Today we're going to dip into the mail bag to answer questions from you, the great unwashed... I mean general public. This is a time honored literary device, used mostly when the author can't think of anything interesting to write about, or spent the night drinking and is now facing both a deadline and a hangover. Shakespeare famously exploited this technique in "The Podiatrist of Sutton", Act II, Scene III:
Bongo:"Whence twather in the door'yard prevailed, dids't thou ponder where ponces flame?"
Frostcake: "Let us quibble not, nor scenery chew! Rather into the missives shall we dip, and from the canvas maw withdraw a query! Lebron of Blankstare writes, 'Prithee, what's the story with Hamlet?' A fair question! Surely he is with issues plagued, but I would recommend him dealing with it."
And, of course, in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises", The narrator, Jake Barnes, begins the story by talking about his past to Robert Cohn, an aspiring writer. This gets pretty boring by chapter 3, so Barnes, a newspaper correspondent, decides to liven up the action by "responding to a sample of the dispatches from Paris"...
"Dear Jake: I met a young bullfighter in Madrid. I'm inflamed with passion, but ever since I lost my generation I can't bring myself to care. Signed: Wanda."
"Dear Wanda: Who gives a damn? I need a drink."
And so on. So, without further ado, let's check out the mail. After all, who are we to argue with such great writers?
Enid Gargoyle of Stutter, Alberta writes, "Have you ever thought of doing a column devoted to Jello molds? I have the largest collection of Jello molds outside of Nebraska, and always enjoy good Jello mold talk!"
Dear Enid: No.
Otis Sanguine, of Hellbound, Mississippi writes, "Just yesterday, I drove my Chevy to the levee, and not only wasn't the levee dry, but the mud sucked my Chevy right in. I don't care about the car, but I'd really like to recover the Paladin lunchbox my wife was holding in her lap when the car sank. Anyway, can I sue Don McLean?"
Well, Otis, we think you have a strong case against Don McLean. The only problem is, he hasn't worked much in thirty years, so it might be tough. We suggest suing Chevrolet instead for not including a warning about driving off levees in the owner's manual.
And, of course, no letters column would be complete without someone complaining about a previous column. Rula Alpo had this to say about our last column, "You Are What You Eat"...
"You wrote that 'Rock Salt Diet' founder Dr. J. Hoople Gildersleeve claimed, 'Rock salt is the perfect food! Not only is it totally free of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates, the increase in blood pressure will melt away those unwanted pounds!' Well, I tried it and not only didn't I lose weight, but I had an uncontrollable desire to lie in the driveway!"
Sorry, Rula. No refunds. The rest of you, keep those letters coming!