Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Letter to Landshark Lager

It's pretty funny how surprised and affronted people get when you call and ask for their mailing address. "You want our mailing address? What for?!"

1 Busch Place
Attn: 202-8CRG
Landshark Lager
Reference #: 5389069

Dear Brewmaster,

Whew, that address is a doozy! I couldn't find it online, so I called your phone number and talked to Janelle. She wouldn't give me the address at first and wanted to take my letter through dictation, but unfortunately my vocal chords were recently seared in a boiling juice incident (entirely my fault). It was hard enough to talk as is, so she kindly directed me to the above address and told me to use that reference number from our phone call. What an amazing system! I feel like James Bond, if James Bond drank domestic beer.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is to sing the praises of your amazing lager. But even more, I have to ask, what does the name mean? When I first saw a bottle of Landshark, I immediately thought of the Ultimate frisbee term. You see, in Ultimate frisbee, a landshark is when the team MVP is pantsed (or de-pantsed if you're from south of the Mason-Dixon line) and hoisted up by his or her teammates, as if surfing over their hands. Then, the winning Frisbee is thwunked between their pried-open buttocks and the entire monstrosity is paraded around the field (known henceforth as Attack of the Landshark).

It is one of the most thrilling moments in all of sport. I've only seen it done once, at a three-day memorial tournament outside Portland in June of 2004. The Tulsa Vulvas, a coed Masters team from Billings Montana, had just won the round robin tournament on the back of 52 year-old team founder Ted Jacobin. Ted's about 6'2" tall and must have weighed 200 lbs (even without the clothes), but they still got him up there. Then, Julie Fordham, the shortest person on the team, does a running jump and twunks the disc in there like a little girl putting the angel on a Christmas tree. Ted lets out this primeval roar and the whole team starts running around the park. It looked like one of those dragons during a Chinese parade, an army of feet rushing around underneath this huge, growling beast.

So, the reason for my letter is to thank you for making such a great beer and to tell you that you ought to consider Ultimate in your advertisements. Heck, you could even sponsor a team and really make your brand stick, so to speak, in the minds of every disc player across the country. Summer league is just around the corner, so let me know!

Always Hucking,

The Correspondent

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Letter to Bob Evans

This is off-topic, but Natalie Portman is the best. My thought process goes like this: She's Jewish (I can become Jewish), she's hot (I can work out more), she lives in New York or something (I can drive there), she my age (I'm my age), she looks really sweet (5 out of 6 isn't bad). So, I'm saying there's a chance.

Attn: General Manager
Bob Evans Restaurant
3140 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202

Dear Mr. Evans,

Greetings from just around the corner! I have never been to your restaurant before, but I have been to other Bob Evans locations, and I enjoy your omelettes. My lady friend is an absolute fiend for your beef vegetable soup. If she could she would fill a bathtub with the stuff and then leisure around it in, taking a ladle and pouring it over head so her hair smells like beef vegetable soup. And I'd like that, too.

Anyway, I was recently driving past your restaurant when I unfortunately saw an error on your signage. Even though we love your soup and omelettes, I couldn't let such an egregious blasphemy against the English language go unchecked. Your sign read, "Stop in for one of our new boburritos." Did you mean burritos? Because that's how it's spelled, 'burritos.' You don't need the extra "bo."

I know, I know, who cares, right? Wrong! I can't take another butchering of our language. If it's not an email void of any puncuation or capitalization then it's a newspaper rife with copy mistakes. Captions that make no sense, internet forums filled with emoticons, text messages that look like may be "LOLing," sir, but I'm not! You may be "ROFL" or "BRB" so you can go do some "BSDM" with your "BBW", but I'm not! I'm going to be right here, keeping my dignity. Don't whatev, me, either. This has a very specific ev. It's the ev of being an educated human being that can communicate gracefully without gimmicks or shenanigans.

Sorry about that, I got a little carried away. If you could just correct your signage out front, I would really appreciate it. Otherwise, I think you run an excellent establishment with a ton of curb appeal. It's a shame you have to be so close to that ratty-looking Kohl's, though. They really ought to just burn that place down. Shoot, now if it happens everybody is going to look at me.

In Musing,

The Correspondent

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not worth it!

