Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001
From: Chuck Easterling
Subject: Ecclesiastic-x-peealadocious

Dear McSweeney’s,

I think if priests started some of their sermons with “Ya know, I was hearing confessions the other day and you’ll never guess what I heard” that Mass attendance would rise dramatically.

I’m just saying,
Chuck Easterling

- - -

Date: Fri, 2 Mar 200
From: “Delahoyde, Steve”
Subject: Relatives Found and Lost

Dear McSweeney’s,

This Gabriel Delahaye who often contributes to your letters section, who is she/he? As you’ll see above in the “From” section of this e-mail, my given name is “Delahoyde”, uncomfortably close to said author’s name. Perhaps a distant relative, removed from each other’s family histories by generational movements and tomfoolery at the hands of Ellis Island employees.

Is he/she Irish by decent? I am.

Thank you for my continued patronage,
Steve Delahoyde

- - -

Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001
From: “McDermott, Terry”
Subject: I’m not a worker with a drinking problem, I’m a drinker with a w orking problem

Dear McSweeney’s,

Hey, things have been hard at work lately. I’ve never been so swamped. Wait, did I say swamped?

I meant drunk.


- - -

Date: Tue, 6 Mar 200
From: “Delahaye, Gabriel”
Subject: The Krang

Dearest McSweeney’s,

There was a boy in school (who I will call Krang) who thought tighty-whities were called tighty-tighties. One time another boy, who put grease in his hair, threw his skateboard under the wheels of Krang’s bike. Another time a bully took apart all the screws and bolts from Krang’s bike and threw them onto the roof of the school. I was called into the principal’s office as a key witness. God, they hated that bike.

At lunch my mom gave me Boku, which was advertised as the ‘juice box for adults’. I hid the Boku under the table, fearing my classmates would think me far to bourgeoise. One day a very pretty girl told a very mediocre joke and I tried to show myself as very amused only to have Boku come squirting out my nose. Then everyone jumped up and started dancing a Busby Berkley number on the tabletops.

More tragedies to be revealed later,

- - -

Date: Wednesday, 7 March
From: Ben
Subject: mistaken identity

Dear McSweeneys,

I went a brief period of time using the pseudonym “Rolf Benirschke” in all my writings until I found out that there actually was a real person named Rolf Benirschke.

That was weird.

Signed, for real,

- - -

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001
Subject: Kids

Dear McSweeney’s,

Today was more of the same: snowflakes and gravy. The kids wouldn’t back down during the assembly. They rushed the stage, warriors in paper mache rain-dance bonnets.

So I later addressed the faculty: “If the kids don’t want to back down, let them not back down.” The faculty agreed. Tim Atkinsen went so far as to suggest we hand out water pistols.

We all decided it was best to let the kids be kids. At the next assembly, we’ll be handing out carrots and Sex Ed. literature.

Carrie Gauthier

- - -

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001
From: “Dan Kennedy”

Dear McSweeney’s,

As I type this there are sirens wailing outside the windows of my apartment. My girlfriend appears to be concerned with my lack of concern as I continue typing to you. More sirens now. And somebody is pressing all of the buzzers on the front of my building.


“Fire Department. Buzz us in.”

“You’re gonna have to come up with something better than that, pal.”

Safe and secure—

Dan Kennedy
New York, New York

- - -

Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001
From: Stephanie Drury
Subject: bite this bagel

Dear McSweeney’s,

Do you think you could fit an entire bagel bite in your mouth? I can. So you can go to hell. I just did it two times in a row.

Stephanie Drury
Senior Health Analyst
Emergency Department

- - -

Date: Sat, 10 Mar 200
From: Karl Tobias Steel
Subject: Moi, je deteste

Dear McSweeney’s:

Did you know that while I was away I went to Beverly Hills, California, for a bat mitzvah? Of course it wasn’t my own, and of course Southern California – barring the miniature golf I once played in Riverside – stinks.

I have an idea for a morning radio talk show where I talk about all the things I hate. I know there’s a lot of these, but what sets mine apart is, get this, my atrocious French. You see, my talk show will be called, “Moi, je deteste,” and I will talk, haltingly and probably nonsensically, about things everyone “in the know” hates, but doesn’t think worth their while to mention.

I’ll hate silver scooters, roller blades, fanny packs, the corporate-toadyism of the New York Times, President Bush’s sickening idiocy, Bill Clinton’s venality, and the rapacity of various chain stores. Oh, Eminem, too: he really gets me steamed! (“Il me fume, vraiment!”)

I’ll let you know when the first show is.

