I’m ecstatic! Your first coherent message in years! Okay, not completely coherent, but certainly nothing you would feel surprised to hear coming from the mouth of your average mescaline addict in de-tox. Truly it is a breakthrough and I am elated at your progress. So much so that I am breaking our engagement (besides I’ve had my eye on a really charming bi-polar Armenian woman in ward B: she’s nineteen and has a penchant for smashing coffee mugs and lashing out at the necks of interns with the jagged ceramic shards – I think this is the real thing this time). This is a stupendous development and articles will be written in all the major journals.
What prompts such a euphoric response? Well, as I believe it will be helpful in your recovery I’ll tell you, although my associate Dr. Prang insists on making his patients guess (he’s rather fond of the “20 questions” format — “Dr. Prang, is my grasp on reality bigger than a breadbox? Is achieving self-actualization animal vegetable or mineral? etc.). The remarkable breakthrough came when you used the words “Little Agnes” as it demonstrated that you have enough viable synapses left to dredge out a fragment of an anectdote I related to you during our initial courtship some 17 years ago.
I will now break with a life-long tradition and repeat this anectdote to you in the hopes that it will trigger your memory and allow you to once again return to normal society and what once looked to be a very promising career in the stockyards:
At the time I was just a dashing young undergrad, with chiseled chin and flinty eyes, with no indication of my future career save for an odd habit of insisting on flossing any co-ed I could lure onto the Laz-E-boy I kept in my dorm room. I knew Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner quite well in those days. I was an ardent admirer of her gums and thought she had the most endearing lisp. In fact we were having quite a torrid affair — but don’t take that with undue seriousness for everything Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner did was torrid. To watch her take out the garbage would make Don Juan blush. To adequately describe the process of her scraping gum from her shoe would make Erica Jong give up flying and join a nunnery. In those care-free days we had many pet names for each other – litigant, party of the second part, assessee, etc. — all the typical romantic stuff. But one day while sharing a cherry coke in the student lounge I asked her “how’s my little Agnes today?” She said nothing but a wry smile came to her lips and she reached into her bag and pulled out what appeared to be a cigarette holder. As she pulled it to her lips I began to remark “Ooh like Holly GoLightly in…” when I felt the sting of the dart.” When I emerged from the coma 8 months later my first words were “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. After extensive physical rehabilitation I entered dental school, but in all my years I’ve never seen gums to match hers and no matter how much cotton I shove in a patient’s mouth I’ve never heard a lisp to quite match her intonation. That is why I pursued you – I somehow found comfort in the appalling croak that you call your voice — I felt for a time that I could be free from search. But freedom always has it’s price.
Yours with lemon pudding with bits of graham cracker,
Solomon Aspic, DDS
Dr. Solomon Aspic, DDS,
Chairman of the Board,
Alsatian-American Society for the Prevention of Orthodontia
That you have fallen victim to paranoid delusions is not surprising, given your tendency towards overexcitement. That you have been made a dupe in Inkling’s latest charade is not surprising either, given the bearer who brought you the news of his bogus demise. Remarking on the silver Mercedes pulling away from your offices and noting a loud howling sound not characteristic of your patients emanating from your consulting rooms, I put two and two together and deduced that Mrs. Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner-Inkling had been to see you. Fortunately I was able to wedge myself under the dashboard of my car as she drove by so I did not have to repeat the painful process of looking at her once again.
To say that Mme. Hergrapenshfeiner-Inkling looks good in black is like saying that the Pacific ocean is somewhat larger than a duck. Her figure describes a set of curves that would have made Euclid rethink the whole business. Her tanned physique is so firm that when she bends over to tie her shoes she squeaks like foam rubber. I knew her as a comely youth and I called her “Little Agnes,” but when she visited my office on a financial matter, days before her wedding, my mind was so twisted by her unbearable pulchritude I found myself inadvertently making love to my receptionist moments after her departure. Out of sheer embarrassment I was forced to carry on a long, tawdry and expensive affair with this temp of Finnish extraction. A man’s first impulse on seeing Agnes Sophia is to make love to her twenty times. His second is to give her things. I once had to extract her family from a most embarrassing incident when Agnes received an emirate after posing for an impromptu publicity picture. The deed to your house is in the mail. She found it in her handbag and gave it to my secretary while I hid under the rug.
Inkling is practically a satyr but Agnes was too much even for him. My sources in Zermatt tell me that elements of the Korean women’s ski team have gone missing and the smell of East Asian barbecue has been emanating from the direction of a remote chalet. I think we can assume that Inkling is in hiding, ravishing oriental sportifs and waiting for his tumescence to subside. One can only guess who found his way into all those capsules, but before the incident Mr. K.K.B. Bang was spotted at a local fruit stand and has since vanished.
Hoping your tumescence has subsided,
yours as ever,
Alonzo T. Corduroy, Jr. (Mrs.) (Jr.)
I’m deeply concerned. I present you with a simple malicious insult in the spirit of true friendship and you respond with a delusional tirade against our dear friends at U.S. West (have we been bitten?). Your agitated hysteria so far out of rein that you invoke the name of the dear departed Anders Inkling as if he were still living, breathing, and making leveraged buy-outs today. Certainly you must have heard about the terrible accident at the pharmaceutical packaging plant. Truly horrible, however relatively easy to clean up considering the bulk of the mess was contained in a few hundred thousand water-soluble caplets. The widow was, of course, inconsolable. But Agnes Sophia Hergrapenshfeiner-Inkling comes from solid stock and she’ll bounce back in no time.
As to your thinly veiled threats. Bring it on. Bring it on.
Yours with sparrow’s breath,
Solomon Aspic, D.D.S.
Dear Mr. Sadistic,
My number, as if you couldn’t get it which is a lie but I’ll play along for the moment, is 206-555-1212. If you call this number, expect a loud noise and a lawsuit. If you don’t stop calling my cell phone number, I’ll have to talk to you and that, quite naturally, will lead to a lawsuit. If you do stop calling my cell phone number my attorneys have advised me
to initiate a lawsuit. In fact, the next time you pick up a phone and dial any but a local number, I would pretty much expect a process server at the door if I were you.
Although I am in Seattle which is the land of coffee in general and latte specifically, my attorneys have advised me to drink only tea on account of the many lawsuits engendered within the coffee industry. The tea industry is more heavily influenced by bureaucratic regulation and graft-sshhh!-not graft per se, but let’s call it compensatory gift-giving if we have to put a name to it, which we really don’t, Heintz thinks.
yours as ever,