I was on the fence, but I'm not taking any chances. Especially not after that whole Yahoo! hockey thing. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry. I included a picture of daffodils. Sorry, M.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Skyline Reply!

When the CEO reads your letter and pens a real response, with a real signature, I don't care how short it is. Great reply.

Note* This is really quite hilarious. Of course, posting the image failed, so I converted it to a pdf and loaded it on this Scribd website to embed it on Blogger. Naturally, although the pdf file is fine and I've checked it five times now, it is somehow askew when embedded here. The Correspondent - 0, The Internet - 28. Fortunately you can still read it. Just pretend you're trying to read it while there's an earthquake going on.

Skyline Letter


Skyline 2

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Letter to Pastor Borger

This was cathartic, and actually the most personal reflection I've done in probably two years.

Pastor Bryan Borger
437 Dragoon Trail East
Mishawaka, IN 46544

Dear Pastor Borger,

Hello, sir. We don't know each other, but I wanted to write to somebody religious, and this was the last church I can remember going to as a child. We jumped around a lot, and I liked yours the best because it had a treehouse in the back behind the parking lot. And I know I'm not Lutheran, but I went to a Lutheran university (Wittenberg!) and my family has historically been Lutheran.

You see, I have some things I want to get off my chest. I know that you're supposed to confess to the Catholics, but I'm even less Catholic than I am Lutheran, and you both have Mass, so I'm going with you guys. So here's some things that I've felt ashamed about recently, and maybe telling you will make me feel better.

First of all, yesterday I was at Target and was going to check-out with my lady friend when I noticed an old lady trying to navigate her cart to the same check-out we were going to. My lady friend didn't notice her, and I knew that she would beat the old woman. I thought it would just be a giant headache if I told her to stop, because she never listens to me and I would have had to explain the entire situation to get her to go to a different check-out, so I just put my head down and left the old lady to fend for herself. It wasn't technically cutting, because she was winding her way through other check-outs, but let's be honest here - I knew what was going on.

Second, I wear women's gloves. I have really small hands and it's very hard for me to find leather gloves in a small size at most department stores, so earlier this winter I bought a pair of women's size XXL. I don't think anyone else has noticed, but I don't feel too good wearing them.

Third, every Thursday or Friday I get the idea that I ought to volunteer somewhere that weekend, but I never do. I don't know why I don't just get up and do it, because I'm never doing anything on the weekend. It was OK a couple of years ago, because I was young and could still tell myself that I was a good person because of some stuff I did as a child, but now I'm 26 and I'm starting to think the balance has shifted from good person to lazy asshole.

Finally, I call my neighbor Sharkmouth behind her back. She's very cold towards me, even though I've spent all winter sweeping the snow off the metal staircase and balcony that leads to our apartment doors and salting it down so she doesn't slip and break her neck. I've talked to her once and her mouth was literally overflowing with teeth. It looked like she had several rows of teeth, one behind the other, and I actually did a Google search to see if that was a real genetic disorder. From then on I've referred to her as Sharkmouth and played the Jaws theme in my head whenever I see her.

Well, I'm not even lying when I tell you I do feel better. I particularly think I'll get off the log and do some volunteer work before the month is over. Unfortunately, I don't really have the money right now to buy new gloves. Thank you for letting me vent, Pastor, and please give my best wishes to your family, if you have one. Hey, is Dyngus Day coming up soon? They don't have that in Ohio, so I hope you all enjoy it in St. Joe County.

Do Widzenia,

The Correspondent

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Letter to Lorne Michaels

Have a great weekend.

Lorne Michaels
c/o Broadway Video
1619 Broadway
New York City, NY 10019

Dear Mr. Lorne,

How are you? I just want to first say that I have long enjoyed your career and the entertainment you have provided to thousands and thousands of late night television viewers. I can't imagine keeping something like Saturday Night Live going for over 30 years! The staggering burnout must be incredible. How do you keep up the energy? One time I went to the drugstore and saw some of that Five-Hour Energy drink, but right above it was Six-Hour Energy, and on top of the shelf was Seven-Hour Energy. I thought, "They should make a taller shelf."

Still, I think we can both agree that your writers don't always hit the mark. Sometimes the skits just aren't that funny. It's not your fault! Nobody is perfect all the time, which is why you need help along the way. Well, sir, consider me your cavalry!