Moi, je l’aime,
Karl Steel
Manhattan, New York

- - -

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001
Subject: Affiliation

Dear McSweeney’s,

I enjoyed visiting your site. There could be an opportunity for us to work together. You might be interested in either getting listed on our MEDICAL portal or participate in our co-op program.

If you have a moment, please let us know the right time to reach you.

Thank you for your time. If this note went to the wrong person in your company, I am sorry. It’s difficult to tell which email addresses are the appropriate ones to contact. If you are not interested, please let us know with the return email. We will not re-send you anything, and you have not been added to any sort of database.

Consumer Relationship

- - -

Date: 13 Mar 2001
From: “Mike Topp”
Subject: Kiss

Dear McSweeney’s:
I once read that when you kiss someone you should remember that you are sucking on the end of a thirty-foot tube, the last five feet of which are filled with shit.
Mike Topp

- - -

Date: 16 Mar 2001
From: Karl Tobias Steel
Subject: Say “Hi” to Rushdie for me, will you?

Dear McSweeney’s:
A long time ago someone said the McSweeney’s correspondents only write in because they can’t get published anywhere else. Someone else said, no, we write in because we like to, and in fact, we are all – barring you – extraordinarily famous writers, the same sort of writers who clog the New York Review of Books after we finally run out of juice, creativity-wise.

I’m pretty sure that’s how the conversation went. Please don’t stop reading now.

There’s an exciting new zeitgeist at McSweeney’s and, me, I want to be a part of it. I am offering a correction to the reply cited in the first paragraph. Because it was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Other than a very few other venues, which someday will include, just you wait, journals of medieval studies, the McSweeney’s letters page is the only place where anyone can see my, as it were, work. I’m not a famous writer because I don’t have any talent. This impediment compels me – and of lot of the other jerks who write in, regular-like – to publish my (our) life story in choppy installments, here. Over the next decade my life will flash, but slowly, before your eyes.

Like, in 1977, I wrote the word “Star Wars” on a piece of typing paper using Elmer’s Glue. Then I covered the paper with dirt. After shaking the dirt off, I gave the paper – which now read “Star Wars,” but in dirt – to my 79-year-old Norwegian grandfather. I can only imagine his reaction as somewhat befuddled.

With apologies to the forgotten “someones,”
I remain,
Karl Steel
New York City

- - -

Date: 18 Mar 2001
From: “Mike Topp”
Subject: Virtual World

Dear McSweeney’s:
I’m working on a virtual world product. Basically, you’ll be given certain building blocks, such as trees, flowers, people, birds, buildings, etc., and out of these elements you’ll construct your own reality.

Mike Topp

- - -

Date: 19 Mar 2001
From: “Aaron Pastula”
Subject: Making sense of my new living situation

Dear McSweeney’s,

I have recently relocated to San Francisco from Los Angeles, and am in the process of moving into a four bedroom apartment with three other people. Due to a number of circumstances, however, the person currently occupying what is to eventually be my room has not yet moved out, and therefore I have spent the last few weeks sleeping on the couch or in the beds of my other soon-to-be roommates when they’re out of town or staying elsewhere. This constant shuffling has me confused (to say nothing of having nowhere except under the dining room table to store my clothes), but I think I’ve devised a system that should help me adapt rather quickly.

I have decided to number the rooms one through four, beginning in the southwest corner and continuing around the apartment in a clockwise direction. Rooms one and two share a bathroom, A, and rooms three and four share a bathroom, B. Due to its size, the living room has been numbered five and six, or 5-6 in shorthand and on blueprints. The dining room, where I’m currently typing (and under whose table my clothes are kept), is room seven, and the kitchen is room eight. Hallways and doorways are not numbered.

As you can see, this system provides a stable, consistent frame of reference for me. Tonight, for example, I’m lucky to be sleeping in room four. When I get up tomorrow morning I will urinate in bathroom B and get a cup of coffee out of room eight before going on a hike. When I return, however, I will most likely shower in bathroom A, simply because I have been showering there all along. I was sleeping in two for a while, but have spent most of my nights on the couch in 5-6, which can be a bitch, let me tell you.

So you see, it’s working out much better now. Thank you for your concern.


- - -

Date: 19 Mar 2001
From: “Delahaye, Gabriel”
Subject: I should have known I was Irish

Dear McSweeney’s,

How appropriate that it would be St. Patrick’s Day and I would find out I was Irish and be so drunk to soften the blow that the hard truth often deals. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Delahoyde for bringing to light many of the mysteries concerning my heritage. My shock of bright red hair and the many freckles on my translucent skin were certainly a strange sight at the sedar table, but now the mystery is solved, and I can eat pork products at my leisure.

