From: “Ronald Dawson”
Subject: some problems i’ve been having…
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Lately I’ve been plagued by doubt. I can gain no respite from the metaphysical conundra that roil in the murky swamp of my mind. (Is that redundant? “Murky swamp”?) I was hanging with my friend Shawna at the coffee shop the other day, for example. (Shawna’s in my anatomy class at school; she’s been having these episodes lately, due to her manic-depression. She’s a nice girl, but she has this thing where she figures out your psychic weak points and chips away at them over time, so that after a while you’re just this tottering tower of neurosis and regret.) But anyway, I’m chilling with her at the coffee shop, and out of nowhere I just go: “What if sexuality is the manifestation of a Divine power immanent in mankind? If that is so, then to deny me sex is to deny God his due! Is there no end to the blasphemy of Woman?” And she replies: “I hate this life. Everything’s so blank and dead, it’s like a…shopping mall. Stale, sterile shopping-mall life! Go back to your shopping mall!” And I was like, “Okay, Shawna, I’ll go back to my shopping mall. Just don’t freak out.”

Anyway, my constant contemplation of Truth has yielded some pretty neat story ideas for McSweeneys. Here are some:

1) You could have this woman who wants to lose her virginity, so she gets on the Internet, to one of those auction sites, and she sells her virginity to the highest bidder. This would be an excellent way to probe our sexual mores. I mean, sometimes it’s like, with all these new devices supposedly enhancing communication in our “supercharged” Internet Information Age, it’s like all these devices IMPEDE the very communication they are supposed to facilitate. (Did you ever feel that way?)

There are other ideas, but I have to go to the bathroom (or, in Gen-Y parlance, “drop the chilupa”). Interested parties can reach me at

Benny Leverbaum
Manhattan, NY

- - -

Subject: lincoln
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Sure, he was a great president, but he didn’t grunt enough. Did you know that if you take the Gettysburg Address and insert the word “ARGH!” after every occurrence of the word “the,” it’s funnier?

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the ARGH! proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The ARGH! brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The ARGH! world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the ARGH! living rather to be dedicated here to the ARGH! unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the ARGH! great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the ARGH! last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the ARGH! people, by the ARGH! people, for the ARGH! people shall not perish from the ARGH! earth.
Robert “BobEddie” Edgar

- - -

Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999
From: Gabriel Hudson
Subject: Letter to McSweneey’s about Harry Finds the Ham

Dear McSweeney’s,

Thank you for the polite, if not lengthy, rejection letter for the story I sent you titled, “Harry Finds the Ham.” I have always wanted to be a writer, and I finally said, “It’s now or never,” and sat down and wrote, “Harry Finds the Ham,” (my first story ever!) after reading McSweeneys No. 3 from cover to cover. Overall, I found your comments to be both extremely insightful and sensibly put. But I have to be honest, after reading what you said about my use of plot device (recall the chart you drew on the second page), I wondered if maybe you missed (my fault, and I’m sorry) some of the key things you had to get in order to understand the story. So I wanted to run them by you. I hope that’s okay.

1) The central metaphor is the bonzai tree. So by the end of the story, when Phil says, “Here’s a quarter,” you know the bonzai tree has changed back into a werewolf and you begin to realize that what Phil means is, “You can’t run forever without stopping.” That’s why the title has the word ham in it.

2) That scene in the apartment can be boiled down to this: Jeanette never finds out that Tom fed the goldfish catnip. And Tom can’t bring himself to confess, even after the goldfish leaps out of the bowl and runs up a tree.

3) The story takes place somewhere in the future.

4) When Paul looks down and sees that he has hooves instead of feet, he’s not in the dream anymore.

That’s it. You were definitely right-on-target with everything else. I can’t help but wonder what you make of the story now, especially when you remember how Kate describes her first trip to heaven!

very grateful,

Chad Fordham,
Newark NJ

- - -

Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999
From: “William Rockwood”
Subject: I am writing in response to the letter from “Tom and Michelle.” I am familiar them both (“Michelle”

Dear McSweeney’s,

I am writing in response to the letter from “Tom and Michelle.” I am familiar them both (“Michelle” is the name that Tom has given to a body part that many would have named “Little Tom”)and would like to add that besides accusing various people of alcoholism, incest and Naziism, Tom has accused John Madden of having misshapen sexual organs.

Yours truly,
Bill Rockwood

- - -

From: “Jim Davis”
Subject: RE: scented candle
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Is that a scented candle that tastefully augments your logo? Because I was just looking at it and since, I must admit, I am an avid collector, I had to ask. I think that scented candles and other olfactory decorations i.e. potpurrie, posess such a strong capacity to change and improve ones spiritual life.

By the way, whitecaps are actually concentrations of the residual foam that occurs when fish deficate.

- - -

Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999
From: Thessaly
Subject: availability elsewhere

To Whom It May Concern:

Gentlemen, &c.,

While I am sure it has not escaped your attention in the true sense, it has escaped your attention that I acquired your fine periodical journal in Florida at a Borders Books.

Since every precious ’zine reader of Belle Epoque tendencies should have the chance to take a gander at your publication regardless of the location of their domicile, I would hope that you might state that the bumpkins can find you in a chain bookstore. I offer my apologies, indeed, if I have been remiss and you have already done so.

Elizabeth McIntyre
whose urban camouflage = not living in an actual city, and who resents pot shots at Cleveland and Pittsburgh, even while laughing at them most heartily.

- - -

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: “Tim Annett”
Subject: customer service

Dear McSweeney’s,



A one-act play, using found dialogue from a telephone discussion occurring earlier today.

(Phone rings.)

Caller: I’m looking for a stock.

Me: Which stock?

Caller: Well, I don’t know.

Me: Good luck with that.


(Phone is cradled. Like a baby.)

Tim Annett

P.S. I don’t have an MFA, but I did once drink beer in a college dorm room with Marc Price, known far and wide for his portrayal of Skippy Handelman on “Family Ties.”

- - -

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
Subject: In defense of Meredith Petran
From: “kevin guilfoile”

Dear McSweeney’s,

Eric Landborgh’s pocket dictionary definitions notwithstanding, it was perfectly acceptable for Ms. Petran to describe the question “Why are whitecaps white?” as existential. A variation of an old joke, said to have been popular with Kierkegaard and which, even today, can be found on the sides of Dixie cups, pays off with the line: “Because if they were blue, they’d be called bluecaps.”

Kevin Guilfoile
Chicago, IL

- - -

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999
From: Scott Matthew Korb
Subject: We Are Not Sad Anymore.

Dear McSweeney’s:

We have a proposal for you— perhaps a good proposal. It is a proposal filled with bonhomie, even:

Not knowing our own fates, we [M. Ryan Purdy (no relation) and Scott M. Korb] were walking in opposite directions toward each other down the same street. Ryan was fuming, after his vitriolic riposte to Scott went unpublished in McSweeney’s fine web-based journal. Scott was staring at the birds in the trees (for this was a street with trees and Scott likes birds, especially red cardinals and ravens) and whistling gaily to himself, because his response, thought Scott, had driven Ryan to acquiescent silence. “Aha,” thought Scott, “my response has driven Ryan to acquiescent silence.” As we approached each other, Ryan looked up, and saw someone carrying McSweeney’s Print Version #3 in his right hand and wearing a beret. Although Scott was wearing the beret, it was Ryan who was smoking. Scott noticed Ryan, smoking, and coincidentally also carrying in one hand, the left, McSweeney’s Print Version #3 and in the other a crumpled piece of paper. (The cigarette was dangling.) We noticed each other.

We’ve written a play to memorialize the event.

A PLAY for McSweeney’s
by Scott M Korb and M. Ryan Purdy

A dog

Setting: a tree-lined street, New York City. Birds chirp.

Scene 1

SMK: Hello. Nice journal.

MRP: Yes, it is. It is a nice journal. Nice journal to you, too. Are you Korb?

SMK: Yes, I am. I am Korb. Are you Purdy of no relation?

MRP: Yes, I am. I am Purdy of no relation. See this paper, crumpled in my hand while my cigarette dangles? It’s my unpublished riposte to your attack on my piece. That’s right, ‘unpublished’— don’t think I was driven to silence, acquiescent or otherwise.

SMK: Oh, may I read it?

MRP: Yes, you may. Here it is. [Ryan hands the crumpled paper to Scott. Scott uncrumples the paper.]

SMK: Thanks. I’m going to look down now at the paper you just gave me so that I may read it. [Scott’s lips move but there is no sound. A lip-reader could make out the following: “It seems that one of your readers, Scott M [sic] Korb of Manhattan, NY, has walked himself … bought himself … a Frenchman…” At this point Ryan’s hand pulls back and cracks Scott “upside the head” as Scott’s lips continue to move. A brawl of sorts ensues. Birds scatter. Dust rises. A dog barks.]

[Lights go down. Stage goes black. Curtain falls.]

(Wild applause.)