Listen to this one. I was going down the stairs in a building the other day and noticed a sign on the door that said "Tornado Shelter Downstairs." Inspiration! What if you had a bunch of people running to a tornado shelter, and when they opened the door there were a bunch of cages with little tornados inside? Plus, there are families walking around with little kids shouting, "Ooo, Daddy, he's so cute! I want that one!" Or even better, it's a family of trailer homes. Creative costuming on line 1!

I have a ton of these skit ideas. What about a late-night radio show called "Pillow Talk with Rob and Darlene," set in the bedroom of a Midwestern couple? They have headphones on and radio mics hanging in front of them, and they quibble back and forth about headaches and not being in the mood. Also, maybe there's a moose that guest hosts.

I think it's been a great 30 years, but in order to make it to 40 you'll need fresh writers and new ideas. Mull it over and then write me back if you'd like to get lunch sometime (please, no seafood). Also, while I've got your ear, what's the deal with Chevy Chase?

From the desk of,

The Correspondent

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Letter to Virginia Eaton

I think we all feel the same way about that Pillsbury reply. I don't like being mean, but Virginia's non-reply has to be called out!

Virginia Eaton
Consumer Services
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440

Dear Virginia,

I received your letter responding to my dilemma over the Pillsbury Doughboy, and I just wanted to let you know that it wasn't helpful at all. In your letter you specifically said to "please let us know if we can be of further help." I'm not sure I can technically ask you for further help, though, because that would imply that you rendered any help to begin with.

If you don't recall, my original letter was a lament that my young niece saw one of your commercials and demanded to know why the Doughboy was laughing while his dough-brethren were systemactically burned alive by the mother baking cookies for her daughter. She became convinced that the Doughboy was the judge and executioner of all criminals in Doughland.

Unfortunately, your form letter describing the marketing history behind the Doughboy did little to alleviate her grief. Perhaps if she was an advertising executive, and not a scared little girl, she would have found the backstory interesting and helpful. As it is, I was wondering if you could spare a little more than your previous 46 words to explain why the Doughboy would be so happy watching his fellow pieces of dough get baked and eaten.

Perhaps the Doughboy is the only piece of a dough with a soul? Or maybe, like Pinocchio, the sould of the Doughboy is really human, therefore he has no attachment to dough in and of itself. Either one of these explanations (or a new one you make up) should be sufficient in calming my neice down. Not only does she continue to avoid cookies, but she's moved on to muffins and biscuits. I fear she will soon realize the pivotal role that flour plays in all these baked goods and just declare herself completely gluten-free. Do you know how much more expensive soybean flour is?!

Thank you for any more time you can lend to my situation. Just imagine, if you rekindle my neice's love of baked goods, she could go on to be a world famous pastry chef! Maybe she'll even make your daughter's wedding cake some day. You don't want to ruin your daughter's wedding, do you?

Warm Regards,

The Correspondent

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Letter to the Mayor

I really did see this over the weekend. Great moment.

Mayor Michael Coleman
90 W Broad St
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Mayor Coleman,

Hello from one of your biggest supporters! First off, let me compliment you by saying yours is one of the widest mustaches I've ever seen. Most mustaches never go past a man's lips, and if they do then they've "taken off" from his face and can be oiled and manipulated into grandiose curls and whirly-do's. Your mustache, though, is stuck flat to your face all the way to the crease of your smile. Excellent choice!

The reason I'm writing you today is to implore you for action on behalf of an amazing experience I had this weekend. I was just south of the downtown and driving westbound across the Greenlawn Bridge of the Scioto River when I looked out upon an awesome spectacle. Flying towards me was a huge figure, with wings much wider than your mustache. As it grew closer the contrast of its stark white head and tail came into view, and I knew immediately that I was staring upon our nation's great treasure, the Bald Eagle.

Now, I know enough about stuff to tell you that Bald Eagles are a rare sight in Columbus. At first I took out my cell phone to punch the #2 speed dial button for the Columbus Zoo, to ask them if their eagle exhibit had been breached. When I finally realized that this was a bird of nature, I knew that God was telling me that Columbus was special, and we needed to celebrate.

