of Public Affairs
Department of the Air Force
Washington, DC 20330-1000
Very recently I heard about something very disturbing, which I thought
could be best cleared up by going straight to the source, which is you.
It is obvious that among the many considerations involved in aircraft
maintenance and design is the ability of a plane to stand up to collisions
with minor objects, such as rain, hail, and of course, birds. But to
what extent are these object-deflective capabilities tested?
I recently read that, with an eye toward bird-proofing its planes,
the United States Air Force maintains and employs a chicken cannon,
that is, a device which fires live chickens out of a chute at velocities
comparable to the varying air-speeds of which the different planes are
capable. In so doing, they can accurately ascertain how sturdy their
aircraft are against such airborne obstacles.
Now, apart from any moral objections to using live animals for such
purposes, I wonder about the pure economic sense of this practice. It
seems to me that although in the eyes of the military life is cheap,
chickens are not. A reusable, artificial chicken might be a much better
investment. Rubber chickens are easily obtained at any corner gag store.
Further, it is a fact that chickens themselves are incapable of flight
and are not aerodynamically evolved for flying purposes. Hence, they
are not even a good test, since the birds likely to collide with planes
in actual flight are bound to be much smaller and pointier, as well
as smoother travelers at speeds approaching that of sound. The use of
chickens in this instance just doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Please clear this up for me.
They're much better fried in batter than flied to splatter.....
President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500
I know that you have much on your mind lately with the events in the
Persian Gulf, but I must ask for just a moment of your time to point
out a mistake you made in a recent speech. I was listening to CNN radio
yesterday morning when I heard you say that, "one cannot be president
of our country without faith in God." You also claimed that "this is
a nation founded under God."
I am an American, and I like being American, because I really enjoy
the fundamental notions which underlie our government and Constitution.
But I have never thought of our founding fathers as particularly religious
people. In fact, the fusion of religion and government was exactly what
they came here to escape. I assume that when you used the word "God,"
you were referring to a Christian conception of God, but in fact this
could not be farther from the beliefs of our nation's founders. For
example, Thomas Jefferson once wrote that, "I do not find in orthodox
Christianity one redeeming feature." This from one of the most intellectual
and celebrated presidents America has ever had. Abraham Lincoln felt
the same way. He wrote, "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is
not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements
of Christian dogma." Even George Washington, the father of our country,
did not subscribe to the view with which you seemingly credit him. He
once even stated that "the United States is in no sense founded upon
the Christian Doctrine." And I have read statements by John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, James Madison, and others to much the same effect.
Granted, you did not specify the nature of the god to which you referred.
You did not distinctly assert his Christian character, but you are a
Christian, President Bush, and so I assume that it is a Christian god
you invoke. However, many of our founding fathers held no belief in
any sort of god at all. Jefferson once said that "it does me no injury
for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks
my pocket nor breaks my leg." And Thomas Paine, author of The Rights
of Man, the first man to name "The United States of America," and
the first man to propose American independence wrote, "I do not believe
in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by
the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor
by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church."
I do not wish in any way to restrict your religious beliefs, indeed
your Christianity "neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." What
I do object to is the association you draw between your religious beliefs
and the ideas by which our great nation was founded. Our founding fathers
were no more religious than they were the stiff, oil-painted characters
we picture them as, which makes sense, for without such a high degree
of religious tolerance our country could not have the level of religious
freedom that we all enjoy today.
I know that you are under much pressure lately due to the responsibilities
of war, so I will leave you now, only with the suggestion that your
religious beliefs, no matter how valid, are your own, and do not, have
never, and I hope never will belong to the country as a whole. Our freedoms
are too wide and valuable to allow such a specific view to become part
of the institution.
I ask him to separate church from state...
February 6, 1991
Dear Mr. Petzall:
On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your message about the
conflict in the Persian Gulf. While the huge volume of mail about this
grave issue makes it impossible to respond to your specific comments
and suggestions, I want you to know that the President regularly reviews
a sampling of this mail and that he appreciates your sharing your views
As you know, diplomatic efforts by the United States, the Arab League,
the United Nations, the European Community, and others to achieve a
peaceful resolution of this crisis were rejected by Saddam Hussein.
The choice of peace or war was his to make. The actions now being taken
unmistakably demonstrate the resolve of the international coalition
that Iraq comply with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Throughout our history, the United States has been committed to defending
fundamental principles of freedom and human rights. Saddam Hussein's
launching of indiscriminate attacks that have terrorized and killed
innocent citizens has, as President Bush said, "sickened the world."
Saddam's blatant disregard for international conventions regarding the
treatment of noncombatants and prisoners of war only strengthens our
While there is every reason to be proud of the successes won thus
far by the courageous troops involved in Operation Desert Storm, the
Administration is well aware that there will be setbacks and obstacles
along the way. However, President Bush has made it clear: "We will stay
the course, and we will succeed."
The President knows that these are difficult days for the American
people, and he has asked that we pray for the brave members of our Armed
Forces and for all those who are defending this universal cause of justice.
...and he asks me to pray!?
Shirley M. Green
Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Messages and Correspondence
Shirley M. Green
Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Messages and Correspondence
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Ms. Green,
Your job is necessary because the President receives thousands and
thousands of letters every day. As he presumably has more pressing matters
to occupy his time, he has engaged you to help him answer all of his
mail. This you should already know.