Shortly thereafter, once the dust had settled and the blood had clotted, we were sad. Scott offered to buy Ryan a beer. In return, Ryan offered to buy Scott a decaf tea (Scott is not a drinker). We both agreed this would be pleasant— we could be friends and discuss our relationship to McSweeney’s. We would no longer be sad. Well, we did this, and we got to thinking (we were of one mind):

Q: What good could we do for the journal that has done so much good for us?

A: We could help others, give them a “helping hand,” and, if need be, provide relief for the over-worked McSweeney’s Representative (MR), and provide answers to your readership’s emotional problems (they must exist, right?). Yet, we do question our own ability to help said readership (although we would give it the “old college try,” if asked). Please do not mock us for being of one mind about this, or for anything else— we want to help.

However, something then dawned on us— we were able, over beer and tea, to make each other not sad, to provide advice for each other. Why push the envelope? Why not stick with the tried-and-true? How about we offer advice to each other? That’s novel. In doing so, in a very public way, we can provide your readership with advice they can take to the bank. If it works for us, it ought to work for everyone. We discovered we are uncannily representative of the general population— note:

light hair
light blue eyes
devout Catholic
red light
inside Ryan:
dark hair
no eye-glasses
dark blue eyes
lapsed Protestant
East Coast
green light
Aristotle (see Raphael’s “School of Athens.”)

See? Uncanny. Below we have provided a sample question and answer (Q &A) as part of our proposal:

advice by and for Scott M Korb and M. Ryan Purdy

SMK: Ryan, something makes me sad. There is an emptiness in my heart— maybe even my soul, even— because I cannot remember the last time I read the newspaper and did not cry upon reading about America and its people.

MRP: Scott, have you thought about going digital? Just imagine yourself walking down the street having gone digital, thinking to yourself, “I’ve gone digital.” Wouldn’t that make you not sad.

Sirs, we respectfully submit our proposal, HOW NOT TO BE SAD, to expand and enhance (we hope) the services provided by Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Happy Giver by helping each other each week for the benefit of all who visit and read said on-line journal. Again, please do mock us. We are serious.

We remain, &c.,

Scott M Korb
Manhattan, NY

M. Ryan Purdy
Brooklyn, NY

- - -

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
Subject: enumeration of grievances (and a bonne bouche)

I believe McSweeney’s has now been lent the impetus for the termination of the publication of humorous lists. When first I stumbled onto McSweeney’s, it was a literary journal of a certain merit. Now it is plagued by the ubiquitous lists; the list of this, the list of which that, the list of so forth. A list has relatively little literary weight when viewed on the same scale that, say, a piece would be. Some reasons why lists are non-savory.

1) They can be desultory
2) Any fool not in possession of an MBA can craft one
3) David Letterman has perfected the extraction of what art may be derived from a given list; the general lack of numeration fools no one. It is apparent that such lists are pilfered scraps of David Letterman concepts.
4) Lists do not represent art. They represent communication. (Digression: Perhaps if one were to paint a list on a canvas, it would transcend communication and become art. An interesting hypothesis.)
5) These people who write the lists, they think they are cute.
6) They are not, but they still think so.

I would heartily recommend the effective end to McSweeney’s list publication.

Now for the aforepromised bonne bouche. If one were to be in the Westfield, Massachusetts area this evening, one would be witness to perhaps the most fascinating natural phenomenon to occur in recent memory.* Of course, one would have to be in Westfield, Massachusetts, or at the very least thereabouts. If one is indeed in the area this evening, one will pick up what I’m putting down.

Kevin Jaszek

*Fascinating as aforementioned phenomenon is, it is also not art.

- - -

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
From: Amie Barrodale
Subject: Update

Dear McSweeneys,

Another interesting dream. I was squattting in the atic of my childhood home, unbeknownst to the curent owners. I was finding all sorts of excellent decoration, then a subway, and there was some upsid-down ride. Very likely I would lose my wig here. We passed the grave where Jim Morrison was burried, and drove our limo down its swimming pool steps before I realized that only can be done in movies. I must be dreaming the movie. Who wrote that, the Chauffeur asked. Same guy, I said, who did Mean Streets

Sorry I missed yesterday, no dreams. Yours about the stewardesses standing in froont of the airplane portals in attempt to prick conscience of Russian bomber very interesting. What do you think it means, the cutting and re-cutting of Ally McBeal’s dress sleeve?

Keep me up to date,

- - -

From: “Andrew Merz”
Subject: Letter
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Somewhere in the swirling creamy richness of McSweeney’s No. 3 was declared, in typical miniscule and Palatin fashion, a request for hot-topic discussion: a call to wrangle the dalliances of many into a collective inane and overwhelming jabber with the final purpose of branding upon the herd a differently-shaped celebrity scab to pick at.

One such bit of generalizing that has bothered me for some time was, you’ll be glad to hear, finally resolved this morning while shampooing. When the pop phrase-phenom (as in frosh-phenom) “Generation X” beget “Generation Y” and its various other incarnations (which now thankfully escape me), I could take no more. This lowbrow pithiness was and continues to be more than merely annoying; it is empirically fraudulent and unacceptable. Thus, it gives me great pleasure to publicly disclose for the first time the alternative that I have formulated.

I state the following as fact now and forevermore: I am a part of the generation whose only bind
ing and defining characteristic is an instantaneous and innate understanding of any reference to the anti-drug use television advertisement containing the line of dialogue “I learned it from watching you!” Let others seek the implications of this as they may.

Respectfully yours,

Andrew E. Merz

Postscript: For later consideration: the similarities between the names of popular American children’s cereals and common racial epithets of the 20th century; the implications, sociological, psychological and otherwise, of this startling trend.

- - -

From: Peter M. Wallace, a.k.a. Walt Candela Re: Blown cover November 18, 1999

Dear friends at McSweeneys,

I apologize profusely for confusing you and your many faithful readers. The other day you ran my letter regarding your mention in US NEWS along with various comments about David Gergen, their editor at large. (How tall is he anyway?)

My email was marked “From: Walt Candela”, whereas I signed it with my true name, Peter M. Wallace. This may have perplexed some folks, which was not my intent.

Allow me to explain.

Earlier this year, in email conversations with Michael Chabon (the novelist, author of MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH, WONDER BOYS, soon to be a major motion picture, and a couple of damn fine short story collections, as well as a new novel coming next year that is going to be incredibly good), he revealed his predilection for anagrammatic versions of his name. In fact, he uses a couple of names, created from letters M I C H A E L C H A B O and N, for various purposes—genre writing, Kaleidoscope schemes, and so forth. What else he does with these names, I honestly don’t know.

What an interesting concept! I thought So I found an anagram site on the world wide web and typed in my own name, PETER MARSDEN WALLACE. Out of hundreds of word strings I spied a name: WALTER SEMPER CANDELA. Hmmm… Walt Candela. That has a real-life ring to it, I mused. So now what do I do with it?

I have been a member of an ongoing email list called The Off-Topic List. This list started when a bunch of us on another list, one dedicated to the life and work of the brilliant comic book artist and writer Jack Kirby, got into various discussions about religion. These were clearly “off-topic,” which made us all feel guilty (several of us were lapsed Catholics). So one of our number started a separate mail list, called “Off-Topic,” on which everything is, um, On Topic, and invited all who so wished to join in the fun. Naturally, we discuss everything amongst ourselves (nearly four dozen of us at last count), including philosophy, religion, comic books, music, politics, funny stories, bowel movements, psychotic episodes, oh and I almost forgot, sex. Not in that order.

Well, I thought it would be great fun to inflict my new secret identity, Walter S. Candela, on this fun-loving group. So, ol’ Walt opened a Hotmail account and joined the list, and I made him up as I went along. Turns out he was a retired porn star with a prodigious member who had pulled himself out of the industry. Perhaps I should rephrase that but I won’t. Walt got in numerous discussions about what it’s like to star in porn films (of course I made it all up), what it’s like to be independently wealthy as a result (he didn’t blow it all on blow), his philosophy of life, and so forth.

Walt was roundly welcomed to the group discussion. As Peter Wallace, I often responded to Walt’s emails and would ask him new questions. At least one member, however, smelled a rat from the get go, and never gave poor Walt a chance. He was merciless with his doubt. Walt felt badly that this member didn’t believe in his existence.

After a couple of weeks of interaction (and this list is extremely active), I, Peter Wallace I mean, had to leave for a brief vacation. But what would Walt do? Clearly, he had to be absent as well, so I manufactured some lame excuse for Walt of having to work an extra job. But when I came back from my relaxing vacation, I realized I simply couldn’t keep up the ruse. I try to be an authentic person, and I didn’t like fooling my internet friends. So I came clean with them. Several of them expressed shock and dismay. The doubter had been right all along. Various issues regarding one’s internet identity and trust were discussed at some length. And then we moved on to other issues regarding philosophy, religion, life, and sex.

