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Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Letter To The Editor Of The Tatami Times


God help me, but I once wrote the following letter and sent it off to my friend Amanda who was at the time the Editor of the Tatami Times. The Times was/is the newsletter of the Tochigi-ken, JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme participants... a newsletter where I was the editor before her, and the newsletter where I first cut my teeth writing the odd creative short story about my life in Japan under the banner: It's A Wonderful Rife. You may have heard of it. Anyhow, at the time, in 1992, I was super trippy in my creativity... I would create three or more short stories a day simply by picking up a pen and a paper. You may have seen those archaic things in a museum. I had quit being the editor mid-way through my term because I had felt under-appreciated. Probably just me being paranoid - but remember... sometimes the paranoid is correct. I no longer care if I was or wasn't correct, of course. Time heals all festering, blood-sucking wounds and I hope everyone who ever pissed me off dies of cancer. Slowly. Like I said, I'm feeling much better now. Where did I drop that pill? Anyhow, after putting out her first issue, Amanda put out a blanket call requesting feedback on her editorial efforts. Not being hypocritical (no, really), I felt I should respond... and so I did with the missive below in what would be known as my first ever SPAM mail. I have e-mail now. In her first issue she said she would not talk as much about sex as I apparently did. I have no idea where she would ever get such an idea boobs because I certainly don't do that. Oh well. To Amanda's credit, she printed my letter but admitted she was confused, but pleased to have received mail - any mail - in English. Silly Amanda... I would have played Post Office with you any day.

Sometime/92
My dear, insert name here,
Having been touched by your plea for comments on your recent affronts on the Tatami Times, I have asked my secretary to type up these notes I'm dictating to her. Stupid, though she may be, she still makes a great cup of java - isn't that right, sweetheart?
            Ahem. Cough-cough. Huaaaaaaaaachh. Ah, that's better. Don't you hate that phlegm build-up, beautiful? Okay, so where were we?... I know we were over by the desk. I meant in the letter. Yesh. Uh, that's two "e's" in yesh. Yeesh. Better.
            The Tatami Times is a half-way decent piece of literary hodgepodge. Although, I can honestly claim not to understand some of those comments directed towards me, I do like that light approach you have installed.
            Do I really talk about "sex" that much? Uh, no, darling. I wasn't talking to you? Um, maybe later, alright?
            I like the personals column very much, even though my name appeared there. What is it about chickens and cults? May I place an ad? Wanted - one secretary. Ha. I'm just kidding, cutie-wookums. Women.
            The "grossest thing I've ever eaten" could have been my school lunch yesterday, but I suppose it must be a tomato consomme that was topped with sea turtle phlegm and served cold. It's quite disgusting to be tasting food that might at one time have tasted you. What if they ran out of phlegm? Would the chef merely cough out a lougie? Thank-god I wasn't buying.
            On the down-side, the less-than great, but infinitely, more environmentally-friendly paper used for the Times did not allow for great reproduction (Did you get that one snookie-cat? Reproduction - like this morning!)... anyhow, where were we - and don't say over by the desk... I asked you not to say that... oh yeah, the cheap paper did not allow for great reproductions of the Far Side cartoons. By the way, I assume you got permission to reprint those?
            Also, the environmental paper started to decompose after one reading - more than likely because of all that schlocky writing by certain people who aren't me.
            All in all, though, a really good magazine. For those of you who aren't getting a copy of the Times, you are truly a bunch of losers, who have no idea of what I am calling you, because this is seeing print in the magazine you don't get.
            Anyhow, keep up the most-excellent, bitchin' work, Amanda.
Yours, blah-blah-blah,
Paul
            Oh, and sign my name will you? Thanks. Okay, now let's play "alley cat in heat", my little turtle phlegm. I mean "dove". Yesh.

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