Your job is important because the Bush administration's success is
highly dependent upon the support of the American people. When John
Citizen writes to the President, he is opening a dialogue with the government,
and it is simply good practise for you to take that opportunity to answer
Mr. Citizen's letter, convincing him that he has a voice, making him
a happy taxpayer and voter, and also spreading the word of the administration
via the printed to an audience which has asked to read it. You should
already know this as well.
I am personally dissatisfied with the job that you are doing. Did
you know that?
On the 19th of January 1991 I sent a letter to President Bush explaining
my views on the war in the Persian Gulf. I'm not sure if you know that,
because I never received a reply.
Then on the 1st of February of that same year I sent another message
to Mr. Bush. This one protested his policies regarding the mingling
of religion and politics. This you most certainly know, because I have
your signature on the response. But do you know what that response was?
Let me remind you. In reply to my request for more careful separation
of church and state, you asked me, on behalf of President Bush, to please
pray for out troops in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. That's about as inappropriate
and insensitive an answer as any I can imagine. Do you even read the
letters you respond to? Do you read the letters you send out?
And most recently, on March 27th of this year, I sent a third letter
to the President, a letter outlining his duties regarding our planet's
dwindling resources. Did you know that? Not that I can tell -- I have
received nothing from either his office or yours.
You should know that, especially in an election year, keeping in touch
with a constituency is a good way to win its support. But what you have
done as a representative of the entire Bush administration, is to present
a disorganized operation which doesn't take the requests and thoughts
of its employers, the people of the United States, seriously enough
even to answer their letters properly even when there exists an entire
staff designed to do this and this alone.
It is your job to answer letters. That is what we pay you for. And
yet you have failed to do this adequately three times in a row. I hope
you do a better job answering this one, and please know that in a large
way, my opinion of the Bush administration depends upon it.
I just wanted you to know.
I never got a response to a presidential letter again.
Michael B. Gregg, editor
Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402
I am fascinated by disease and death, by the variety and frequency
of all the various ways to die. Therefore, no sooner had I learned of
the existence of your report than my mind filled with questions about
it. I decided to take this opportunity to write you and ask:
1. How can I obtain your report? Is it free? Can I subscribe
to it, that is, receive it on a regular basis?
Many fear death and disease. Others intentionally court it. Regardless,
it is up to you to be on hand, carefully recording the pertinent data.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, because no matter whom it tolls for,
it also tolls for thee. thank you for reading this letter, and also for
2. Although your report is a weekly one, I am also interested in
learning about the broader national death and disease statistics,
perhaps over the last decade or century. Do you compile such charts?
If not, could you please direct me to the service which does compute
3. How do you deal with disappearances? How long must a person be
missing before they are considered dead by your bureau, and how is
their death treated in terms of time? That is, if someone disappears
in 1985 and is considered dead in 1990, is their death retroactively
added to the 1985 statistics?
4. How detailed are your classifications regarding the circumstances
surrounding each death or disease? Do you categorize gangland murders
in a separate group from domestic homicide?
5. How do you treat torture? Does it fall under the heading of morbidity?
6. You research death. It is your job to be aware of the death of
every person in the United States, and to gather the pertinent information
into a national statistic. What is that like? Did you find it difficult
at first, on a personal level, to cope with what must at times be
a very disturbing job? Have you learned to distance yourself from
the grisly reality of the data you collect, or does the vast quantity
in which you deal with death only serve to emphasize its natural necessity?
I am very interested in your views on this, if you with to share them
7. Are you interested in the deaths and sicknesses of foreigners
in the United States? Of U. S. citizens in other countries?
8. "I am editor of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report." How
do people generally react when you tell them this?
what a warm response! I suppose when you deal with death
all day... (ps- I subscribed for one year).
Clayton High School
#2, Mark Twain Circle
Clayton, Missouri 63105
Very esteemed and appreciated professors:
I don't know how many of you remain in the department since my tenure
at Clayton, or if, in particular, any of that quadrumvirate from whose
instruction I so benefited -- Cantrell, Workman, Puhr, Cowan -- still hold
place among your ranks, yet I feel confident in writing to you as a
department, knowing that, like Aristotle's picket fence, which though
suffering its several parts to be serially replaced until nothing of
the original remained, still retained its identity and spirit, the noble
mission which unites you and gives impetus to your goal of enlightenment
through education, endures intact, and it is to this undying quiddity
that I herenow address myself.
It may seem strange, indeed perhaps perverse, that while travelling
at length through the many friendly villages of south-western India
that my thoughts should be so far removed from the vivid tessellations
of marketplaces and natural topography which so grace this part of our
world, and from the caliginous haze of dust and automotive eructations
which are the concomitant woes of third-world peregrination, that I
feel driven to contact you regarding so mean a matter as curricular
suggestion, but I hope you will bear with me in assurance that all will
become clear in the course of my following words.