So, while Walt left that mail list group, I still adopt the Walt Candela identity at times to post to various usenet groups in order to protect myself. But now, having forgotten to reset my “identity” in my browser, I have blown my cover for the whole world to see.

This whole experience has taught me several important life lessons, which I have subsequently forgotten.

Peter M. Wallace

- - -

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999
From: Ben Lerner
Subject: in case this kid name sam reads your webpage

Dear Sam,

My girlfriend, who’s spending the semester abroad, recently told me that she’s hooked up with a forty-year-old squatter in Barcelona. He also plays in a band and sells hash pipes. As I write this, I imagine they’re probably seeking out some pigeon haunt or back alley in which to make love.

Anyway, I lost your email address and i don’t remember your last name, but I thought I’d write you to say that I’m sorry about dinner. My extension is x37741. Give me a call after Thanksgiving if you’re still interested in hanging out.



- - -

Dear McSweeney’s,

I have always found this section to be the most interesting part of a resume. I have also found that the more exclusive a university, the more humorous the “additional interests” will be. These were compiled from a MBA resume Class of 2000 book that passed through my desk one day. Like a good book on a rainy day, I found I could not tear myself away. No need to name the university in question, but I will say many know it as “The Farm.”

“Additional Interests”

-Badminton, animal rescue and placement, ballroom dancing, languages (Hindu, some German and Spanish)

-Enjoy opera, medieval history, dead languages, classical Chinese poetry, French film and tennis

-Avid outdoorsman: enjoy sea kayaking, fly-fishing, wild mushroom foraging, nature photography and scuba diving

-Enjoy dinghy sailing, jogging and watching soccer

-Interests: park management, rock climbing, ultimate Frisbee, photography and adventure travel

- Swing and ballroom dancing (club co-president), opera, photographs, travel, rollerblading and chocolate

-Interests: coaching, basketball, map reading, art, jitterbug, movies, urban history and adventure racing

-Delivered a joint key-note speech with Secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the United Nations, authored an amendment to the New Jersey State constitution, fluent in Swahili and proficient in French

-Lifelong New York Jets fan

-Interests include screenwriting, fishing, hiking, baseball, boxing and reptiles

-Independent film, basketball, charity races, 1970s postcards and outdoor maps

Anna M. Ortiz
Los Angeles

- - -

From: “Bob McSweeny”
Subject: McSweenys
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,


MCSWEENYS. Got that? Real, flesh and blood McSweenys, who gather as a tribe every three years to celebrate their existence and the invention of Irish whiskey. We are a group of 38 sould all directly related to one common ancestor named James McSweeny. We do T-shirts at our reunions with the family motto printed on them: “Saepe errore, nunquam dubitatione”. (“Often wrong, never in doubt.”)

MFA’s? Alas, not a one of us has wasted that much time in studying the fine arts, but we do have several dyslexic offspring and are thinking of starting a sheep ranch in Wyoming. Does that qualify? Also, several published authors, a bookstore owner and, God ’elp us, a lawyer. (We manage to keep him hid most of the time.)

Love your stuff. Will turn the whole clan on to it at once!

Robert H. McSweeny

- - -

From: “Michael Simanoff”
Subject: corners
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Regarding today’s story on your homepage, I do believe the author was walking down 5th Avenue, on the west side of the road.

Whaddo I win?


- - -

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999
Subject: Teach a man to fish and he’ll blah blah…

Dear McSweeney’s

Foam, froth, scum, the top of a latte, the crest of a wave, the rim round the bath: It’s all white because it’s made out of sugar. White sugar.

I was thinking about going with salt. Is salt funnier than sugar? Or is it a question of taste?


Anyway, go back with me, way back, to that anecdote you once showcased that finished with the great line ‘stuck you with the bill, did he!’ Ha ha ha! I loved that! It reminds me of the time I was working as a short ordure cook: A catfight broke out between a workmate of mine ? an actress moonlighting as waitress, and a patron of the diner ? a casting director who’d passed said artiste over for a plum part. The fracas wound up with my thespian colleague getting thrust into a nearby sandwich.

Reflecting on the incident with the actress later I remarked: ‘Personally, I wouldn’t have cast you in that roll.’

Ack ii.

OK, I give up: I stole that story. Almost verbatim. Still, I might have worked as a cook, for all you know.

Hey! What happened to the poignantly ephemeral ‘Losers Auctions’ (posted and removed 22nd November, a.m.)?

Shout going out to Ray ‘Einar’ Olson! (three letters in early October!) Wherever he is.


Rom (also, Rrr)
Matt Fritchman’s Sweetheart

- - -

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999
From: Sydney Fleet
Subject: …and I fainted dead away…

Dear McSweeney’s,

Which is a better sentence?

1. When her father felt well enough she left him alone for the afternoon and went out to the river to sit and watch the ducks make consonants in the air.

2. Man, you a straight-up bitch!

I thought #2 (six syllables that hold the world nicely, if I do say so myself), but my dewy-eyed nineteen-year-old girlfriend voted for #1. If she didn’t have that magnificent camber to her back and wasn’t such a tiger in the sack, I would have argued with her. Instead, I appeal to your wisdom, Mr. Clark. This is Dick Clark’s answering machine, is it not?

(screams, running)

P.S. You should let that Ben Greenman out of his cage sometimes. Man, oh Manischewittisz (sp!), that guy “does” “lots” of “writing.” (I don’t know why I’m being so sarcastic. I usually like his stuff. Maybe it’s the syphillis.)

- - -

From: “Tom and Michelle”
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

While watching today’s Patriots game with a friend, I noticed a disturbing trend in the people I tend to dislike. We were voicing our displeasure with a number of the Dolphins’ players, Patriots’ coaching staff, and some team malcontents when I noticed that all of them, as well as many other figures in politics and entertainment, shared some common traits: alcoholism, incest, and being a Nazi. Admittedly, in many if not most cases, there is scant evidence to back it up, but it’s a gut feeling I go with.

In light of this I would simply recommend you rethink your publication of my pieces. I can understand you informing me of McSweeney’s ban on “Talk” magazine references and then forgetting (blackouts, no doubt), but now an ex post facto ban on lists? That’s unconstitutional (fascist). I urge you to reconsider before you wind up in a drunken family orgy dressed as Hitler, whether real or imagined by me.

Yours Always,

Tom Clancy

- - -

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999
From: Caulin Holmes
Subject: Garbage Meatballs

Dear McSweeney’s,

Regarding Francie Lin’s missive dated Mon, 15 Nov 1999, I would offer myself as witness to the delicious garbage-based meatballs she so eloquently describes. Though I have never tasted the morsels, I recall witnessing their nationwide debut on Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! (Surely it couldn’t have been Candid Camera – I didn’t partake of that show because Alan Funt gives me nightmares. On purpose, too. Though I thought the show was That’s Incredible! Seems like a more likely venue for such an amazing though thoroughly believable breakthrough. Ripley tended more towards human freaks and whatnot. That’s Incredible! was a more comprehensive bazzaar of incredible delights. )

And having a material witness to the no-doubt factual existence of edible trashballs, I think it is fair to say that Francie, your sister is contentious and bull-headed.

That’s all I have to say. My job is done here. Thank you for your time and understanding.


Caulin Holmes

- - -

From: “eric langborgh”
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Regarding Merideth Petran’s “Whitecaps, etc.”:

ex’is-ten’tial-ism’ n. a philosophical movement stressing individual existence and holding that human beings are totally free and responsible for their acts.

Regarding Francis Heaney’s wrestling’s metanames:

To “beg the question” does not simply mean to “beg for a question.” Rather, it means to offer an inadequate response to a question, a response which leaves that question unanswered. Strange as it may seem, one cannot beg a question until it has already been asked.


Eric Landborgh
Accuracy in Academia

- - -

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999
From: Sam W Stark
Subject: Professor Leapin’ Lanny Poffo?!?

Dear McSweeney’s,

Ms. Williams:

Late 80’s geek-chic revival produced a veritable faculty of wrestling professors (Professor Egon Ecton (VWF), Professor Poindexter (AWF), Professor Maxwell (NWA), Professor Malice (NWA), The Masked Professor (NPW), etc.).

Japanese pro wrestling star Jumbo Tsuruta is even tenured at the University of Portland.

But the only “Professor” simpliciter, to my knowledge, was and remains Earl Evans Johnson of Music City Wrestling (AKA “The Professor”)

Though your spelling is very good, Leapin’ Lanny Poffo changed his name to “The Genius,” not “The Professor.” Neither was he ever “The Poet,” though he certainly does write poetry, a signed collection of which is available from

Sam Stark

P.S. According to, “Poffo was so popular at one point that he and ‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig appeared on a segment of Regis and Kathie Lee.” But one anonymous fan claims that, these days, “Lanny Poffo is being a telemarketer for a magazine company at home over the net.”