My parents, though, are still in tears. Silly Jews.

Gabriel Marc O’Delahaye

- - -

Date: 19 Mar 2001
From: “Steven Tomsik”
Subject: birds will chirp, and birds will eat some seeds

Dear McSweeney’s,

Perhaps you are familiar with the species of animal known as “shark?” I have often written to you of them. Their horrible hunger, their skins, the teeth of their mouths, etc. I have described my fear in their regard, which is great, which I hate having, which prevents me from enjoying the briny caress of the sea.

But this is my vow:

This summer, I will conquer my fear of sharks. I will swim strong, and I will swim deep, and I will stand tall and proud on a surfing board. And if something brushes against one of my dangling limbs ever so slightly, I will shriek and shriek and shriek.


- - -

Date: 20 Mar 2001
Subject: morning train

Dear McSweeney’s,

Get this…

I’m on the N or R, I never think which one I’m on cause they both go to 34th, and I’m getting off and this girl’s coming up the stairs the other way, so we kind of meet, sorta. And she’s so pretty my heart literally skipped a beat. Really. It’s never happened to me before. So, I try to talk to her walking through the turnstile, and all I can think of is a joke with the punchline, “but sir, we don’t sell phony dog shit.”

Wait, it gets worse… After that embarrassing ordeal, it turns out we work at the same place. (I’ve only been here 2 weeks or so.) So, now I’ve got to think up more phony dog shit jokes or its over between us.

What else? Oh, I tried to kung fu kick this guy who was leering at my friend’s 12 year old daughter on St. Patrick’s day and I feel and hurt my bum. So it’s been a bad week.

Martin Schneider

- - -

Date: 20 Mar 2001
From: “Delahaye, Gabriel”
Subject: My first girlfriend, Emily, I loved her, she’s dead (to me) now.

Dear McSweeney’s,

My first girlfriend was named Emily. She wore overalls and listened to Take That. One time we were all on a fieldtrip and waiting for the bus outside of Buster’s Food Stuffs and I asked Emily “Do you want to go together?”, which was the parlance of the time, and she said “Okay” and so we were going together. I told a bunch of other kids that me and Emily went together and they said I was lying and I said ‘Go ask Emily’ and they did and then they came back and said ‘See, we told you you didn’t go with Emily’. I pleaded ‘But I do go with Emily’. I called Emily that night and said ‘The other kids said we didn’t go together but we do, don’t we?’ and Emily said ’Don’t tell people that we go together, I don’t like everybody asking me.’ I asked my mom if Emily and I could go on a date to a movie together. “I don’t know, you’re kind of young for that kind of thing,” she said. “I know mom, but we already go together, you can’t stop our love.” One day I was walking home from school and this girl shouted “Hey, Gabriel!” and I recognized that it was one of Emily’s friends and she shouted, “Emily wanted me to tell you that she’s not going with you anymore.” I went home and told my mother. She said, “Well, it’s like that old Neil Sedaka song says: Not going together anymore is hard to do.”


- - -

Date: 20 Mar 2001
Subject: The Reality of the Equator

Dear McSweeney’s,

While I was in college, I had to take a world geography class for an required elective. One day we discussed the equator and I was reminded of a girl with whom I graduated from high school. In seventh grade, while coincidentally also in a geography class, the said girl raised her hand and asked if the equator was an actual line drawn across the world with a Sharpie. As an addendum, she asked about the upkeep of such a line. In tribute to my theory that the truly ignorant are the only pure form of entertainment left in my world, I raised my hand in the 500-person lecture and asked the girl’s complete question, addendum included.

I ain’t got no pride,
Cole Walter

- - -

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 01 Subject: Cyber Software Locates Info Dear McSweeney’s,
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- - -

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001
From: Jack Binx
Subject: ANSWERS: Applied Econometrics, Labor Economics

Dear McSweeney’s:

Here are my answers to the questions. I think I’ve done fairly well. The questions were real hard, but, just like you said, a little hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense can go a long way.