Because although travelling can be an exciting practice, we must all,
at one time or another, seek refuge from the brisk intensity of animated
public places, we must retire to a more languid environment, that we
might recharge the soul, so to speak, from the batteries of solitude
and peace, in order to once again plunge into the external with all
the energy merited by such an endeavor. Hence it has become my habit,
in the several years of my yet continuing itinerancy, to hold siesta
whenever possible, and, during a portion of that period, to read. Moreover,
as I find myself not infrequently in the company of my companion Sarah,
we have adopted a pattern of sharing our literary pleasures by reading
aloud, one to the other in turn, a great variety of books upon which
we have had the communal fortune to stumble as we have navigated through
the avenues and nations of this most culturally diverse of solar planets.
In the course of these recitations, as well as frequently during the
pursuance of my other variegated enthusiasms, I have enjoyed numerous
instances wherein I have had cause to call upon the information and
erudition acquired during my pupilage at your hallowed institution,
leading my admiration of your invaluable pedagogy to increase in kind
with my ever-expanding recognition of its unflagging utility, for, in
following with the manifestly well-distributed, and therefore well-published,
nature of the English works to which I have access in such a wide collection
of lesser-developed countries which it has been my fortune to visit,
I have come across no trifling number of what are commonly referred
to as "classics," including many of those to whose titles and authors
I was originally exposed under your adept tutelage. Indeed, I recently
had the opportunity and occasion to introduce Sarah to the character
of Bartleby, which scrivener's preferences and history I have held among
my favorite opuscular narratives ever since I first encountered it in
the near vicinity of that circle so creditably named after that great
author from Florida, Missouri, whose work was usefully presented to
me in the same classroom and circumstance as that of the aforementioned
Melville, upon recent completion of whose short narrative, and influenced
as much by the previously alluded-to propensities of the local book-merchants
in regards to their stock as by her obstinate Scottish approbation for
the fruits of her native island, Sarah promptly and sanguinely (and
with all proper accents at the ready) embarked upon a recitation of
that deliciously lengthy masterpiece, Martin Chuzzlewit.
This noble and ambitious undertaking by no means brought with it my
primary introduction to the work of Charles Dickens, for not only was
I privileged enough to have had her read to me the entirety of David
Copperfield during a journey through Burkina Faso toward the end of
1997, but I was also led to apply myself to a thorough examination of
A Tale of Two Cities under the academic supervision of Miss Cantrell
who, no doubt, acted in so leading beneath the guiding eye of your departmental
Which brings us to the meat of the matter, in that after and as a result
of my initial experience with Dickens in that long-ago classroom, not
only did I live under the apprehension that I knew something of his
style and opus, but would have all-too-gladly never again ventured into
that lofty territory of my own volition. It simply did not meet with
my liking, containing as it seemed to at that time and under that capable
tuition, little of the humor and lightness of those other of his novels
with which I am now happily acquainted. That revolutionary history offered
me none of the fantastical and appreciable characters such as MacCawber
or Pecksniff, who make of those alternative volumes such delights; nor
any of the frolicsome language and usages which so color my now enlightened
notion of the author's style. In contrast to the new intelligence regarding
Dickens' work which I have since acquired, A Tale of Two Cities felt
heavy, laborious and uninviting — in short, unDickensian — and, though perhaps
endowed with other merits, seems a less than ideal selection by which
to introduce such a prodigious author to the new generations. I heartily
submit that, while cognisance and study of other of Dickens' works might
well lead the more motivated among your pupils to take up A Tale of
Two Cities in the liberty of their extracurricular time, the converse
offers less likelihood of that inspired hope. To present that novel,
therefore, presents a disservice to the students, by depriving them
of the truest possible apprehension of the glory of Dickensian prose;
and also to Dickens himself, by misrepresenting the broader character
of his opera in toto.
Gentle educators, I truly hope that you receive this council within
its intended spirit of societal improvement and that I have not, in
tendering this wholly disinterested advice, overstepped the frontiers
of propriety and humility by speaking to a theme which finds me admittedly
less experienced and qualified than yourselves. I assure you that this
suggestion draws its motivation wholly and fervently from the well of
enthusiastic admiration I harbor for all of your righteous profession,
but especially for you who have played such a starring, indeed stellar,
role in my intellectual formation and in the enrichment of my life.
With all apt appreciation and respect for the beneficence of your office,
human, being, citizen.
Incidentally, I managed to fit this entire letter onto a single postcard.
The response was a postcard as well (it was a painting of Ophelia
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20546
As I watched the Space Shuttle Columbia blast off into space again
today, I thought about how it must feel to be rocketed from the Earth's
surface into a gravitiless orbit in a matter of minutes, to suddenly
be out in the quiet blackness of space, looking out of a small round
window at the planet gleaming below. I think that this has to be a truly
mind-boggling, stunning, inspiring sensation, and it is one I want to
By now, NASA has gotten very good at the Space Shuttle. There were
some setbacks, but now you're back on your feet and in light of the
seeming ease with which you send shuttles into space, I do not feel
awkward in asking you my question:
Can I have a ride on a Space Shuttle?
I'm sure that you can very easily accommodate an extra passenger on
an upcoming flight, I promise I will be very clean and quiet and I won't
poke my nose into anything top-secret. I can even bring my own sleeping
bag and food. I'll always keep out of the way, spending most of my time
just staring out the window. You won't even know I'm there. Word of
honor. I just want to go into space.
Hopefully expecting a positive response....