- - -

Subject: Rrr

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Tell the cryptic one he can “biltog” this (I am pointing at my crutch. yes, crutch.) His creative writing teacher should stop penning fan mail to Tom Beller about wanting to “dress him,” and focus on teaching her kids something worthwhile. I’m sure Rrr’s the cantankerous one in the back who is smart as a whip, but thinks everyone else besides Dennis Cooper is played out. My friend’s wife is large with child, and I’m not kidding.

Muurge Wrestlez

- - -

From: “Ogilvie, Sara, ARV
Subject: FW: Today is an odd day.
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999

What up McSweeneys,

I received this information in an email earlier today. Why would I want to pass this on to you? Because you are my friend. Do with it what you will.

Today (11/19/1999) is an odd day (i.e. a date with ALL odd numbers).
This is the last one.
After that, we won’t see an odd day until 1/1/3111.
The next even day will be 2/2/2000, the first since 8/28/888.

Happy Friday,
sara ogilvie

- - -

From: Rick Kang
Subject: Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Under the auspices of proving a point re: Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers, by Jeff Johnson, I wrote in saying one of his selections, “The Professor”, was in actuality a real wrestler, previously known as “Leapin’” Lanny Poffo.

I was mistaken. The name Lanny Poffo decided to take, surely to embarrass his opponents with their lack of education, formal or otherwise, was not “The Professor” as I previously wrote to you (under the e-mail of my co-worker Jocelyn Williams), but “The Genius.” Just as witty, no doubt, but certainly not a possible name chosen by Mr. Johnson.

So, from “Leapin’” to “Genius” to “Poet”, went the evolution of WWF C-list star Lanny Poffo’s nickname. To quote Brooklyn hardrock and original Lo-Life Bek-Live (formerly Bek-Lo), “Name evolution is bugged!”

It certainly is, Bek-Live, it certainly is.

Rick Kang

- - -

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
Subject: Weenie

Dear McSweeney’s,

Gerbil Boy needs to chill out. Maybe he should buy a gun and shoot something with it, or something. Out here (Salt Lake City) there are is a Featherstone family or two, some of them pretty high up in the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). I know some personally. They are not made up, either. They are real people. Some own guns. None are named Steve. Personally, I thought the Gergen thing was funny. Disturbing? No, terse, maybe. But definitely funny. I think this “Bankovitz” guy is made up. Maybe by Pat Robertson. Just a thought.

Richard Davis
Salt Lake City
Home of the 2002 Olympics Scandal

- - -

From: “R.J. White”
Subject: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 Add Addresses

Dear McSweeney’s,

Upon reading Francie Lin’s account of the garbage-filled meatballs documentary, a vision of the scene made it’s way up out of the deep recesses of my memory, as well.

I believe it was on a Canadian program, called “What Will They Think Of Next?” which was made in the seventies and ran on Nickelodeon in its earliest days. I remember being assured as a small child by Joseph Campanella (the host) that the world would soon be one of flying cars, recycled material geodisic homes and, yes, meatballs made of garbage.

Ms. Lin, you are not alone.

Yours, in earnest,
R.J. White

- - -

Subject: Jocelyn Williams’s Mistake
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Ms. Williams, in her letter about Lanny Poffo and his status as The Professor is pretty much wrong. While Mr. Poffo did indeed tour as “Leapin’” for a stint in the ’80s (and possibly in the early ’90s), he did not return to the world of wrestling as The Professor.

He was The Genius, and his pre-match taunting sessions were definitely among the most erudite ever. Better than the Hulkster; better than Macho and the Stinger; certainly at least as good as Flair was in his (Flair’s) prime or The Rock is now. Mr. Poffo would routinely wear a gown and mortar-board, yes. And, sure, he would recite his own works of poetry, which even then—as I think Tennessee Williams predicted would happen—was becoming an increasingly rough and tumble trade to ply.

But a professor? No! Poffo was a genius, too preoccupied with solving the great questions of our time, like how, exactly does one get out of a figure-four-leg-lock (rope break), and far too “big-picture” to shackle himself to the often stagnant, petty, and back-bitten world of the academy. Poffo’s medium was the squared circle. And even if some don’t recognize, or prefer to ignore, the sacrifices that he made for you (All of you, dammit!), God bless him. Never Forget!

Fritz Lenneman
SHaMo-H (South of Harlem, in Morningside Heights)

- - -

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Meredith Petran
Subject: Whitecaps, etc.

Dear McSweeney’s,

Normally too existential for me, but…

I think it all stems from your definition of white. Is white the combination of all the colors of the spectrum, or the absence of color, quite like vanilla ice cream simply being the absence of chocolate? In regard to the sea, I think the former. When the water, that primordial soup that birthed us all, filled with life and death and weird little sponges, bends and curves, reaching for the sky like Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet after Titanic sunk, climbs over its molecular brothers just to see what’s out there and hits its own orgasmic pinnacle, it turns white and falls back upon itself; the pure, unadulterated chemistry of the H being overcome by the O, the combining of two worlds, resulting in pure, glowing white light.

Or it’s a prism, I think. Yes, it must have something to do with prisms.

M. Petran
Sunnyside, NY

- - -

From: wguthrie
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Some religous jokes:

1)A monk in sheeps clothing
2) God on a stick
3)drowning witches and sorcerers

I’ll write more if they come to me.

- - -

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
Subject: Crows ‘N’ Counters

Dear McSweeney’s,

We all know the classic Henrietta/Henry-Ate-Her joke. But imagine the amusing misunderstandings which could arise from the incautious placement of words like…

They could be applied cynically, or with blithe naivete. Here’s one I pre-prepared:

- Tony, this medieval-scene tapestry was woven in a Floridan lagoon.
- Really Trevor. Bayou?

That’s what I call a ‘triple-intender’. But listen out for the overlapping patterns of ‘meaning’ in this exchange, which actually did take place, sometime in the future:

- Nice furuncle.
- Thanks kiddo, it’s stole.

And I think ‘ermine’ would work nicely in a follow-up line here. I just couldn’t think of one.

Well, Torah for now,


- - -

From: “Magary, Carol”
Subject: Jon Cryer to be my baby
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 15:32:45 -0500

Dear McSweeney’s,

I want Jon Cryer to be my baby. I don’t mean “baby” as in “loverman.” I mean “baby” as in “infant.” I will dress him in a sailor suit. I will take many photos. I will wipe up peaches from his chin. Perhaps you think I want Jon Cryer to be my baby because of his name: a baby is a crier. Perhaps you think I want Jon Cryer to be my baby because he played “Duckie” in “Pretty in Pink,” and baby bibs are often decorated with little duckies. But you would be wrong twice. I want Jon Cryer to be my baby because he is one of the finest comedic actors of his generation.

Thank you.

Carol Magary

- - -

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
Subject: Public Service Announcement

Dear McSweeney’s—

Although I imagine she is much too demure to mention it herself, the episode of “Sex in the City” featuring Colleen Werthmann will be rebroadcast by HBO on Sunday, November 28, at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

As always,
Your obedient servant,
—Alex Pascover

P.S. If Brown and Yale both lose Saturday’s football game, Cornell has a shot to tie for first place for the first time since 1990. Keep your fingers crossed!

- - -

From: “Don Zacharias”
Subject: Myers
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Funny you should ask. Yes, I do in fact have a story about Dee Dee Myers. It goes like this: My high school American History teacher went to school with her.

The fact that I do not have an MFA may or may not have something to do with why I cannot tell this story better.

Don Zacharias
Los Angeles

- - -

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Walt Candela
Subject: Congratulations

Dear friends at McSweeney’s,

Congratulations on being a “hot pick” website in this week’s US NEWS & WORLD REPORT. But they didn’t even mention the short David Gergen fiction. And he’s their editor at large! What does that mean, anyway? I mean, serial rapists are at large. Escaped mental patients are at large. Are US NEWS editors of the same ilk? Please explain.

Thank you, and continued good fortune.

Peter M. Wallace

- - -

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Subject: Will to Power (are you receiving…?)

Here I go, creeping round your bedroom as you sleep, dipping your fingers in water (laced with lemon) and drawing on your homely mug (yo faverit Diblert one). Quietly, through my mouth, I’ve breathed the meaty manhatton air of your lettuce page for longer than you know: spying, sniggering, taking asides.

I too have a list(), and make observations from a collective youth(*), perhaps I can join you? Happily I could antagonise, if it would bring me on board as “the foil”. You see, I have your numbers now, all of them, and never one to subside to the Lezzers’ Maw correspondence school, I’ll take in you each turn, like the ghoulish incubus I am:

Jeff, you up: (Three falls or) One submission to McSweeney’s Main Body and you’re coming at us like Mr T(ea).! Well, everyone knows SoWeHo is in Cape Town, S.A. and you’re a long way from home, pal. -I’m thinking I should follow with a line about ‘Biltong’ and your jerked meat. But it eludes me. Come over to BeG-ParDoN (Below Gramercy-Park, Down on Nineteenth) some time, and I’ll have it for you.

