April 14, 1999

Wow! What a wonderful place this is, a blissful retreat far away from the depressing workaday world. Trudy and Bill, you have gotten every detail just right, from the delicious popovers at breakfast to the fresh flowers adorning the common areas, to the inspirational notes on our pillows at night. Thank you for truly creating a home away from home.

And again, I am very sorry about your cat. My husband can be so clumsy sometimes! We wish you luck at that shelter where you found “Whiskers 2” (II?). Meanwhile, I will get Arden going on that diet you were screaming about, and pronto.

See you next year!

Kathy and Arden Jones
Tulsa, OK

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July 28, 1999

First, let me make clear that I do not believe in God. I mean, can you really believe in a benevolent creator after seeing a wasp? And I’m not even talking about those parasitic wasps that lay thousands of eggs in a caterpillar so the larvae can feed on the caterpillar’s hemolytic fluid until they sprout wings and burst out of the caterpillar’s exoskeleton. No,

no, just the ordinary wasps (those stingers! those antennae!) are proof enough for me that we live in a pointless, heartless universe.

That being said, I really liked your popovers.

Bobby Briggs
Akron, OH

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July 28, 1999

Like my husband Bobby, I too enjoyed your popovers. Unlike Bobby, however, I do not think the existence of wasps disproves God’s existence. Moreover, I should note that Bobby is a moron, and not even a perfect place like the Applebrook Inn can save this marriage, which, come to think of it, was doomed from the get-go.

In retrospect, I guess I should have known not to marry someone who was so deeply, deeply involved in the Nixon Administration.

Carla Briggs
Akron, OH (soon to be Toledo)

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February 12, 2000

We’ve hid something in the room. Can you find it?

Terry and Mark Hacker
Pittsburgh, PA

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June 13, 2000

This has been such a terrific place to recharge after a long and wearying manslaughter trial! As the snow falls, and a white blanket covers your delightful property, my spirit is restored, and I know that I will soon return to a normal life. Experiencing my freedom so fervently now at this charming inn, I thank Christ our Lord that the prosecutors didn’t see fit to exercise a peremptory challenge against Juror #4.

But I swear to God, if I’ve ever in fucking Akron, Ohio, that blasphemizing piece of crap Bobby Briggs better watch his ass.

Ralph Watson
Annapolis, MD

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October 2, 2000

I guess the popovers are OK, but all in all, we think this inn isn’t that great. We’ve been to inns that are better than this inn. For example, there’s an inn in Mendocino—we can’t remember its name offhand—that is better.

Ed and Sue Adams
Boston, MA

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December 28, 2000

What a place this is! Trudy, you are truly the hostess with the mostest. Last night, I was nibbling the chocolate wafer that appeared magically on my pillow, and I thought it would be awesome if someone invented a paper strip treated with some chemical that when dipped into a cup of coffee would turn blue if the coffee had caffeine in it. That way, you could always check when you order decaf to make sure that’s what you got, and you’d never have to stay up all night because of some waiter’s idiotic mistake. That’d be the shit.

Fran Myers
Tallahassee, FL

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February 13, 2001

Well, since nobody found the item we hid last year, we better fess up: we hid Whiskers 2’s cat-collar in the crawlspace above the bathroom ceiling tiles!! The collar has a plate engraved with the owner’s address and phone number, in case of an emergency. Actually, now that I think of it, I haven’t seen the cat our entire trip. I wonder where that little guy’s hiding?

Terry and Mark Hacker
Pittsburgh, PA

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April 12, 2001

Bill and Trudy, we just love what you’ve done with the place! Who else but you two would have thought of painting the ceilings in canary yellow? And the new gas fireplace in the suite? What a lovely touch!!!!!!!!!! As always, the Applebrook Inn remains the ideal sojourn after a long harrowing night on the road, speeding on little-used side roads, headlights off, avoiding the long arm of the law, sprinting toward freedom and a new life together in the broad expanse that is our neighbor to the north. By the way, does anyone know if Canada and the United States have an extradition agreement?

Carla Briggs and Ralph Watson
“On the Lam”