1. c. 5 bikes.
2. d. All of the above are correct.
3. b. Bread, neither good.
4. c. A result of more efficient resource allocation.
5. d. A decrease in supply and an increase in demand.
6. b. All nonprice determinants of demand are assumed to be constant.
7. a. A lower price.
8. b. The demand for gasoline is price inelastic.
9. c. An inferior good.
10. a. Time.
11. d. Prices make an equitable distribution of goods and services among consumers possible.
12. d. 3.00
13. a. To raise revenue from rich people.
14. b. The price floor is lower than the equilibrium market price.
15. b. Increases.
16. c. Total surplus is maximized.
17. b. Public policy can potentially remedy the problem and increase economic efficiency.
18. b. A + B + C.
19. c. The people who pay the taxes are often not the same people who benefit from the government spending of tax funds.
20. c. Only (ii) is used.
21. b. An amount equal to the value of the technology spillover.
22. a. A negative production externality.
23. c. The town could auction off a limited number of sheep-grazing permits.
24. c. It continues to be overused because individuals have no incentive to reduce their use of the good.
25. a. Marginal cost.
26. c. C.
27. d. Any of the above.
28. a. ‘Output’/‘labor’
29. c. Continue to produce as long as revenue is sufficient to pay variable costs.
30. b. Can safely ignore fixed costs when deciding how much to produce.
31. a. (i) and (ii) only.
32. c. (iii) only.
33. d. Both b and c.
34. a. Meatball prices will exceed marginal cost.
35. b. The flow of goods and services and the flow of dollars.

J. Binx
Gentilly, Louisiana, where life is very peaceful.

- - -

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001
From: “matt dorison”
Subject: Babies

Dear McSweeney’s

I swear this happened.

I overheard a woman say:

“I have giant babies, but you know, you can just kind of tuck them under your arm and go home.”


Speaking of babies – here is some email correspondence from a while ago between me and someone named Marla who had a classified ad that said:

Congo African Grey babies for sale. $750.00; Will ship at buyer’s expense.

Me: Are they human babies?

Marla: No! Congo African Grey babies for sale. $750.00; Will ship at buyer’s expense. Know anyone who may be interesed? Where did you see “babies for sale”? I need to know so I can go edit. Greys are talking parrots and they’re the best in the kingdom.

- - -

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 From: “Baila Tango” Subject: LAST Milonga & April classes

As you may know in addition to my full time job, I teach tango, and I am running for city council, and I am organizing a tango tour to Istanbul in August, AND I have been hosting a tango salon on Monday nights.

Well, time has come for me to make choices.

This Monday March 26th will be the LAST milonga for a while, come and have fun.

I want to thank all who have been very supportive of my efforts.

Ingrid, Zehra, Natalie, Dennis, Roberta, Rose, Bill, Kent, Tunc, Meltem, Basak thanks again

April classes are starting next week:

March 27, April 3, 10, 24 (please note the skipping week)
7:30 Intermediate II
8:30 Advanced

March 29, April 5, 12, 26 (please note the skipping week)
8:00 PM Beginners
9:00 PM Intermediate I
1 course = $60/4 weeks

- - -

Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001
From: “Dan Kennedy”

Dear McSweeney’s,
My girlfriend is crazy about me, so how about not telling her any of the tiny, sad, pathetic truths about my life that have appeared on your letters page in the last year. Deal?

Let’s make this one last,
Dan Kennedy
New York, New York

- - -

Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001
Subject: A Great Offer

Hi my name is Stephanie and I run the webmaster program here at Illustrated casino. I have just spent the last ten minutes looking at your site and I must say it looks great. We have a great webmaster program at Illustrated Casino we have one of the highest offering commission rates. We offer up to 45%.

All you need is a few spare minutes a day, we have great customer service, I am here 24 hours 7 days a week to help you with any problems. If you want to know more please follow this link to our webmaster page where you will also find the registration page.

Looking forward to hearing from you
Best Wishes,

- - -

Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 From: “Mike Topp” Subject: Dinosaurs

Dear McSweeney’s:

If dinosaurs were around today, they would probably be amazed at how many dinosaur movies there are, and angry that they hadn’t thought of making any.

Mike Topp

- - -

Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001
Subject: Hello!

U guys are good, but Teen People is more directly affecting with all the pictures and whatnot. Shout out to my girls in Jackson Heights.

- - -

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001
From: “Ingrida Martinkus”
Subject: business cards

Dear McSweeney’s,

One evening, while sitting quietly in the back seat of a taxi, I noticed the driver holding a piece of paper.

It looked like a business card.

It was a business card.

The card dangled beween his thumb and index finger, as he held it over his shoulder, elbow braced against the passenger head rest…

I watched the card for several minutes… swaying to and fro with each pothole hit, traffic light stop, corner turn….

Then he stretched his arm through the plexi window opening and said, “here,” flicking the card towards me, gesturing for me to take it.

I took it.

It was creamy in color, a bit textured, grainy to the touch. Blank. I turned it around.