Dallas: I love, I live for, but why is it with Americans that you’re named after where you were conceived? I fear this trend getting ever more specific: classrooms full of young Back-Alleys and Jalopeys. Of course, we already have ‘Jon’.

Oh yeah, you Effendi me, Laurie-of-the-potential-to-contribute: If I am introduced to Mr Mahir(sute fellow) one more time at this party, like the camel I will spit. You will come to my Brother’s shop, yes?

I suffer from anecdoubt. But I have feelings of pronoia. Here’s my hastily compiled list-

*Increasingly Common Phobiae In A Hostile World

example: daddiophobia ? fear of jazz terminology.
now you: kimonophobia
Roscophobia (née: Roscoepeecoltrainophobia)

**The observation: Both sitting alone in their eery (albeit sumptuous) houses, making dinners for one, watching the odd movie, struggling with buttons. How soon is it really before the one remaining Fat Lady hooks up with Ebert?

My word is “clack”. You gotta say id to feel id.


- - -

Dear McSweeney’s,

Much attention has been paid to the question of names for wrestlers and the relative merits of some vs. others. This begs the question, I feel, of who would ever suggest such names for wrestlers. Therefore:

Bad Names for People Who Think Up Names for Wrestlers
The Wrestler-Thinkin’ Guy
W.W. Effie
Dr. Aloysius Penfold, Professor of Ancient Egyptian Nomenclature
Biffles the Talking Monkey
The Man Who Thinks Up Bad Names for Wrestlers
Skkkrnxcxxx (though, really, that’s a bad name for anyone)

Francis Heaney

- - -

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
Subject: Johnny-come-lately revisions

Dear McSweeney’s

Désespoir! You chose not to print my earlier letter, dated 11th November. Yes, I think it had some problems. Herewith: errata, galley proof annotations, student notes on that, my previous missive. (In the manner of transport caf chef rushing from behind the scenes to apply tomato crown garnish to half-eaten, half-baked lasagne).

For ‘Manhattan’ read ‘Manchester-Hattan’

‘Yoof’ not ‘Youth’

Soweto is in Johannesburg. Not Capetown.

Jerked meat punchline to run: ‘Biltong (built-on) such solid ground, your meat recognition is simply the wurst!’ Feedline to follow.

Replace ‘I love, I live for…’ with ‘We could be beatiful together…’

Use this hastily-compiled list:

The Council of Cheeses

President – Rocquefort
Secretary – Brie
Treasurer – Swiss Jahlsberg
First Officer – Dolcelatte
Events – Cheddar
Deputies – Chèvre, Savarin

(*Note: none are American cheeses, which I think is right.)

Last line of last transmission: replace with something witty and apposite.


- - -

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: “Joseph R. Stevens”
Subject: Nanowords

Dear McSweeney’s,

I’ve decided that the debate over the millennium word has veered dramatically off course. Indeed, it is headed entirely in the wrong direction, like Suzy Chapstick waddling up hill. Instead of supporting this impugnation, McSweeney’s should be devising a randam word generator which spews out a new word not every day but every nanosecond.

Perhaps, it could be tweaked to spit out a a sentence every millisecond, a short story every hour, alternating every other hour with non-fiction pieces. And every week a new novel. Oh joy, oh wonder. Such machinations, marvelous dreams, would bring fame and future. Boy, those editors would love it.

This device has synergy, and if you build a strategic alliance with the OED, it would speak volumes. Add Barlett’s and Hallmark to the mix and you could achieve superstar status with momentum to induce the blood flow of the most dead venture capitalists. Soon you could create your own IPO and name him, ‘Spot’.


- - -

From: Matt Fritchman
Subject: I have the football skills so as to pay my football bills.
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Recently, I have purchased Madden NFL 2000 for the Nintendo 64 with the sole intention of playing the ’85 Bears versus every team currently playing in the NFC and AFC. This is possible, allegedly, with the proper “cheat code”.

According to the Internet, the following “cheat codes” should make my mission possible (these codes vary, depending on your source):


But neither of these codes seem to “unlock” my beloved ’85 Bears. Nor do the following:


And now our beloved Sweetness has fallen. And yet, I will give him immortality. I shall run him further, faster, and longer than anyone thought possible. I shall write his name on the world with fire and blood. His name shall be cried out at the heavens, and whispered everywhere else, for fear of his hearing you, and coming to get you, because you said his name out loud. He likes running. But he loves to catch the pass.

Thank You for Your Time and Consideration in this Matter,
Matt Fritchman
America’s Sweetheart

- - -

From: Jocelyn Williams
Subject: Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeneys:

In Jeff Johnson’s (first) listing of bad names for professional wrestlers, one such name he devised (found, uncovered, giggled feverishly while writing down?) was “The Professor.” I am e-mailing you to inform you that one wrestler, a certain Lanny Poffo (I am unsure of the spelling) did, for a certain amount of time, go by the name “The Professor” Lanny Poffo. Previously known as “Leapin’” Lanny Poffo, this mid- to late-80s wrestler of the infamous WWF found the need to become more cerebral, perhaps to contrast with the oft-times buffoonish behavior of his colleagues, and thus renewed his “career” by renaming himself “The Professor.”

For the record, he was also known, at one point, as “The Poet” Lanny Poffo.

- - -

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: Francie Lin
Subject: garbage

Dear McSweeney’s,

A long time, say maybe 15 years ago there was a segment on a documentary TV program which featured a couple who had discovered a way of making meatballs out of household garbage. Apparently the meatballs were delicious, but that is not the issue. The point is that I cannot remember what program aired this segment—it was either Ripley’s Believe It or Not (maybe in the same hour with that story of the guy who was buried alive with a bell) or else Candid Camera. My sister contends that the only reason this memory is true for me is because I want it to be true.


Francie Lin

- - -

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: Gerbil Boy
Subject: Latest Gergen Piece

Dear McSweeney’s,

I am writing to express my disgust and disappointment in a piece you recently published online, titled, “I Haven’t seen Gergen in a Couple of Weeks.”

Suffice to say, in an age where kids and adults alike are gunning one another down with all manner of weaponry, to publish such a piece is insensitive. Sick is another word I would use. In his terse style the writer seemed to be glorifying gun violence. And so are you. I could be wrong about that but that’s just my opinion. Do you like guns? Do you know this person, this “Featherstone?” He sounds made up.

There are other places on the web for this kind of trash.

John Bankovitz

- - -

Subject: open letter
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeneys,

It is Monday morning and that means like Monday afternoon, Tuseday morning and afternoon, Wednesday morning and afternoon, Thursday morning and afternoon and evening (actually all day Thursday), and Friday at 2:45 p.m. (when I pretend that it is the first time all , it is time for me to take care of my personal business via email, and shouting.

First, more letters have popped up from Sam Stark. Sam, and everyone else concerned: I will still wrestle The Professor. That hasn’t changed. Instead of volleying these inane missives, let’s try to work together in setting up what could surely be the most exciting bout of the year 2000. I want to be known as Dr. Gout. Mother is working on my cape.

Second, Tim Carvell has great McSweeney’s sub-headers, but why can’t we use mine: “The Measles of the Internet for Over a Year”?

Third, there will be information in my predictions this week about the supposed Packers hex. The thing where you think that, as a viewer, you “control” and probably jinx the outcome of games by your favorite teams just by watching, is a truly Wisconsin phenomenon. I had this problem for years, until I focused all my energy in a different direction: aluminum foil.


Jeff Johnson

- - -

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999
Subject: The Devil and His Shoes

Dear McSweeney’s,

Please tell Kevin Sampsell I thought his Etiquette for Evil story was hilarious, except for I’m more than a little concerned that I share the devil’s feeling about sandals, and this subject matter has come up in more than one of my own stories not involving the devil but some bad dates and just a lot of people in general roaming the streets in sandals ruining my life. Can I assume that if I’m hellbound, at least I won’t be subject to see another sandal ever ever ever?

Elizabeth Crane

- - -

Dear McSweeney’s,

Given that your fine magazine seems to change its name quite frequently, might I suggest, in the name of continuity, that you adopt a slogan that remains the same? This might provide the same reassuring function that “All The News That’s Fit To Print” does for the New York Times sure, they may add color sections, or can A.M. Rosenthal, or shunt Vincent Canby off to a damp corner somewhere, but they’ve still got “All The News That’s Fit To Print”, same as always, in the top right corner. In the same spirit, I suggest the following slogans for McSweeney’s:

We Can Smell a Pig From a Mile Away

When People Tell You Dreams Can’t Come True, You Tell Them About… McSweeney’s

Little. Yellow. Angry.


Packed With Vowels!

Better Than a Poke in the Eye, Not Quite As Good As a Punch in the Kidneys

Gotta Catch ’Em All! (N.B.: This one may already be registered. Check first.)

Ow! Motherfucker!

