Four Additional Letters

by Emily LAWTON

Dear R,

I don’t like it when you eat canned fish in the office. It stinks the place up for hours and hours. Sometimes you really draw out your lunch and the can just sits there, stinking. Even if you throw it away, the trash can is still only a couple of yards from me. It’s disgusting.


Dear Patricia VanLester,

I’m very sorry that I was part of the mob which trampled you and caused you to have a seizure last month. You see, I really wanted to get my hands on that $29.87 DVD player. And I know you can understand this desire, because you did too! You were first in line! Maybe you’d been waiting there so long that your reflexes were off, or something, because otherwise I’m sure it would’ve been you trampling some other poor sucker. But anyway, at least you got one — I heard the paramedics found you laying on top of it. It would take a pretty wiley shopper to get that away from you.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty guilty about this, and I’ve spent a lot of time in conference with Our Lord, and I want to make amends as best I can. So I’d like to offer you these fresh-baked homemade oatmeal cookies. I hope they will speed your recovery.


Dear “Cooks,”

I really enjoy your champagne, particularly the Spumante variety. Please accept this painting I did as a token of my appreciation. As you’ll see, it’s a shih tzu drinking champagne from an elegant glass.


Dear Patricia VanLester,

I recently heard you are a professional victim. I’m sure you can imagine how I felt about this- much less guilty! I read in the paper that you have fallen down at least 15 times in various stores in Florida. Then I heard that you got a free DVD player from some online concern that felt bad for you. It’s interesting, because I assumed Walmart would’ve given you the one you fell on top of for free. But maybe Walmart was pissed off about the nine other times you’ve been injured in one of their stores. I’m not sure you deserve a DVD player at all. And I’m almost certain that you don’t deserve those cookies I sent you. Please remit twenty-five dollars for the 2 dozen oatmeal cookies you have surely consumed by now. I think you’ll agree that this is competitive with the going rate.


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