Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond
Send your nonfictional open letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Open Letter of Apology to the Country of Iceland.
BY ALAN HALEY
I would like to take this opportunity to finally, formally, apologize to the country of Iceland.
What I did was wrong. All of it. From the merciless exploitation of the country’s natural resources, to the ill-advised economic reforms in which the national currency was replaced with various flavors of Fruit Roll-Ups, to the (now) infamous incident with Bjork, ten thousand tubes of model airplane glue, and a roll of duct tape. What I did was wrong.
I guess I was going through a rough period in my life. I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and I was unhappy with my job. I remember clearly how it started: I awoke one Saturday morning, feeling empty and alone. I bumbled into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and thought: “I’m gonna quit my job and go fuck with the country of Iceland.”
So, I’m trying to make amends. I’m giving all the babies back. Palace guards are no longer required to refer to me as “The Great Goombah.” Henceforth, state television is no longer required to air video of me sitting on my couch all day long. Jell-O fights are no longer the means of arbitrating justice. When speaking directly to me, it is no longer required that Icelanders blink excitedly and preface their comments with “Holy jeez, will you look at that!” You can start using the letter “T” again. Pull My Finger is no longer the national sport.
I have some confessions to make. There is no death ray. It’s just a couple of empty coffee cans covered in aluminum foil with wires sticking out each end. The United States of America did not surrender itself to Icelandic sovereignty. Norway was not destroyed. The population of Greenland did not replace their limbs with two-by-fours as a symbol of unity. I am not the Pope. I ordered the city of Grundarfjordur off limits to the population, not because it was devastated by UNESCO battle robots brandishing green, stinging tentacles (they don’t exist), but because I prefer to be undisturbed while looting and setting fire to garbage cans. When I demanded that all Icelandic females between the ages of 18 and 24 be delivered to me, it was not so that I could choose a new host body, but only because I liked looking at them naked. You can have them back, and you will find that, for the most part, they are uninjured and working properly.
My face was not scarred during a horrible, mystical experiment gone awry during my college days. That’s just what I look like. I do not have the ability to direct beams of pure energy from space down to your homes, nor can I cast someone’s soul into the Gut Wrenching Den of Perdition (I made that place up) by thrusting my pelvis. I do not have an Ultimate Nullifier, a Dirty Bomb of Justice, or any other super weapon in my pants.
Work on the nine miles long Battleship of Imperial Doom can cease immediately. Stop painting everything puce. No longer will you be required to set an elderly person on fire every time I arrive. All slaves in the icy wastelands outside Reykjavik who are molding tons of snow into enormous images of my nose and mouth can go home. The city of Akureyri, which had been renamed Asspeeperville, can have its old name back. The lyrics of the beautiful and proud Icelandic anthem may be restored. You will no longer be asked to simply scream irately in time to the melody. You can stop dumping raw sewage outside the German naval base at Reykjavik; Germans are your friends, and they don’t deserve this kind of treatment. You may immediately cease imprisoning people who refuse to walk backward, and release those currently behind bars. You are no longer required to refer to Tori Spelling as “The Mighty Evil One”; you may speak her true name openly, and please know that she is simply a Hollywood actress whom I came to resent because she never responded to my e-mails. Please, go to your world maps and your geography textbooks and reinstate the continent of Africa. The newly created cabinet minister position of Fat Chick can be eliminated.
In conclusion, I apologize to you, proud Iceland, and beg your forgiveness. I know it was hard for you, all those years, and I hope you won’t retain any bitterness about it. And, it wasn’t all bad. Remember the look on the president of Greenland’s face when we bombarded his capitol with icy spit balls? How about that time we convinced the French ambassador that our religious customs required him to appear in public in blackface? Admit it, we had some laughs.
I return your country to you, Iceland. I promise it won’t happen again.
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