I did get a positive response... well, sort of... they
sent me the packet they send kids on "what it takes to be an astronaut".
I wouldn't have qualified anyway.
Mr. & Mrs Santa Claus
North Pole 30351
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Claus,
My entire life I have heard conflicting reports as to your existence.
Now that I have your official U.S. Postal address, I can write and ask
you directly. If you don't answer me in any way at all, I will assume
that you simply don't exist. And please, don't try to trick me is you
really are a real person by intentionally not responding. You don't
have to do it personally; a simple postcard from an elf or a reindeer
will do. Thank you.
PS- I you do exist I hope this letter doesn't insult you, but you must
understand that I've been told by some pretty reliable people that you
PPS- I want a new Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary for Christmas.
no answer from St. Nick, save for a dictionary from a
woman claiming to be my "grandmother".
Paul S Degregorio
Ann M Bardgett
Board of Election Commissioners
41 S Central Avenue
Clayton, Missouri 63105
The Constitution of the United States clearly states that Church and
State should have nothing to do with one another. However, a very large
percentage of American voters will be required to enter churches in
order to vote this November third. I find this unacceptable.
The location in which voting takes place is crucial. The physical
characteristics and cultural associations of an official voting place
can too easily influence a voter's decision, and we must therefore take
care to provide a balanced and nonpartisan environment for each voter
so as not to bias the intelligent decisions of American citizens. Churches
are well-known for their own private political agendas, and tend to
exude specific religious ideologies and associations from every subtlety
of decor, every nuance of construction. Therefore I feel very strongly
that religious buildings and institutions are a poor choice as a locale
for strictly public governmental elections.
Moreover, there occurs to me no reason for which the use of religious
establishments as places of governmental political decision should be
at all necessary. Certainly we have no lack of schools, public libraries,
community centers and city halls. These places, places of learning and
government, these truly public locations, provide an excellent, fair
environment in which to make such a decision as our citizens will face.
I realize that it is at this point in the campaign far too late to
change this policy. I only hope to make clear that to force voters into
a partisan, morality-specific environment in order to vote is just plain
wrong, and I hope that you reconsider before establishing voting places
for future public elections.
Please keep religious bias and influence out of government altogether.
Our freedoms are just too precious for that.
November 12, 1992
Mr. Guy Petzall
Dear Mr. Petzall:
This is in response to your letter dated November 1st concerning the
use of religious establishments as polling places in St. Louis County.
By law, tax-supported buildings such as schools, public libraries,
community centers and city halls must be made available for use as polling
places. In the event that there are no convenient public buildings available,
we may contract for the rental of suitable private buildings for use
as polling places. We are also required by law to contract with buildings
that are accessible for the elderly and disabled voters.
St. Louis County currently uses 529 buildings as polling places, 215
of which are not tax-supported. While the number of available tax-supported
buildings may be plentiful, many do not meet the required standards
for use as polling places. Therefore, other buildings such as Churches,
Temples, private schools and many businesses help to fulfill our needs
for the conduct of elections.
While your statement about Churches being well-known for their own
private political agendas is not disputed, the same could be true of
many public governmental entities. On election day, each building used
as a polling place is subject to the same requirements. Electioneering
of any form is prohibited inside the polling place or within 25 ft.
of the entrance to the building.
It is through concerned citizens such as yourself, that many of our
polling places are found. If you should know of any suitable buildings
that could be used as polling places, please contact Bob Chamberlain,
Supervisor of Polling Places for St. Louis County Election Board at
BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS
OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI
PAUL S. DeGREGORIO
Director of Elections
ANN M. BARDGETT
Director of Elections
Ms. Dee Dee Myers
Press Secretary to the President
The White House
Dear Ms. Myers,
It is a well-known phenomenon that presidents age very quickly and
very visibly while serving their tenures in the oval office. This comes
as no surprise: the duties of the President are many and difficult,
and the job brings with it nearly perpetual stress and worrying. These
erosive forces take their toll on the face of the America's leader.
Starting at the beginning of this new presidency, I would like to document
this rapid aging process, which will likely affect President Clinton
as it has each of his predecessors. I want to obtain color photos of
Mr. Clinton, full-face portrait style, once per week for the duration
of his term in office. At the conclusion of his presidency, I plan to
string all the images together on film, creating time-lapse evidence
of the President's geriatrification.
You are his press secretary. You must certainly have access to the sort
of photos I am looking for. Please send me information about how I might
go about obtaining these images for my project. I would be very grateful
for your assistance, and we would then have a permanent record of the
passage of time on a president's face.
"the photograph" I requested? How 'bout "the letter-reading
staff" Dee Dee Myers requested?