Please, Mayor Coleman, help me spread the joy of this majestic bird by declaring a city-wide Bald Eagle Day. Everyone should know of our newest citizen. We don't have to close the banks and post office down or anything, but I thought of a few gestures you could initiate that would give the day meaning. First, everyone must tip their hats to bald or balding men and women. If you are not wearing a hat then you must curtsy. The latent benefit of this is that no man will want to curtsy, so we'll bring back the long-missing tradition of hat wearing. Second, for one day only it will not be considered illegal to steal fish. Bald Eagles steal fish all the time, especially from Ospreys, so this is normal. When in Rome, Mayor!

I know that with these few small acts, our great city will overcome its grief and anxiety and rise up to the great challenges of 2009. Please join me, Mayor Coleman! I look forward to tipping my hat to you soon, sir.

God Bless,

The Correspondent

Pillsbury reply

Original letter


Faygo Reply

Original Letter


Friday, February 6, 2009

F*** Blogger!

Why is Google doing this to me? I used to love them. Then two days ago they took away my web search button in Gmail for some unknown reason. Now, even though I'm putting up a picture via Picasa, THEIR OWN SOFTWARE, it still doesn't work.

Except when I first put it up, it worked then. Five minutes later though the links are broken.

Please leave your addresses in the comments sections so I can drive to everyone's house and show you these replies from Faygo and Pillsbury, because that would be infinitely easier than dealing with Blogger and Google. I've tried hosting the scans on Photobucket, I've tried hosting them through the Blog function in Picasa. If anybody has experience in this, please let me know the best way to post these scans on the site so everyone can click through to a large enough version to read.

Now I'm going to go eat lunch at the Brown Bag Deli in German Village. You should go there sometimes, it's fantastic.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Letter to Skyline Chili

It's Skyline time!

CEO Kevin R. McDonnell
Skyline Chili Inc.
4180 Thunderbird Lane
Fairfield, OH 45014

Dear Mr. McDonnell,

What an ironic name! I bet people kid you about that all the time. Because it's almost McDonald, get it? Moving on, I am doing very well, which is in no small part due to the dinner I just had at your Skyline Chili location on Bethel Road in Columbus. I had a four-way with spaghetti, chili, cheddar cheese and onions. You know, it really hit the spot, but I have to admit that every time I visit one of your delicious locations I end up with a little problem afterwards.

To be honest, I don't really mind it. My lady friend, however, says that my problem is one of the worst she's ever encountered, and that I ought to consider seeing a doctor. She frequently leaves the room for the duration of my problem, sometimes even forcing me to sleep on the couch. But what am I supposed to do? A Skyline four-way without the onions just isn't the same (it's actually a three-way). Then, it hit me!

You know how at every table you guys have a napkin holder, salt and pepper shakers and a bottle of hot sauce? You should put a bottle of Beano on every table! Think about it, now every guy who wants to pile his chili high with onions and beans can just grab the little bottle of Beano and sprinkle a few drops on his meal. Problem solved!

Plus, think of the great marketing you could do. Imagine an empty chili bowl, with a very fat and satisfied Buckeye fan sitting behind it, chuckling and burping. The narrator says, "What's the best part of a Skyline five-way with beans and onions?" Then you see his lady friend giving him the evil eye and wafting her nose. "Sometimes, the best part is the worst part." Then, you introduce new "Beano at the table!" and show the same fat Buckeye fan sprinking a few drops of Beano on a fresh bowl of chili. Ta-da! Flash forward a few hours later and you see the same Buckeye fan, driving a race car with Jim Tressel. Everybody wins!

As you can tell, I'm a pretty on the ball guy. There's really no need to thank me, as I just wanted to help one of my favorite restaurants. I've even flirted with the idea of opening my own Skyline franchise in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana. They put a Sonic in there a few months ago, so you know those people will eat anything! Let me know about the Beano!


The Correspondent

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Letter to Alec Baldwin

What a terrible day!

Alec Baldwin
El Dorado Pictures
P.O. Box 8677
La Crescenta, CA 91224-0677

Dear Mr. Baldwin,

Boy, am I having a bad day. It started out fine enough; I woke up. My grandfather used to say, "Any day you wake up alive is a good day." He also once said, "Every animal on the earth except the pig should be killed, to make way for more pigs." And, once when I was 11 he told me to "always pull out." But my point is that today started out just fine.