Written in plain, arial 12 pt. font was


His arm still stretched through the window opening.hand empty, fingers wiggling, he asked, “could I have the card back?”

I gave it back and said,“thank you.”

He half-turned and smiled a toothy smile.

Ingrida Martinkus
Patron of taxi cab

- - -

Date: 29 Mar 2001
From: “Dan Kennedy”
Dear McSweeney’s,

I know you don’t usually/ publish poetry/ but someday I will sneak/ one by you/ cunning and sly/ I will type/ a so called letter to you/ ha ha ha/ I feel the sky/ dark, empty desert with/ midgets.

d.s. kennedy

- - -

Date: 30 Mar 2001
Subject: certified 80% male

Dear McSweeney’s,

The employees in my neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts consistently refer to me as “Sir.” I’m a fairly regular customer and have visited their store wearing all manner of feminine apparel over the past three years; consequently, this bothers me on several levels. How is it possible that they’ve memorized my drink order but not my gender?
Thanks so much,
whitney pastorek

- - -

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001
From: “matt dorison”
Subject: make them come to you
Make the Ladies Come to You
by: A guy who works where I work

“I’ll go out to a club, where there’s some dancing, and I’ll get a table right up close to the dance floor, not ON the dance floor, but right there next to it, and you know, I’ll sit there for a while, and move my head like this so they know I like the music, and I’ll drink a couple of drinks, and ladies’ll come up to me and ask me to dance. You know, not always right away, sometimes it takes a while, but I just do this with my head… they can see I like it… the music… and then I can tell them no if I want when they come up… not that I ever do… I like to turn it around like that.”

Considering it,
Matt Dorison

- - -

Date: 4 Apr 2001
From: “RJ White”
Subject: Ha-ha

Dear McSweeney’s

I had to get a new phone number.

It started Tuesday morning. When I came home at midnight, there was just one message. From my mom.

“Just thought we’d try out the new number. I know we can’t be the first ones, because it’s so late. Bye.”

Now, I know there probably wasn’t a hint of sarcasm there, but I can’t be completely sure.

Listening to it again,
RJ White

- - -

Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001
From: Chris Cotner
Subject: Ireland

Dear McSweeney’s,

Recently I was in Ireland on my honeymoon. A couple of blocks from my hotel in Dublin was a music venue called The Olympia. On the night in question Stereophonic was playing a show. As you can imagine, the tickets were sold out.

My (new) wife and I really like Stereophonic so we decided to wait around the ticket office, located right next to the theater, and see if we could buy tickets from someone, or buy any tickets that were not picked up at Will Call, etc. There were no tickets available from anyone. So, I told my wife to roll with whatever happened and when the theater manager came back in I told him that I was on my honeymoon, and that I worked for Maverick Records, a division of Interscope records owned by Madonna. Whether he believed me or not he took us in a side entrance and told us to have a nice time. Even gave me his business card and told me to send him a CD. It was an amazing experience but I doubt my little story would work here in The States.

Respectfully Yours,
Christopher William Cotner

- - -

Date: 5 Apr 2001
From: Delahaye, Gabriel
Subject: Robot vs. Dinosaur

Dear McSweeney’s

I’m organizing a fight between a dinosaur and a robot. Tickets are going to be 25 dollars, which I think is fair, and the fight will be held in the alleyway behind my apartment. Seating will be limited so I’m asking everyone to try and let me know as soon as possible whether they’re coming or not. Bets can be made through my friend Lucas, and everybody reading this should have his phone number. It will probably be a medium sized dinosaur, like a stegosaur and a comparably sized robot, but if things go well I’m hoping to book future fights with much larger dinosaurs and equally enhanced Robots (with lasers). Anyone wearing a ‘Too Legit To Quit’ t-shirt will get five dollars off admission price. Anyone wearing a ‘No Fear’ t-shirt will be asked to leave. BYOB!

See you there!

Gabriel Delahaye.

- - -

Date: 5 Apr 2001
From: “Duffy, Jennifer”

Dear McSweeney’s,

10:30 a.m. I am having a problem with heavily perfumed men (actually, just one). I’m sitting in my Cramped Workstation trying not projectile vomit and/or have a seizure due to the olfactory assault being launched by my new cube-mate. And, just now, as I was thinking “Oh my god, I might have to go outside and take a deep, cleansing breath of 34th Street air, so I don’t faint”, he layered on MORE, yet a CONFLICTING scent in the form of a lotion or other unguent. I was too disheartened to turn and see where it came from. I must stop writing now, because of my blinding headache.