The Vice President of the United States
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Mr. Vice President,
You've been in your new office for just over a month now, and I am
curious about how you like it. Certainly it is a very different job
than that of Senator. Therefore,
WHEREAS a Senator needs to represent the interests and ideals of a
discreet group of people from a specific state, but a Vice President
needs to consider the country as a whole in every decision he makes,
WHEREAS the powers and duties of the Senate are precisely detailed
in the Constitution, yet those of the Vice President are less clear,
WHEREAS the Senate helps to establish law, while the Vice President
assists in the creation of policy,
I have to wonder: do you miss your Senatorial position? Is it strange
for you to preside over that body of which you were once a member? Is
it frustrating for you to know that although you formerly could vote
in any senate matter, you now have no say in Senatorial ballot-casting
"unless they be equally divided?" Does it disturb you that as Senator,
you were technically the equal of the President, and that now, politically
speaking, you are subordinate to him? Do you view the lack of Constitutional
specificity with regard to the duties of the office you now hold as
a restraining lack of official responsibility, or do you view it as
a license to move more freely about Washington and its various political
and governmental branches? And lastly, which job to you consider more
I'm neither a journalist nor a lawyer, nor do I have any political
interest outside of reading the daily news. I am simply curious. We
heard so much about the transition in a newsy, political way. I am also
interested in your personal transition. I voted for you, and I want
to know how you like it. That's all.
With all my respect,
July 17, 1993
Mr. Guy Petzall
1949 w. Henderson #2
Chicago, Illinois 60657-2016
Dear Mr. Petzall:
Thank you for writing to me. I appreciate hearing from you, and I
sincerely regret the delay in my reply.
I was honored to be chosen by President Clinton to serve as Vice President
and to help accomplish those goals of particular importance to the American
people--a more efficient government, a cleaner environment, an improved
economy, and a better future for our nation. As you know, the President
and I work very closely together, and I am absolutely confident in his
ability to lead our nation with courage and with vision.
Again, thank you for letting me hear from you.
Apparently the Vice-President's office was not so busy.
The Honorable Les Aspen
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon 20301
Dear Secretary Aspen...
I really don't want to offend you, and I hope you will read what I
am about to write as advice rather than criticism. Something that you
do bothers me, and I want you to understand why I feel that it would
be in your interest to change your behavior.
I am referring to the fact that you pronounce the word "nuclear" as
if it were the word "nukyuler."
I usually ignore this rather common pronunciation error. It does me
no harm, and people are entitled to mistakes. I feel, however, that
your case is different. You are the Secretary of Defense and as such
have direct power in the name of the President over our country's armed
forces. You serve as a major link in the command structure which controls
the military arsenal, including approximately 17,500 nuclear warheads.
This is a very sensitive position, and I believe that I, not to mention
the rest of the country, would feel a lot more comfortable with your
power if you could demonstrate in a thorough and concrete way that you
have a thorough and concrete knowledge of that which you control. Mispronouncing
the name of the deadliest weapon in human history is, in my opinion,
counterproductive to this end.
I by no means insinuate that you do not possess the necessary knowledge
to properly perform your job, or that you are in any way ignorant of
your position's inherent responsibilities. I simply want to point out
that your use of the word "nukyuler" inspires a superficial yet profound
lack of confidence in me and, I am sure, many others as well. If you
are at all concerned with public perception, you should consider the
message you are sending.
I thought it was wrong when Jimmy Carter did it, and I think it's
wrong for you too, and I thought that you would want to know.
Just my opinion...
no response, but he did resign shortly afterward.... and
then he died.
The Catalog People
Pueblo Colorado 81009
Dear worthy catalogists....
Could you please send me one of your catalogs? Thanks.
p.s. - I was wondering...since the catalog is a book of free publications
distributed by the government, and since the catalog itself is free,
shouldn't it be included in itself, listed among the other free booklets
p.p.s. - I suppose that you could say, "No, it's a catalog of books
which aren't books about themselves and which don't contain references
to themselves at all." And that might help you out, but then shouldn't
the catalog still be included in itself because it doesn't include
itself? But then shouldn't it therefore be excluded since it then would
include itself? This is a tricky situation. What do you think?
I received a catalog. Fascinating sutff.
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
State of Brunei Darussalam
My friend Brady and I are going to be passing through your country
sometime in October on our way to the Malay town of Kudat. There we
hope to witness October 25th's total solar eclipse.
It is well-known that you are the world's wealthiest man, and as such,
I imagine that you have quite a large home.
Since my friend and I are trying to minimize our journey's budget,
I was wondering if it would be too much trouble for us to stay at your
house for one or two nights. We would be very grateful for your hospitality,
and would try to stay out of your way as much as possible. This should
be an easy task if your palace is as large as I imagine it to be.
If you are so gracious as to extend this favor to us, please contact
me at your earliest convenience to notify me of the details of our visit:
where to go and who to ask for, etc. I depart from the United States
on the 3rd of October, so if you could try to reach me before then with
the information, I would appreciate it very much. And if you ever find
yourself in Chicago, I will be more than happy to return the courtesy.
Until then I hope that you are well, and that you continue to enjoy
With my fond regards,
What came of this, although not as a postal response,
is sort of a long story. You can find it here, if you like
(but don't forget to come back).
Madam Justice Ginsburg
The Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20543
Dear Madam Justice:
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your ascension to
the Supreme Court of the United States. I can honestly conceive of no
position in the universe which holds more honor, prestige, and respect.
You sit on a hallowed bench, and of that I am sure you are rightly proud.
I know that you have a great deal of work to complete before the first
Monday in October, reviewing more than 1,000 petitions on the court's
summer list, as well as 46 cases that are already scheduled for oral
argument in the new term. And to provide you with a brief and interesting
pause from that workload, I thought this would be a good time to ask
a legal question which I have constructed and which has been puzzling
me these past few months.
