[Be sure to read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.]

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Dear Gary,

Let me open by offering my condolences to you and your boy about my team, the Shoney’s Lions whupping you 52-9 last Saturday. I shook your hand after the game, and when I tried to talk you sprinted to your mini van. Oh well. Say, I’m sure you’ll agree that Ricky “Stud” Sanders, Jr. is a great QB. What’s even more great is that I am helping Ricky “Stud” Sanders, Jr. with sports and with life because he doesn’t have a Ricky Sanders, Sr. to offer him moral support and spot for him as he bounces his little waist against life’s uneven parallel bars. Ricky Sanders, Sr. vanished with an 18-wheeler full of kerosene lamps into the Great Smokey Mtns. (a.k.a. the Bermuda Triangle of Trucking) and was never heard from again. This occurred when Ricky “Stud” Sanders, Jr. was 1-day old. So, as you can see, he has a lot of questions.

I feel more equipped to answer Ricky’s questions and answer your sometimes “harsh” letters because I’ve been working on me. Those classes I was forced to take frightened me at first, but finally I had what they call a breakthrough and now I am practicing Witness Fitness. That’s where members of the community agree to monitor each other’s mental and emotional well-being and stave off any negative backsliding. One of my witnesses, Dwight, said look at chapter 33 of your manual.

Chapter 33 had been written expressly for me it seemed. It deals with “Emotional Scratch-Offs.” I had been playing my own life like the lottery. And losing. I had gambled all my happiness on little, quick, empty moments that weren’t feeding my soul. I was more interested in coaching, sour cream and onion potato chips, MGD Light, fondling some hot tail, and failing that, fondling myself. Or both. And yelling at kids. Ugh.

Your letters used to hot me up something fierce. Like tree-stump screwing mad. But now I realize that we all have a road to take and we are all blossoming in our own way. We are, Gary! I’m sorry your relationship with the Mrs. retreated to limbo status. My shoulder is here. And, for the foreseeable future, my shoulder is here for all adult men or females to shed tears on. You can rest-assured I never got with her even though she sent me illicit notes asking for gas-pump trysts. I had some shreds of character then. And now, I have even more character. I am character-heavy, with a penchant for directing youth. That is on my chart.

I look at the world and the violence and it is like someone has taken the globe and grabbed it by the ears and is taking it to a foul-smelling bathroom at the bowling alley for a swirly. Well, not on my watch, Gary. I am here to right every ship I can. Every last one of the Maaco Rabbits is a friend of Coach Sean, even though you guys are 0-5 and have scored an average of 6 points a contest and most of the time the only forward progress you can make is due to someone mishandling one of your punts.

True Words,

Coach Sean

P.S. Did I see you coming out of that bar, Manners, on Hwy 12?