12:30 p.m. This is the mantra that I’ve been screaming inside my head for the last hour: "Please, please, please go to lunch so that I can breathe for one brief, shining hour. Please, for the love of God. PLEASE. GO. TO. LUNCH. I. NEED. TO. BREATHE.

1:00 p.m. He’s never, ever going to lunch. And I’m going to die here, in my cramped cube, of asphyxiation. What a way to go.

Jennifer Duffy
Brooklyn, NY

- - -

Date: 05 Apr 2001
From: “Mike Topp”
Subject: Carp

Dear McSweeney’s:

My brother raised some carp in a fish pond in our back yard. One time, as a joke, my friend and I were really high and we leaned out my bedroom window and shot all the carp with a rifle. Then we threw the fish in the street and my brother ran over them in his car when he drove home. For some reason, he failed to see the humor in the situation. Hey Randy, loosen up!

Mike Topp

- - -

Date: 6 Apr 2001
From: Gillian Beebe
Subject: beads

Dear McSweeney’s, So a beaded necklace that my sister had made for me broke the other night and I collected all the little glass beads, along with the clasp, in a cup in the bathroom. Right after I got off the phone last night I went to get a drink of water. I slugged a huge gulp and then sloshed the rest into the sink. And then I noticed some blue things in the sink and looked closer and realized I had just downed most of the beads and the clasp. I felt pretty dumb and called my sister, a veterinary medicine student, to ask her if she thought I would die. She just laughed and laughed and thanked me for cheering her up. She had survived a terrifying car wreck that very day. I was afraid she might have thought I was trying to steal her thunder by coming up with a crisis of my own. But she did not think that at all.


- - -

Date: 06 Apr 2001
Subject: procurement notice

Company Type: Private
Industry: Agricultural Machinery & Eq.

Brief Description: A complete poultry-breeding farm. For additional information or assistance, contact xxx of the Commercial Service in xxx at xxx.

Detailed Description: A self-sustained poultry farm with an incubator, independent power generator, heating system, forage production shop, refrigerating facility, slaughter and carcass cutting equipment.
Quantity Needed: One complete poultry farm
Payment Terms: Leasing is an option
Shipping Terms: To be discussed

Purchase Needed By: by June 2001

- - -

Date: 9 Apr 2001
From: Chuck Easterling
Subject: On lock

Dear McSweeney’s,

I heard that for security reasons you should change your ATM PIN number every so often.

Mine is now 4212.

Chuck Easterling

- - -

Date: 10 Apr 2001
From: “Sean Carman”
Subject: Grounding fault in the instrument cluster? Please advise.

Dear McSweeney’s,

Here’s another question for you: It’s not just that the high beams kick in automatically at inopportune times, but also that the fuel needle bounces in time to the turn signal, the lights dim when I fiddle with the dashboard knob, and the horn sometimes sounds inadvertently. I think the problem is with the grounding strap from the negative post on the battery, the one that connects to the engine block, but it could also be the grounding wires at the instrument cluster, or a combination of a faulty high-beam/turn signal switch and left-side dashboard panel knob. I’m thinking double check the grounds, starting with the engine block and working my way back to the instrument cluster, and go from there, maybe replacing the switch and knob if I can’t locate a grounding fault. Please advise.

Sean Carman

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Date: 11 Apr 2001
From: Andrei Sinioukov
Subject: pharmacy is a sniper

This, below, is a description of ten photographs taken by Uzuraman in the winter of the year 2000. The descriptions are written by Uzuraman as well.


by UZURAMAN (from Japan)

1. Building#1(Osaka, JAPAN). It is the photograph which I obtain LOMO LC-A as for this, and it filmed for the first time. Because I filmed this photograph in the evening, I became a strong photograph of shadow. As for the photograph which I took with LOMO, there is many that it is lacked a quantity of light with a part of a corner. However, the phenomenon contributes to starting an empty color.

2. Building#2(Osaka, JAPAN). There is a tower of a barrel of transparence on a building. Because there was a high building than this tower by, there was not the duty as a tower. I consider it to be very wonderful by the design that a tower of transparence is old. A thing of transparence is very new and feels good old.

3. Pharmacy is a sniper. I have begun to walk to go down Yotsubashi avenue of Osaka to the south. There was a pharmacy so that the field road went. A poster of a sale of a contraceptive was put in front of a pharmacy. The poster was not affected and was not shy, and it begins to have been put magnificently. There is many that an office worker passes in this street than a housewife and a child. Therefore consideration to a child and a woman is needless. I am good if I express the contents which a storekeeper wants to advertise straight. It is written at this paper that “I repeat it and emphasize it, but sell 150 shot 15,000 yen by 9,800 yen now.” “shot” of this sales message is stimulating statement. I have been a little at a loss.