The problem is this: suppose there exists in the United States a pair
of Siamese twins, and that some further effect of their deformity renders
one twin severely mentally retarded, while his counterpart has a full
complement of cognitive faculties. What happens when the intelligent
twin is convicted of a felony?
It seems to me that the retarded twin, incapable of knowledge or comprehension
of his brother's act, would be held completely innocent of any crime.
Therefore any possible punishment to which the state could sentence
the criminal twin would necessarily infringe upon the rights of the
retarded brother, who would be forced to be present at, and perhaps
even participate in, any form of retribution, whether prison or parole.
Penalty for the culprit appears legally impossible in this case.
But if the justice system determines that no punishment is legal since
it would affect the innocent brother as well, wouldn't that ruling set
a precedent for the culpable twin to do as he pleases without respect
for the law?
I know that the premise of this dilemma is improbable, perhaps even
preposterous. I have only exaggerated the situation to make clear the
nature of the knot. And I am quite sincere when I say that I value your
opinion as a Supreme Court Justice, and I sincerely hope you enjoy both
thinking about this hypothetical dilemma and writing me a response.
Thank you very much for your time and good luck on the upcoming term.
President Bill Clinton
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
It is with a mixture of sadness and hope that I learn of the resignation
of Justice Harry Blackmun. Sadness because during his tenure Justice
Blackmun has been truly that: a Justice, defending our Constitution
against impersonal conservative policy; and hope because I trust you,
Mr. President, to select a fitting successor to one of the very coolest
of the very cool.
And Mr. President, I want that job.
It is true that I am without a legal degree, and that I have no judicial
experience to speak of, nor any other official "credentials" which might
make me attractive to the post, but I believe that I carry other qualifications
which particularly suit me to the task.
Firstly, I am, with certain issue-specific exceptions, a Democratic
thinker, and in spite of your nominal lack of political pull with the
bench, I believe that I would independently contribute toward your general
national agenda, as well as toward some of the ideals toward which Justice
Blackmun has so nobly striven. Furthermore, I have a true and solid
enthusiasm for the Constitution. When the Law of the Land is perverted
it affects me, you, America, and the world, and in my opinion shows
a dangerous disrespect for the nobility of the concepts and ideals for
which America was formed. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I have
no professional legal history to examine at my confirmation hearings,
no volumes of opinion and precedent, no academic papers which might
disqualify me from the bench. After certain episodes in your administration's
past, I would think that this should strike you as a rather attractive
feature. Add these criteria to the fact that I am a Jew, and I think
you could call me an excellent judicial candidate.
So, having made my offer, I will conclude by assuring you that I respect
you and your office. Presidency is a difficult, if not the most difficult,
job, and I see you tackling it with vision and verve. I hope that I
will have the opportunity to serve the Court with as much energy and
dexterity, for the good of the people and the nation.
working toward Justice,
The White House
In response to your request for public aid in slashing the ultra-high
numbers of the 1994 Budget, I purchased a copy of the budget from your
printing office, and started looking for unecessary spending. Although
I have not yet finished reading the rather lengthy document, I have
found a few things I would like to bring to your attention:
My first suggestion involves an out-of-date government product which
most people in the U.S. would sooner not have anything to do with: the
penny. Pennies are useless. Pennies are valueless. Pennies are not even
worth their weight to carry around, and as the budget now stands, we
are due to spend 2.09 dollars per thousand for the production of 10,875,000,000
shiny new copper Lincoln-headed one cent pieces1. That's almost 23 million
dollars right there. Cut it, and you'll be doing the country a favor.
So there's a cool 23 mill in the bank, why stop there? How else is
our currency system losing us money? Well, to begin with our money is
too easy to copy, but that is a topic worth its own letter entirely2,
so I won't bother you about that here. But there is, apart from copyproofing
the cash, a way you could suqeeze more money from the moolah. Here's
the answer: make dollar coins, eliminate the single bills. Bills are
flimsy. Bills are weak. Bills last only 18 months while coins last 40
years. There is no compelling reason to continue to produce what we
know is an inferior product and which loses the government money. So
we're ahead a few more millions of dollars every year from now on: that's
making money that makes money.
We're on a roll...let's ride it out. Apart from altering the currency
system, how else can we find excess spending in the budget? Well, let's
start with you, President Clinton. Do you actually need the $800,000
you will earn in the four years of office? I agree that the President
should be compensated for his efforts, but honestly, that almost one
million dollars you take home doesn't even include your room and board,
your parties and your incredibly nice house. You could survive with
a lot less pocket change, and besides, nobody becomes president for
the money. To become president, you need to already have the money.
And what about that house you live in, the "Executive Residence at
the White House"? I agree as anyone would that it's definitely a nice
house. I'm sure that you and Hillary and Chelsea and Socks are very
comfortable living there, and I do think that as the President you deserve
top-rate accomodations. But, Mr. President, how much should that accomodation
be worth? As things stand in the budget, you have allocated almost 10
million dollars to maintaining your home for the upcomong year. Ten
million dollars. Rent for one year. I hate to tell you this, President
Clinton, but no matter how good the neighborhood or how nice the house,
regardless of the fact that you live very near work, no home is
worth ten million dollars a year in rent. It just can't be.