Now, the reason I'm writing you is also the reason my day turned sour. You see, I was minding my own business at work a little while ago when I overheard some guy say The Shadow was the first bad movie he ever saw. Are you kidding me? The Shadow was great! Lamont Cranston, wealthy haberdasher and former ruthless crime boss, must use his ability to cloud men's minds in order to save the world from the terror of the atom bomb! Also, Penelope Ann Smith is a hot piece.

I was hoping you could tell me some of your favorite memories of The Shadow, and we could throw it back in this guy's face. For instance, I loved your costume. How did you get the neck of your shirt to stay up like that? I would love to have a similar shirt, because one of my greatest fears is having something touch my neck. Sometimes if I think something is touching my neck, or about to touch my neck, I'll rub it gently with my hand to neutralize the anxiety and fear. I know what you're thinking, why not wear a turtleneck? Believe it or not, turtlenecks are the worst thing in the world for me, because then it feels like something is touching my neck all the time.

Going to the barber is also difficult, because they put that tissue around your neck. When being playful with a lady I can stand her to nuzzle my side neck, but she must never touch the front. Ironically, I enjoy dressing up with a fully-buttoned dress shirt and tie, but I have to tie the tie myself. Also, I will loosen it the first chance I get, but only when it's socially acceptable, such as on the dance floor or behind a Denny's.

Well, I think that's about it. If you could send me that shirt you wore in The Shadow or let me know how they made it, I would really appreciate it. All this talk about necks and stuff touching my neck has really worked me up, so I'm going to go to the bathroom and rub my Adam's apple until I feel better. Say hi to Tina for me!

Ever Graciously,

The Correspondent

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Letter to the Statue of Liberty

Did I already write this letter? It feels like I already wrote this letter. I'm going to feel pretty stupid if I check the archives and find I already wrote this letter.

Attn: Superintendent
National Park Service
Statue of Liberty National Monument
Liberty Island, NY, NY 10004

Dear Superintendent,

First of all, let me tell you that I am a man of taste, which is why I never miss an episode of the History Channel's Modern Marvels. The narration of Max Raphael is reassuring yet down to business, like the male nurse at a mid-town plasma donation center. And the history itself is always fascinating; why, I feel like I've learned more from Modern Marvels than I ever did in Indiana Real Estate Licensing School.

Recently, however, I was very put off by an episode surrounding your monument, the Statue of Liberty. I already knew the basic story; how the French gave us the statue as a Christmas present back in the 60s, and that it is over 30 stories tall. What I didn't know, though, was the story behind the statue's muted green hue. I always thought the material itself was naturally green, and never realized that the statue was actually copper. The green is a rust-like chemical formation called 'patina'. Well, sir, I can call the rust on my 2001 Ford Focus magical fairy dust, but that won't make the interior smell any less like cats and beef jerky.

Put simply, Superintendent, I cannot believe this country allows one of its greatest monuments to languish under a layer of puke-green rust. I can't imagine the glory of the original statue, the copper shining each morning like a giant woman covered in pennies! Now, more than ever, I feel it is our responsibility to restore her to her former beauty. How sad is it that even with a copper-skinned president, we still can't have a copper-toned Statue of Liberty? This country's come a long way, baby, but we still have so very far to go.

The strangest part of this whole thing was the History Channel's "experts" gushing over how precious the patina is! That it looks regal and protects from acid rain! I may not have a degree in being an "expert," but last time I checked acid rain can't hurt metal - only agriculture and home resale value. And who would think that disgusting green is beautiful? My mother had an oven the exact same color in our house growing up, and she hated it. She used to always tell us that it was so ugly she wanted to stick her head in there and kill herself, but she couldn't even do that because it was an electric. Also, it always burned cookies.

Superintendent, please tell me if there are any plans to refurbish this American treasure. I know times are tough, but the upcoming depression will be even worse, so if you think about it, you'll save a lot of money by overhauling the statue now. Your taxpayers will thank you for your fiscal responsibility, and Lady Liberty will inspire a new generation of unemployed Americans to dig deep and make it happen!

Digging and Making,

The Correspondent