4. Red Vespa. Somebody parked red Vespa on an edge of a road. There is a motor scooter of the design which is classical music in Japan. However, a Japanese recent motor scooter, all are bodies of a plastic. Vespa is a metal body. It is very splendid.

5. Gate of dusk. This building is decoration of a brick style. And it installed a gate of a witty design. The time was dusk. I thought that this combination was wonderful. Therefore I took a photograph. I watched a print later and noticed a poster for the first time. It is a poster “recruiting a tenant” which an owner of a building put. I did not notice at the place at all. I would not look at the thing which I did not want to look at during unconsciousness. However, I have the day when the thing which I do not want to look at is easy to pick out.

6. White Vespa. Somebody parked white Vespa on an edge of a road this time. Vespa of white includes a memory. There was a television play of old days “detective story.” Yusaku Matsuda of movie “Black Rain” played the leading part in the drama.The detective whom Yusaku played got on white Vespa. I got a license of a motorcycle to this drama with yearning. However, I have a license, but do not have yet Vespa. There became a few opportunities to ride a motorcycle recently. Warp and is sandwiched in and force you, and it is a thing.

7. Time machine of a country of a mirror. This seems to be a spaceship or a time machine coming out in a SF movie. There is an artificial pond in a building street. And a building of a globe of this mirror floats in the middle. This is a Shinto shrine. A Shinto shrine is the special house where God of religion of Japanese “Shinto” lives. Will decoration of mirror tension of this building do a duty to bounce a spell of the devil? However, I seem to have bounced a voice and a wish of the people who came to pray to God.

8. Small crossing. And I looked at a crossing. There was a general small crossing there in Japan. One man hanged a ladder and repaired a building. In addition, another man ran by bicycle. In addition, another man delivered a load on a motorcycle of a tricycle.

9. One person being fatty car. A small car of one person being fatty parked. Actually, in the country which is small like Japan, I am enough by most in this way small cars. If a small car spreads as for me, and a price falls more, I think that I am good. I wanted to observe this small car better. But I did not have them on. In fact, a person got inside.

10. I looked up at a building. In the scenery, a straight line stood in line. Because I was busy recently, I forgot that I looked up at a building. I thought that this scenery was very beautiful. It is very difficult to draw the building where I put this a lot of line together on paper to me

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Date: 12 Apr 2001
From: “Alana”
Subject: My left arm’s rough day.

Dear McSweeney’s,

My left arm hurts because today I had some blood drawn. My big vein is bruised and occasionally throbs at the site of my venipuncture. My roommate told me that once, during high school, her friend gave blood at a blood drive, only they drew the blood incorrectly and gave her a vein bruise and she threw up all day. She was okay after that, though.

I had to lie down while the blood was being drawn off because I have a tendency to faint during bloodletting and fall off the doctor table. When I told the nurse that I have a tendency to faint, she had me sit on a bed and called in a backup nurse in the following manner: “Anne, could you come in here and help me with someone?” I also have a tendency to laugh hysterically while having blood taken. When I told this to the backup, she said, “Oh, okay,” and smiled at me from across the room. “It’s better than crying, right?” I said. “Guess so,” she said, not understanding that she was the one who was supposed to say what I had said, in order to set me at ease.

I was already giggling when the nurse tied the rubber tubing on my upper arm. She stroked my vein, which made me panic because it usually pops right out. “Do you want to try my other arm, heh heh?” I asked. She didn’t. I hoped I hadn’t offended her and as she put the needle in, I said, “I didn’t mean to question your phlebotomy skills.” And then, embarrassed at using the word “phlebotomy” in everyday life, I added, “Or whatever.” My embarrassment made no sense — after all, she is the one who makes a living at phlebotomy, not I. After she was done, they both left and I continued to lie on the bed, laughing. People walked by and observed this.

After my appointment, I burned the tip of my left middle finger today on our toaster while toasting a bagel. Right before it happened, I said, “This toaster is so weird.” Then the burn occurred. I cried out, which caused a second roommate to ask if I was all right. “The toaster got me back for badmouthing it,” I said. “Heh heh?” my roommate asked. “Heh heh,” I agreed.

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Date: 12 Apr 2001
From: Karl Tobias Steel
Subject: Wow. Do you want to know I did last summer?