I think you'd have a much better deal if you and the first family were
to move to a nice house in a nearby neighborhood with all the security
that you enjoy now. You'd save the country lots of cash, and you'd still
have, even for a measly million per year, quite a nice little shanty
to show your friends.
There are lots of other examples I've found which I think could help
trim the numbers. The Fish and Wildlife Service gets 1 million dollars
for drug control. The Senate gets 36 million for pastage stamps. The
military gets almost 2 billion dollars for some unspecified thing called
"other" under the heading "other services." Examples abound. My point
is that there is no way to easily slash giant numbers from the budget,
you just have to whittle away at everything and watch the little numbers
I hope this helps, and if you have any further need of my assistance
in locating problem spending areas, don't hesitate to call.
I appreciate how hard your job is, and how hard you work at it. Thank
you for your energy and time.
Marvin Runyon, Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20260
Dear Mr. Runyon,
With the recent addition of the four-digit suffix to our previous
five-digit zip codes, a lifelong dream of mine has been made feasible.
This is the dream of address-free postage.
You see, given the new nine-number format, there are now one billion
possible zip codes, from 00000-0000 to 99999-9999, inclusive. That's
a lot of zip codes. In fact, that's three times as many zip codes as
there are people living in the United States. Therefore, in theory,
every man, woman and child in America should be entitled to three zip
codes of his very own.
Now, before you object, let me assure you that I fully realize that
this is a ludicrous suggestion. For each person in the United States
to have three zip codes all to himself is a bit much to ask: such a
system would involve lots of paperwork, would need to take into account
other legal entities such as companies and corporations, and would probably
raise the price of stamps. And besides, who needs three personal zip
codes? Nobody I know.
Therefore, in light of this practical non-possibility, I am prepared
to make a sacrifice. I am willing to surrender two of the zip codes
due to me -- a full two-thirds of my rightful allotment -- if only I
can have the one remaining zip code all to myself. That would be great.
People could write me and simply address the envelope to "Guy Petzall,
47474-4747, U.S.A." It would render my rather cumbersome current address completely useless,
because no one else in the country would have the same zip code as me.
The address as street name and number would be phased out, making way
for far more streamlined, easier-to-remember postage. Don't you think
that would be neat?
Incidentally, the nine-digit address I used above as an example is
my first choice of private zip code. 47 has always been my favorite
number, and so I think that 47474-4747 would be quite apt for me as
an address. Of course, if that one is already taken, I will fully understand.
You can't have everything.
So thank you very much for your kind patience, your generous understanding,
and for adding those final four digits, thereby transforming my forsaken
desires into a realistic potentiality.
Keep up the good work,
October 15, 1992
MR GUY PETZALL
Dear Mr. Petzall:
Postmaster General Marvin Runyon has forwarded your letter concerning
proper addressing and nine-digit ZIP codes to this office for a response.
The Postal Service appreciates your taking the time to express your
recommendation regarding the use of a nine-digit ZIP Code in place of
a complete address. I believe there may be some confusion about the
intended purpose of the ZIP Code and ZIP + 4 Code systems.
The ZIP Code system, established in the early 1960s, was designed
for efficient processing and delivery of mail. The use of ZIP + 4 codes
(developed in the late 1970s), like the five-di~git ZIP Code, is voluntary
and is not intended to replace the address on mail. Each numeral in
the ZIP Code and ZIP + 4 Code identifies a unique geographic area. This
system was chosen because, unlike people or businesses, large pieces
of ground, like cities or individual streets, do not move from one place
to another. Thus, specific geographic elements could be associated with
the post office providing delivery service.
The four digits of the ZIP + 4 Code identify specific geographic units
where several customers receive mail delivery. These units include a
si4e~pf a street between intersections, both sides of a street between
intersections, an individual building, a floor or group of floors in
a large building, a firm within a building, or a group of post office
Use of both ZIP codes and ZIP+4 codes is voluntary and all mail does
not carry even five-digit ZIP Codes. Letter carriers would not be able
to deliver mail without an address or they would need cross-reference
lists to determine the exact delivery point for any nine-digit code.
For example, 11111-2222 and 99999-8888 could potentially exist on either
side of your delivery point. Each ninedigit code would need to be posted
on residence and business buildings, which might conflict with the information
used by fire and emergency service providers to locate the site of an
The Postal Service also uses addresses to level the workload assigned
to each carrier. In addition, more cross reference lists would have
to be created and maintained so that, if you moved, we would be able
to forward your mail to the new delivery location.
I hope this explains why the idea is impractical for the Postal Service.
Thank you for your suggestion.
Address Information Systems Division
If only mail delivery were as thorough. Incidentally,
I did, in the end, get my own zip code. Every POBox has its own. Why
wouldn't he just say that up front?
Pope John Paul II
The Vatican, Rome
The more a Pope does, the more he is remembered for doing. Regardless
of the outcome, actions speak louder than words, and bold actions louder
still. When these actions are of a sort that cause world-wide impact,
when these actions are of the variety that detract from your detractors,
and when these actions are of the kind that bring even more sheep into
your ever-expanding fold, these actions should be examined and enacted
immediately, without hesitation or fail.