The Journal Of Everything From Professional Wrestling To Semi-Professional Wrestling

Knick-Knack Paddy Whack, Give The Dog… McSweeney’s

Sorry For Everything

By the way, is this also an appropriate place to suggest that you hide a given number of Timothy McSweeneys throughout your magazine, like Waldo, or Hirschfeld’s Nina? Not, of course, that the magazine isn’t entertaining enough as it is. It is immensely entertaining. But just imagine how much more fun it would be, if every once in a while, one could spot a McSweeney?

My head hurts just to think about it.

Just trying to be helpful,

Tim Carvell
Los Angeles

- - -

Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999
From: Jody Rosen
Subject: Letter to the Editor: Comrades Lost

Dear McSweeney’s,

A rather extraordinary week-end. Sheringham dropped dead Friday; the gout finished the job that that Chinese whore had begun some 70 years ago. Meanwhile: Snifferts has left us, after a bout of grippe; we lost the Smythe-Joneses — Nigel, Trevor and dear Reggie — all of whom succumbed to shingles on what I’m told was a cloudless Saturday in Tumbridge Wells; old Percy Thompson is gone, too, doubtless clutching a final pint in his gangrenous mitts. The passing of Roger Partridge, Colin “Wicket” Bryce, Michael Gallswallow, three of Partridge’s infant nieces and all but one of the Gallswallow septuplets, in a mid-afternoon boating accident Saturday, doubtless cast a pall over what I’m told was otherwise a fine Merseyside picnic outing. Neville Rombards — to my mind the finest whiskman in the Home Counties — was bludgeoned to death by his sons when a beagling dispute erupted over Sunday lunch; “Knees Up” Riley, ever the marksman, was gunned down yesterday by paramiltary officers called in to quell his pigeon massacre on Hampstead Heath. It pains me to relate that Thomas Brown met his maker Sunday as well: he was beheaded by some Pakistanis. And Anthony Fenhill, still ruddy and vigorous when last I saw him, embuggering my nephew in a Thameside punt, has passed on after eating his spectacles.

You’ll be happy to know that Harry Shearer is still among us. Alas, he has a horrible case of bowel-blight, and the physios give him only until Wednesday week.


Greyboots Smith-Johnson

- - -

From: “Colleen Werthmann”
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
Subject: Letter to the editors

Dear McSweeney’s,


Go to bank – RENT!

Buy: toilet paper
coffee filters
New clock?
Cut hair

Jennifer in LA 323-885-9668

Fri nite movie w/ A & K & Ch

Thank you,
Colleen Werthmann
New York City

- - -

Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
Subject: The Great Flood Of ’72
From: (Andy Greenwald)

Dear McSweeneys,

As an avid reader of your publication, both electronically and otherwise, I feel compelled to write in concerning the current “Wilkes-Barre” debate. As a native of the town with strong family connections and thrice-yearly visits there that continue to this day, I feel that I may speak with some authority on the question of pronunciation. My extended family, on both sides, which has lived in the Wyoming Valley for most of the century, has always pronounced it vaguely, yet sincerely, as “Wilkes-Bear (uh)” with only the slightest hint of breath for the final “uh.” In mixed company, such additions are often not necessary at all.

Though this pronunciation is accurate, it is, admittedly, troubling, as no stranger to the region seems to be able to mimic it precisely. They are, however, thrilled and amused by other local recitations, such as “going up the mall” (the same mall mentioned in the letter of 10, November by Craig Keller; incidentally I must take issue with Mr. Keller’s labelling of said mall as “skankified” as I have only the most pleasing of memories associated with it, due to retrieving, quite miraculously, a small, stuffed dog from one of those crane-operated arcade machines in 1984), travelling “down the shore,” or, most memorably, the addition “haina,” believed to be a native descendant of “ain’t it,” used in a similar manner.

Incidentally, the entire town was ravaged by floods in 1972, causing my parents to be wed in a local resort rather than an appropriate house of worship.

Yours, fondly,
Andrew J. Greenwald

- - -

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
From: Sam W Stark
To: Jeff Johnson
Subject: Re: Open Challenge to The Professor

Maybe a mind/body biathelon, a wrestling match and then a round of Go? I wonder how much he charges for appearances. Maybe if you pestered him enough…


P.S. According to his online bio at the NWA site, he weighs 125. How much do you weigh?

P.S.2 You’re not serious, are you?

- - -

Dear McSweeney’s,


My name is Robert Recklaus. Really. Below is my submission to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. I’d go into my piece further but it is short and relatively self-explanatory. Thank you for your time and consideration.

An Encounter with a Marginally Famous Person

Chapter 1: Dewayne Staats.

Note: Dewayne Staats is a sports play-by-play announcer. These days he can most likely be found broadcasting events like University of Montana versus Idaho State basketball games at one in the morning on ESPN2. But, for a couple of glorious summers during the late 80’s, Dewayne was the one of the voices of the Chicago Cubs. He would work innings 1,2,3,7,8, and 9 on WGN radio, and would switch with Harry Caray and do TV during the middle innings

It was a beautiful June day on the North Side of Chicago. My dad took the day off and treated my brother and I to the Cubs-Giants tilt at Wrigley Field. One of his vendors from work provided not only the seats, but also passes to eat lunch at this restaurant located deep in the bowels of the Friendly Confines. (It was called “The Clubhouse” or “Hall of Fame Room” or something of that ilk.)

After finishing our buffet style luncheon, we began to make our way to our seats. As we left the restaurant, I spotted Dewayne Staats and his radio broadcast partner, Davey Nelson, chatting with the maitre’d. I immediately recognized Dewayne from TV. His stylish at the time wavy brown hair and neatly trimmed mustache were a dead giveaway.

Excited, I turned to my dad and brother and exclaimed, “Look, its Dewayne Staats.” Dewayne must have heard me, as he turned toward me and grinned. He then proceeded to raise his hands just above his waist and extend his index fingers towards me. Dewayne then pretended his hands were pistols with his pointer fingers being the barrel and his thumb acting as the gun’s hammer or cock. He then fired four make believe shots at me from each hand, lowering and raising his thumbs to indicate each “shot.” After that display he turned back to Davey Nelson and the maitre’d and continued his conversation as if none of this had happened. I thought then, as I do now, what a weird-ass way to acknowledge a teen-aged fan.

Robert Recklaus

- - -

Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
From: Todd Mayer
Subject: WWJB

Dear McSweeney’s,

I found Chadd S. Johnson’s “Last Supper Assignments” to be endlessly fascinating, but I am left with the burning question of “What Would Jesus Bring?”

- - -

Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999
Subject: More Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers

Dear McSweeney’s,

More Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers:

The Ombudsman
Agent Provocateur
L’Enfant Terrible
The Noble Savage
Grendel’s Mother
The Tawny Owl
The Lepidopterist
The Counter-Tenor
Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s New Governor-General
The Country Parson
The Next of Kin
The Foppish Dandy
Hop, Skip and Jump (tag team trio)
Asthma Boy
Homi K. Bhabha
The Ancient Mariner
The Esteemed Colleague
The Dactylic Hexameter
Subaltern Man
JŸrgen Habermas

- - -

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999
From: (Petra Ehrenzweig)
Subject: a note about the type

Dear McSweeney’s,

I predict that there will come a day when you are, let’s say, 49. You will visit your personal archive that you’ve placed in a box on the top shelf of a closet at your mother’s house. By then you will be either incredibly successful and will want to look back fondly at your humble beginnings, or you will have plummeted into total obscurity and confusion and you will want to look back at your glory days when you actually had something going. Or perhaps you will just want to give yourself a little private retrospective, as you near your half century mark. In any case, at that time, which seems so far away now but is really just around the corner, you will tenderly unwrap that great Issue No 3 of McSweeney’s etc. etc. from its archival tissue paper. No matter how far or how close you hold it from your face and no matter which of your glasses you are wearing — your distance glasses, your reading glasses, your graduated trifocals — you will not be able to read a fucking word of that tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny type.

Petra Ehrenzweig

- - -

From: “Sommer Browning”
Subject: Subjected to death.
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

I am a hungry woman.
I study French.
I’ve given McSweeney’s to my current lover; it’s resting on his cardboard box nightstand.
I want to be a librarian.

S. Browning

- - -

Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 11:33:53 -0500
From: Pete Brush
To: Christina Nunez
Subject: fyi

Hi Christina:

Please find documentation of the occurrence of the Oct. 30, 1998, Amtrak suicide witnessed by me (enclosed .jpg is from the Trentonian, Oct. 31, 1998, p. 3). [Here’s a 91k GIF version. —Ed.]

I might correct the second paragraph of the enclosed news story, since we were southbound when we hit Mr. Pakrashi. The rest is accurate enough. Some of the paragraphs were omitted by whoever faxed this story to me almost exactly a year ago today.

As an addendum, while they did not clean the blood from the train, they did hold the train for three hours while a police investigation was conducted. Because we were in New Jersey, the galley soon ran out of beer and I was forced to nurse a single Heineken throughout the entire wait. I have no way of empirically determining whether our presence in New Jersey caused folks to buy up beer in bulk – and then proceed to guzzle it – but it is my suspicion.