Dear McSweeney’s:

I am sitting in on an English Composition course here, where I am a student. The instructor asked the students to re-write portions of a sample paragraph to “make it funny.” I am only an observor and therefore not required or even expected to participate in the course’s assignments, but I couldn’t resist the challange. I love making things funny.

The sentences: “I am often accompanied by beings of the natural world as well as the supernatural world. Some of these beings include ghosts, goblins, superman, a dog or my neighbors.”

My version concludes, “Some of these beings include ghosts, goblins, wily druids or, more often than you would expect, the fourteenth president of the United States, Abraham [expletive] Lincoln.”


This leads me to a question: why is Abe Lincoln so damned funny?

Lovingly, lovingly,
Karl Steel
The Great City of New York

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Date: 12 Apr 2001
From: “Dan Kennedy”

Dear McSweeney’s,

I apologize for having snuck poetry by you in the last edition of the letters page here at McSweeney’s. It was not right of me, as I knew beforehand what your policy on publishing poetry is. It’s just that these days when I feel the moon run a dagger through my heart there is nothing I can say and this white horse is haunting I feel water now.

Again, I am sorry—
d.s. Kennedy (b 1967)

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Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001
Subject: Teenagers

Dear McSweeney’s,

Today in the back of the bus there were some teenagers holding dear little kittens, and one who was eating macaroni ‘n’ cheese with his fingers out of the glass of a french press. The kittens were mewling and the teenagers were clutching them close to their chests.

An old woman said in a fake french accent, When zey are small zey are zo irresistible, adorable, zo desirable, zes, zen zey grow up and zere are raccoons and zen zey eat zem. A teenager said, I can’t wait for football season to start. Another one who wasn’t holding a kitten said, If I had one I’d torture it, I’d give it to my dog and [laughs]. Just before my stop, someone handed her the orange stripey boy kitten and she petted him softly and cooed into his tiny translucent ear.


S. Hannibal
San Francisco

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Date: 14 Apr 2001
From: “Logan Blazian”

Dear McSweeney’s

I heard this yesterday: “I don’t think a plunger can handle that monster.”

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Date: 16 Apr 2001
From: “Daniel Naumovich”
Subject: Car Care

Dear McSweeney’s,

If you need to borrow my car? It’s cool but I think I left the stereo turned up pretty loud, so when you get in – be prepared to rock. Otherwise just be careful with it okay.

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Date: 16 Apr 2001
From: “Delahoyde, Steve”
Subject: Family Heritage Revisited

Dear McSweeneys,

As I have had large amounts of time on my hands, it seems that I am now able to piece together the genealogical lineage between myself and Mr. Delahaye (who’s name has a far more pleasant ring to it than does mine). The way I have understood it, in Ohio during the early 1800’s, the family name was split due to opposing viewpoints of the family: those who had decided to become Jewish and those who had decided to become Irish Catholics (the religious affiliation before this point is believed to be an rough-offset of Hinduism). This explains why Mr. Delahaye’s name sounds Irish, and mine, if said correctly, has the word “Oy”, a well known Jewish phrase, imbedded in it.

This is either factual information or I just made it all up to continue this fiasco.

Thank you,
Steve Delahoyde

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Date: 19 Apr 2001
From: “Craig Moorhead”
Subject: Kitchen weaponry

Dear McSweeney’s

Probably the best item of silverware that could be used as a deadly weapon is the fork. Some would say the knife, but I think the fork is better. I mean, you get 4 punctures with every stab! It’s like fighting with four knives! I mean, come on!

Craig Moorhead

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Date: 26 Apr 2001
From: John Moe
Subject: Halibut

Dear McSweeney’s,

So I was driving around Burien (a suburb to the south of Seattle where, and this does not relate to the story, I was born) and I saw a restaurant called “Halibut Hut.” And what do they serve there? Chicken teriyaki and no halibut at all. There was no one in the place. I turned around and drove home and stayed there the rest of the day.

Your friend,
John Moe

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Date: 26 Apr 2001
From: Julia Voelker
Subject: planning summer before Grad school

Dear McSweeney’s:

I am trying to fill my days. Perhaps you could help me and post this:

Sassy, often intelligent, unemployed 26 yr. old NS/F ISO unemployed, freaking hilarious yet easily amused, Arabic-speaking 25-28 year old SM to share sunny, warm summer afternoons swilling cheap beers, doing crossword puzzles, reading personal ads outloud and playing catcher while I practice my pitching. This down-to-earth fellow has no problems spending the day on my second story outside porch (carpeted) or the alternative, my tiny ant-infested muddy backyard (better sun exposure) — a man for low to middle-brow activities.

Thank you for your help.

Julia Voelker