I believe that you ought to change the name of the week's fifth day,
"Thursday", to "Simpsonday."
This action will certainly affect major portions of the population.
Our world is so bound by the movement of clocks and the passage of days
marked off on millions, if not billions, of calendars around the world
that such a change as I propose would find its way into the lives of
virtually every man, woman and child in the Western world. And even
if they be not all Catholic, the heathens will marvel at your ability
to decide that Thursday should be called Simpsonday, and your resolve
to make it so. Why leave untapped your potential to wow the world?
Additionally, the world "Thursday" is itself a vestigial remnant of
a pagan tradition. It derives from "Thor's Day", a reference to a Norse
god long since supplanted by the way of Christianity. (Of course, the
Norwegian State religion is Evangelical Lutheran, but at least they
believe in Christ, right?) My point is that you would be replacing the
name of a false idol, now fallen, with a fine wholesome upstanding Christian
name: "Simpsonday." Incidentally, the Simpsons are a fictional animated
television family, who attend church every Sunday, religiously. This
Christianization of such a widespread heathen influence can only serve
the Christian good, and it lies within your ability to enact this change.
But the alteration I suggest would go further than to simply impress
the entire world and derail the ways of the past onto the track of righteousness.
A principal cause of the waning American interest in the Church, a phenomenon
well documented in recent years, is that the Church has failed to find
an angle into the younger generation, a way to appeal to the children
and therefore to indoctrinate them early, when their defenses to Churchly
thoughts and activities have not yet been firmly established. With this
in mind, consider that The Simpsons is wildly popular among the
younger generation of Americans. Airing every Simpsonday evening, the
hilarious antics of the Simpson family have captivated the attention
of America's youth. By building the name of the show into the litany
of daily life, you are sure to catch the eye of an otherwise unrepentant
market. Just as the early Christians planned the date of Christmas to
co-opt the celebration of the Saturnalia, you could literally steal
the show with this one simple revision. And again, I see no reason to
I recognize that you are a busy man and that you surely have many
other letters to read, so I will conclude with haste, only pausing to
assure you that I appreciate the wisdom with which you wield your power.
If you choose not to follow my advice, please feel confident that I
will assume you to have some very compelling reason, most likely far
beyond me, for doing so.
But now it's time for me to cue up my VCR.
I'm sure we'll be in touch again soon.
Dominus vobiscum and yours truly,
March 10, 1994
Dear Mr. Petzall,
I am directed to acknowledge the letter which you sent to His Holiness
Pope John Paul II and I would assure you that your concerns have been
With good wishes, I remain
Monsignor L. Sandri
First of all, they moved the new Simpsons episodes to
Sunday, which one-ups me... but even so, I still don't know which letter
this is in response to. I suppose they figured that if a lack of answers
wasn't stopping me from continuing to write, perhaps an unsatisfying
form letter would....
...they figured wrong.
Pope John Paul II
The Vatican, Rome
Different people in different countries have different traditions.
As the Pope in the Vatican, you are used to dining upon sumptuous feasts
prepared by a master chef and tailored expressly to your papal tastes.
As a Chicagoan, I too am treated to such mealtime pleasure. I have my
food custom made to the standards of my discriminating palate by a master
chef so versed in the ways of the kitchen that he seems truly more artist
His name is Marty, and he makes the best cheeseburger in the world.
Marty works the night shift at a Chicago restaurant called, simply
enough, "Diner Grill," and although your holiness may be unimpressed
by this, let me assure your holiness that your holy indifference is
wholly unwarranted. Marty is no ordinary burger-flipping grill-goon.
Marty tends his grill with dedication and flair, with talent and passion,
and with the easy attitude of someone who knows he has a special gift
and delights in giving it.
By now you are surely wondering what this has to do with you. Well,
here's the scoop: gratitude can assume many forms. In some circumstances,
a simple "thank you" suffices. At other times, monetary compensation
better fits the situation. But in this case, such trifling expressions
of appreciation and admiration fall short of the power of the intention
behind them. I want Marty to know how truly gifted he is, how much his
work means to the world, and how good his cheeseburgers really are.
In short, I want you to canonize Marty.
St. Marty, the patron saint of cheeseburgers.
I'm sure that sainting Marty will be no problem for you, simply a
matter of paperwork, and in return for this favor, let me extend to
you an open invitation to the Diner Grill for cheeseburgers and coffee.
Nothing heavy, your holiness, just excellent food and charming conversation.
Sort of a bonding thing, just you and me -- and of course, Marty. Dinner's
on me, and if I may suggest it, your holiness, try and dress down...I
think that conspicuity would distract from our time together, and Diner
Grill is no place for a clean miter and cassock...you'd get grease on
them. Levi's and a t-shirt will more than suffice.
Anyhow, lemme know about the Saint thing, so that I can tell Marty
as soon as possible. He'll be so proud. And just drop by whenever you
want to eat. I'm home most nights.
Take care, John Paul, and until the next I remain your good friend,
MOUNT CARMEL, TEXAS
MY DEAR SON DAVID,
PS- I APPRECIATE YOUR ENTHUSIASM.
I guess I just thought that since he believed he was Jesus,
maybe he'd believe I was God. And perhaps I was right... except that
he surrendered to me instead of the police. Oh, well.