I might also add that a very sympathetic older man who was my seat mate took the brunt of my disbelief, and wished me well upon my departure in Baltimore, Md. In the year since, however, I may have realized that I was only fishing for sympathy from strangers, since on some deeper level I harbor little or no sadness at the deaths of either Mr. Pakrashi or Mr. Smith, the courtroom leaper. Moreso displeasure at how they put me off by a couple of hours.

This message come by way of recognition that context and, so to say, humanity – not just gratuity – are indeed integral parts of the Earthly poetic.

Many Cheers,

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From: “Lorenzo Martin”
Subject: influences!
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999

Mr. Topp:

How avant-garde… and here I thought you were just taking credit for the work of others. Thanks for the term paper excerpt-but at least Vanilla Ice rapped over “Under Pressure.” (The T.S. Eliot quote AND “originality” in quote marks…too much!) What makes the work your own? (Is it the typing?) As far as getting down to specifics, what about the Schimmel joke at What did he think of “your” poem when you e-mailed it to him? What about Wright, or the MST3K writer? Oh, I see- you e-mailed the OTHER people you stole from. Well you’re at it, why not just transcribe Steven Wright’s “I Have A Pony” tape and release it as a book of verse?


P.S. Have you heard this Seinfeld cat? I think he’s the next Ginsberg.

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From: “Dan Kennedy”
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s:

You know when you’re waiting in front of Taco Bell for the hookers and you feel like you have to pee really badly because you’re nervous that somebody will see you? That’s the same kind of peeing that you get when you play hide and seek and you’re relly excited about the hiding place you found,and you can hear the person looking for you real close by. I don’t even think it matters if you already went to the bathroom even just a minute ago!

Dan Kennedy
New York, New York, New York.

P.S.Okay, we get it: everybody at McSweeney’s is really, really smart. Ooooooohhhh…you’re so smart. You’re so smart…I’m really trembling. Oooooohhhh.
If you’re so smart, join the Army and stick your head up your ass and fight for air! (I might have messed up on that.)

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Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999
From: Richard Folkers
Subject: U.S. News’s Best of the Web

Dear McSweeney’s,

There’s something in this week’s U.S.News & World Report we think you’ll want to see. Our editors have assembled a guide to the “best of the Web.” Your site is on the list. You can read the story in the Nov. 15 issue of U.S. News (on newsstands beginning today) or go to U.S. News Online (

If you want to go straight to the Web story, it’s right here….

Please feel free to contact me, if you’d like any further information. I can also send you a file attachment with a copy of our logo.

Richard Folkers
Director of Media Relations
U.S.News & World Report
1050 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007

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From: “Emanski, Joe”
Subject: Wilkes-Barre
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

For what it is worth, you should pronounce it “Wilkesberry” or “Wilkesbury.” In most cases it would probably do to just call it “Scranton.” I don’t think they will mind, as almost everyone in town is a retired miner and it’s unlikely that they can still hear.

joe emanski

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Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Sam W Stark
Subject: Open Challenge to The Professor

Dear McSweeney’s,

I stopped just short of forwarding [Jeff Johnson’s] challenge to the man himself. I wasn’t sure if you were really solemnly vowing or just poking some elitist fun.

If, however, you are serious about this (and it’s really the only way you can save face at this point), The Professor can be reached at:

[P.S. to the editor of the letters page: please don’t print the Professor’s e-mail address. He’s not a big man, and probably doesn’t have room in his belly for more than one shit-talking SoWeHoite]

Sam Stark
“WeHa,” NYC

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Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999
Subject: Letter to Alexander Pascover

Dear Mr. Pascover —

You might want to retract that conjecture — the one that says I am probably younger than you.

I am, in fact, eleven.

And P.S. — It’s pronounced “Wilkes-Berry,” like a more abstract General Mills cereal. I know this for a fact, because I hail originally from the execrable Scranton (“Scrotum,” “Scantron”), PA, which is right next to Wilkes-Barre, and therefore supply the definitive voice. I spent all of my teen years playing ‘Street Fighter II Champion Edition’ in the Jolly-Time arcade nestled in Wilkes-Barre’s skanktified Wyoming Valley Mall. Those were the years of Grateful Dead kiosks, of developing fluid from one-hour photo developers… the halcyon years of crushes on girls with low IQs.

Craig Keller

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Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
From: Kiersten Conner-Sax
Subject: Letters

Dear McSweeney’s:

Kiersten’s 1999 Christmas List
for Use by All and Sundry

Items appear in no particular order.
Letter opener
Leopard print scarf (silky texture)
An interesting tea kettle
Novels by P.G. Wodehouse (regardless of whether he was a Nazi):
The World of Jeeves (collected stories) 1931, 1967
The Inimitable Jeeves 1923
Something Fresh 1915
A black hat (perhaps furry)
Very very warm black leather gloves that are lined in material with a texture much like cashmere

Items which I do not want:
A briefcase
Any form of box

This list may be updated at any time.

Kiersten Conner-Sax

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Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999
From: “Sara J. Brenneis”
Subject: Weekly NFL Picks

Dear McSweeney’s,

As an avid McSweeney’s reader, a Wisconsinite newly relocated to NYC and a Packers Backer by association, I have noticed a discouraging trend in Jeff Johnson’s Weekly NFL picks. It seems that virtually every time Jeff picks the Green Bay Packers (and anyone who pays attention know that he always picks the Packers) they lose.

I don’t really watch football, I must admit. But this is my dad’s philosophy when watching the Packers: he believes that if he watches the game, they will lose. He is truly convinced that the Packers’ season is directly connected to his Sunday afternoon television habits. Consequently, he tapes the games, waits for someone to tell him if they won or lost (But no more information than that!!) and watches his own tape-delayed version of the game when it is certain that he cannot “control” the outcome.

This is all to say that perhaps if Jeff Johnson is really a Packers fan, he is forcing their losses by maintaining such undying faith in them.

Just an idea. Keep up the good work, kids.

Sara J. Brenneis
NYC, via Madison, WI

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Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999
Subject: Follow-Up

Dear McSweeney’s,

As promised in my previous letter, I did travel to Ithaca, NY, this weekend, and can now confirm that, as you drive northwards on I-81, you come to the exit for Waverly first, then Scott. Also, according to a radio station broadcasting from the area, Wilkes-Barre is pronounced, “Wilkes-Barry.” This conflicts with the report form Susan Mitchell on the subject; but as I only heard the name of the town pronounced once, it is conceivable that Ms. Mitchell is correct and that the D.J. has a speech impediment. I think this is unlikely, but possible. Nonetheless, I will be happy to begin pronouncing it “Wilkes-Bear,” as Ms. Mitchell suggests; that is frankly a much cooler way to say it.

I am, sir,
Your servant,
Alex Pascover

P.S. Jeff Johnson has made another spelling error; can you spot it?

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Subject: Johnson responds.
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Sam Stark wrote the other day about my faux-miscue in Bad Wrestling Names. (scroll down, and you’ll see) I thought that “The Professor,” might be a genius name for a bad wrestler. From what I can tell, I was correct. The National Wrestling Alliance Circuit, which employs a grappler named “The Professor,” is the last stop on the Palookaville superhighway. It is where old wrestlers go to avoid child-support payments and o.d. on Funyons and soft-core pay-per-view porn. On their website, they don’t even bother showing his picture. Apparently digital photos of scurvy-laden Tussock moths don’t scan well.

Stark then suggests that I be taught a lesson by this Professor. Well, I say bring it on. I’ll wrestle this maroon any day of the week. I think that might be a way for McSweeney’s to make some cash, actually. A lot of people would show up. Five bucks a head. Somewhere in the Bronx. An old smelly gymnasium. Matter-of-fact, let me say this: I will fight or wrestle anybody at any time. That is my solemn vow. No Andy Kauffman nonsense. Maybe the next time there is a McSweeney’s party, Sam Stark, you have your people bring this Professor bastard in on the Greyhound. Bring a medic and his next of kin.


Jeff Johnson

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From: “Dallas Dickinson”
Subject: Errors
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

Jeff Johnson’s ‘Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers’ contained an error which requires my commentary.

One of his ‘bad names’ was that of Aaron Copeland. I can only assume he meant to write Aaron Copland, the famous 20th century American composer. This would have made me laugh. While I admit the ‘Aaron Copeland’ is an equally poor (f not worse) name for a professional wrestler, I cannot help but think that an enormous humorous possibility was missed by a lack of fact-checking (both on the part of the author and of the editor).

Thank you.
Dallas Dickinson
Los Angeles

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From: “Mitchell, Susan”
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

In regards to Alex Pascover’s message of November 2:

Wilkes-Barre is pronounced, I believe, Wilkes-Bear. Not Wilkes-Bar or Wilkes-Barry. Just Wilkes-Bear.

