Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Letter To the Governor of Virginia

Governor Tim Kaine
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Governor Kaine,

Greetings from Columbus! I just wanted to congratulate you on running such a fine state. I hear Virginia is where it’s all happening – nature, industry, commerce, reproduction and even some harvesting. You’ve got it all!

In fact, I’ve heard such great things about Virginia that I’ve decided it’s where I want to live. My situation, however, is unique. I don’t want to live in a city, or even in the rural country. To put it simply, I’d like you to grant me 300 acres of otherwise uninhabitable Appalachian forest terrain in which I can build a small cabin and live as a sheltered recluse whose rumored insanity and savagery will cause locals to invent fictitious legends explaining my shrouded past.

Now, before you decide that nobody just gives anyone free land, let me tell you some family history. My great-great-great-great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War against the British. His name was John Shenandoah, and according to my records, George Washington arranged for him a large parcel of land at the end of the war that stretched from the Indiana – Michigan border up along the St. Joseph River all the way towards Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, he had Indian blood, and the French coward Alexis Coquillard got my ancestor drunk one night before trading him all of his land for several barrels of whiskey. This is why, in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana, there is a Coquillard Elementary School and not a Shenandoah Elementary School.

Listen, I’m not in this for an apology or reparations. That’s for another letter to Sarkozy – I’m just establishing a precedent. Plus, this would just be awesome. It’s always been a little fantasy of mine. I’ll live on the top of some little mountain, and my cabin will have a little stone hearth where I cook thick soups in handmade earthenware. I’ll build a small loft with a little ladder that leads up to my bunk, where during the summer I can take out a piece of the roof and look out onto the stars. In the winter I’ll build the fire high and deep and snuggle up in bear skins. You don’t mind if I kill a few bears, do you? I’ll learn how to dry meat beforehand so there’s no waste. You can trust me!

As you can see, it’s not that big of a deal. Nobody will even know I’m up there; I won’t change anything. I’ll grow a beard and maybe plant a few rows of vegetables – that’s it. The reason I chose Virginia was because you’ve got tons of little mountains nobody’s living on. Give me something off the side of US 60. Hey, you don’t even have to give it to me. Just do me a favor and don’t send anyone up there looking for me. A little don’t ask, don’t tell – nice and easy, Governor. If you agree, write me back that you’re on board. We’ll be safe. They won’t know which board you mean.

With Herculean Resolve,

The Correspondent