Susan Mitchell

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Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

I must caution your readers that Jackson Brown, Celia, Kate, Batman Pez, and Doug are also noteworthily poor name choices for professional wrestlers. And there are others; your writer’s list is accurate but even appended only scratches the surface. Shouldn’t you have insisted that your writer 1) share several of the precepts that allowed him to choose these names? 2) instead of just warning readers about what NOT to do, offered some options for positive action? (Does this guy walk to school, or carry his lunch?) My lay status prevents me from offering what could be construed as professional advice here. But I felt it was irresponsible to say nothing. Dangerous world out there. I did not go to Cornell nor Harvard and have no other issues at current with the content of your site.

Joy Nolan
Brooklyn, NY

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Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999
Subject: umbrage

Dear McSweeney’s,

You can tell Alex Pascover that I didn’t go to Harvard, and take offense at such obloquy. A word I had to look up how to spell, for I did not go to Harvard.


Tim Carvell

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From: Laurie Stalberg
Subject: I Kiss you Version 2.0
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

I give you the first Turkish Internet Superstar. I only wish I could take credit for this breathtaking work of art, complete with haunting melody.

Laurie Stalberg
Potential Contributor

P.S. You have to have Shockwave and a sound card on your computer to fully appreciate. Go Mahir go.

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Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999
From: Kiersten Conner-Sax
Subject: Hmmmmm

Dear McSweeney’s:

Do you know what I think happens to a watched pot? After a really really really really really long time, the water in it boils.

Kiersten Conner-Sax

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From: “Bo Ketner”
Subject: a letter concerning cheerleading, mostly
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

After sifting through your snappy, surprisingly granular Internet incarnation, I have one important thing to report: I believe in cheerleading. During a previous epoch as a socially inept high school freshman, I spent many evenings studying my childhood friends as they engaged in activities that could only be described as involving cheerleading. They cheered, these friends, especially one in particular whose name is Deb and is really quite a nice person. I believe she is studying architecture now. We tried to date once, after being friends for twenty years, but that didn’t go so hot. So anyway Deb cheered, raucously and rhythmically gesturing with her arms, kicking up her legs like a good-time sweetie, and sang out important, poetic verbiage for the enjoyment of me and others like me. “Let’s go Hornets!” was a particular favorite, our mascot being the legendarily persnickety apian entity. What really moved me to belief in cheerleading, as opposed to any weak-minded religion, pointless institutionally-approved greed, or “Can’t we all be brothers?” hoohah, was that here was one last stronghold of sincerity in a bubbling cauldron of snarky teenagers. What visionary strength.

Best regards to you and your publication,
Bo Ketner
Durham, NC

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Dear McSweeney’s,

Here are some reasons we are not currently bombing Moscow:

1) Chechens are different sorts of Muslims from Kosovars
2) James Natchway took some good pictures, but they were stills
3) Putin is a man we can work with
4) We may have to sell something in Moscow at some point
5) Oil
6) Nukes
7) The Cold War is over enough that we can bomb Belgrade, but not so over that we can bomb Russia
8) The Russians may significantly damage their international reputation with all this violence, and that will make them come to their senses.
9) We’re out of rockets.
10) Bombing Moscow is perhaps the one thing that Albright could actually get fired for
11) You can’t demonize a drunk.
12) Nukes
13) Nothing important going on in the Chinese embassy.

That’s all.
Marc Herman
Alameda, Calif.

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Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999
From: Sam W Stark
Subject: Bad Names / Professional Wrestlers

Jeff Johnson (“Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers,” 11/3 or thereabouts) should be forewarned that there actually was a WWF wrestler named “The Professor.” He wore glasses and always entered the ring reading a book. However, appearances can be deceptive: he was actually a BAD GUY (i.e., an anti-Hoganite).

Apparently denied WWF tenure, “The Professor” is now working the “National Wrestling Alliance” circuit ( But I bet, if so compelled by professional dignity, he would come back and show the world that “Jeff” is not a very good name for a wrestler, either.

Sam Stark
New York

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Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999
From: Steve Lieber
Subject: A letter from Steve Lieber regarding the ninth art.

Dear McSweeney’s,

I have recently been introduced to your periodical and I, or rather my wife, the novelist Sara Ryan, purchased the third issue from a store called Reading Frenzy located halfway up a hill on a busy downtown street in Portland Oregon.

The book brought me tremendous pleasure, but I noticed one glaring omission. You had no comics. Admittedly, Dan Perkins in a cartoonist, and the Saul Steinberg piece depended upon the interaction of words and pictures for its primary effects, and yes, perhaps the marginalia on your cover could be considered a rudimentary form of comics, on the level of the pictorial emergency instructions included in the seat-back pockets of our nation’s fleet of passenger aircraft. But these are weak, weak tea, and no substitute for the heady brew that a real comic strip represents.

There are many fine cartoonists who would doubtless be thrilled to find their work reproduced in your journal. If they are too busy, there are innumerable mediocre ones who could pitch in. If, however, you find yourself uninclined to compromise your standards, you could ask your prose writers to contribute cartoon art. Since they probably have little experience with the craft of cartoon storytelling, I’ve included a short essay I wrote for distribution to aspiring illustrators at comic-book conventions who ask me how to become a professional comic-book maker. Please pass it along to the members of your contributors list.

Steve Leiber

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From: “Lorenzo Martin”
Subject: Mike “Barnicle” Topp
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999

Dear McSweeney’s,

When I first read Mike Topp’s “Rejected Mafia Nicknames” a few months back, I immediately recognized the rejected nickname “The Logical Positivist” from Woody Allen’s book “Getting Even” (in the story, “A Look At Organized Crime,” one of the characters is named Albert “The Logical Positivist” Corillo). I didn’t write you a letter- after all, it was a minor infraction, perhaps it was even an homage. However, after reading the letter describing Topp’s “direct crib from MST3K,” I conducted a web search (Google) of Topp’s writings and found that he frequently steals jokes, often recontexualizing them as “poems” ( a shoplifter with decent taste- he has a fetish for Steven Wright- see how many Wright jokes you recognize at The most outrageous theft occurs in a “poem” at ( that Topp calls “Life In These United States,” which rips off a joke (multiple lines, almost verbatim) from from one of my favorite comics, Robert Schimmel (the joke appears during track #6 on the CD “Robert Schimmel Comes Clean”). Perhaps there’s a home for Topp at the NY Daily News (and hey, at least Barnicle never called himself a poet), but does Timothy McSweeney support such deception?

Lorenzo Martin

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Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999
Subject: More thoughts engendered by McSweeney’s archived letters column

Dear McSweeney’s,

1. Along with, it seems, everyone else who reads your fine publication, except perhaps for Tim Carvell, who probably went to Harvard, I too went to Cornell.

2. I do not know J. Robt. Lennon, Christina or Thomas Dixcy (although I used to work at a company which employs someone whose first name is Dixcy), or Craig Keller, who worked in the English Department. However,

a. My girlfriend majored in English at Cornell,
b. I took a really excellent Shakespeare course from Barbara Correll, who belonged to that department (and still does, despite the fact that I never got around to mailing my glowing recommendation to the tenure committee), and
c. My friend Ralph had what sounds like a very similar job as Mr. Keller, except he worked in the Math Department. (I worked at the Campus Store).

3. There are many interesting place names in the area surrounding Ithaca, New York. As you drive there from Washington, D.C., you will come across two exits, one of which goes to the town of Waverly, and one of which goes to the town of Scott, which is humorous because Sir Walter Scott is the author of “Waverly,” which you already know if you ever took a class on the philosophy of language. (I actually do not recall which comes first, but I am driving there on Friday, so I can let you know next week.)

4. Not too far from Scranton is the city of Wilkes-Barre. I never remember whether the Wilkes-Barrites pronounce the name of their town Wilkes-Bar, (as in two guys walked into a bar), or Wilkes-Barry, (as in former Mayor Marion Wilkes-Barry), but whichever way they do it, they’re wrong.

5. As one approaches Ithaca from the West, one gets off Route 17 at Elmira, which is also the name of one of the charaters on “Steven Spielberg Presents: Tiny Toons,” although I think she spells it differently.

6. All of the people mentioned in item #2, above, are probably younger than I am, too. I bet the M.R. is as well.

7. You know David E. Kelley has run out of ideas when he resorts to gratuitous lesbian scenes to draw in viewers.

8. If you want to be a millionaire, you can call (toll-free) 1-877-258-5808 between 3:00 PM and 3:00 AM Eastern Time.

Thank you,
Alex Pascover
Alexandria, VA

P.S. Don’t forget to vote today!

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From: Development/PR
Organization: Junebug Productions
Subject: letter on letters

Dear McSweeney’s,

Some comments on your letter writers:

Patrick Smith calls McSweeney’s a “Balm”. But to me its a salve. I can’t smell McSweeney’s, it merely soothes…without fragrance.

I liked Amiri Baraca’s letter, but I’ve read better ones written by the same person under the name LeRoi Jones.

I don’t think, even hif he was the last person on earth, that I would ever be friends with Timothy Schultz. No, not ever.

Jon P. Pult