Monday, October 26, 2009

A Letter to the Mall

It's almost winter and I want to puke.

Polaris Fashion Center
1500 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240
Attn: Michael Minns, General Manager

Dear Mr. Minns,

As the Holiday Season draws near my heart fills with the good cheer of the Christmas season. You know, Christmas was always my favorite holiday as a child. My Mother, a generally strict woman of Norwegian descent, would wake us at sunrise to begin preparing the Christmas Dinner, a traditional meal of pickled nuts and lutefisk. I would go down into the cellar, where the lutefisk had been maturing in a bucket of lye water for weeks, and carefully strain off the caustic liquid as I dipped the harvested fish flesh in a bath of rainwater we collected in the summer. Sometimes the lye would splash and scald my legs, but Mother always soothed my cries, explaining that "a good little boy has as many lye scars on his legs as there are stars in the sky!"

Sadly, now that I have come of age I find myself missing these Christmas traditions. I would like to somehow recapture that youthful wonder, and wish to be your Santa Claus this year. There is only one small problem - I weigh 130 lbs. and stand 6 feet tall. I cannot help it, growing up we lived by the traditional Finnish nursery rhyme, "Figs and breads with meat and cheese, these will make your soul diseased." Thus, I have always been a little on the slender side. Fortunately, if there is one thing a Norwegian can do, it is beard-growing. I myself have a beard weighing three-tenths of a merke (measured through water displacement).

I have been thinking, Michael, and I believe a thinner Santa might actually be a boon to Polaris Fashion Center. Consider that the country is suddenly very weight-concious, and I could teach the children about dieting/hunger. Or, perhaps we could take a new spin on Santa Claus together. I have noticed the mainstream media is very interested in origin stories lately. We could give Santa an origin story; it stands to reason that he was healthier in his younger days. We could finally find out how he builds his red suit!

Please let me know what you think of my proposal, because it takes me several weeks to shape a beard, and I currently sport a Garibaldi style with a Germanic-waxed moustache. That would never work!

Courteously Patient,

The Correspondent

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Friday, October 23, 2009

A Letter to Clintonville

I need me some weekend.

Clintonville Area Commission
President James Blazer II
333 E North Broadway
Columbus, OH 43202

Dear Mr. Blazer,

I bet you'd know exactly what I was talking about if I told you my home is filled with clutter. Who doesn't have a closet filled with old junk they never throw away? Well, I'm just like you and all those other completely normal people. And just like those people, I'd also like to get rid of my clutter. Now while it's true that my clutter consists of nearly three dozen 36-gallon Hefty trash bags of chicken feathers, I don't think that's really important right now. But enough chit chat, I have an unrelated question for you: how would you like to have a Poultry Festival in Clintonville?

Now, maybe you're thinking Clintonville doesn't need a Poultry Festival. That might be true, but how many times a month do you eat chicken? If you're anything like me, then it's around thirty, thirty-one times. Even if you're not like me, I bet it's at least eight. I think this town thrives on poultry, and Ohio has a long history of raising livestock. I think it's time we gave Clintonville a special day to put it on the map. Nobody else is doing Poultry Festivals, we could be trailblazers!

Just imagine it with me. We have a chicken parade, complete with someone dressed in a King Chicken costume (made with real chicken feathers). Later in the day, everyone enters a contest for Best Chicken Recipe, with the winner getting the coveted Fluffy Ball Trophy (a giant ball made from real chicken feathers). We can have wrestling matches in a pit of feathers (maybe several pits). Finally, we can just drive down the street in a convertible, throwing fistfuls of chicken feathers at smiling passerbys. Put that on the Dispatch's front page!

I just thought with the economy and all that maybe you and I could help each other out while lifting the community's spirits. Let me know if you're game and we can get abreast of the situation. Unless, of course, you're too chicken to give it a shot. No, you know what, that was over the line. I was making a pun, but you did not deserve that cheap shot back there. It won't happen again.

With My Sincerest Apologies,

The Correspondent

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blog Relaunching!

Welcome (back) to My42Cents! This blog will be written again regularly, along with some new features I'd like to take you through. It's now easier than ever to follow along with the correspondence, as well as share your favorite letters over a wide range of social networking sites.

First, you'll notice the re-tooled right column complete with a Top Ten Letters list for first-time visitors and a new Twitter feed. Follow us on Twitter to hear all the thoughts and ideas over a day that sometimes lead to written letters, along with any interesting links or things we come across. Don't forget to join our Followers on Blogger and subscribe to our RSS feed!

Finally, the most important change comes in the Share Button you'll find below each new post. When you scroll over this button a list of social networking sites will expand, such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg and others. Just click on your favorite site's icon and you'll immediately share that letter with your friends and family. We are committed to writing new letters, so please help us out by sharing your favorites and spreading the word about the blog.

Also, I don't know why I keep using plural pronouns, it's still just me.

Virulently Yours,

The Correspondent

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Letter to the Hearst Tower in Charlotte, NC

I'm back. Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhh!

Building Management
Lincoln Harris
Hearst Tower Suite #2370
214 North Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202

Dear Mr. Harris,

Hello, my future friend. I hail from Columbus, capital city of heart-shaped Ohio, where the corn grows knee high by the 4th of July and merry girls will show you the world! I am a businessman, which means a lot of traveling across this great country of ours. I've been in one stoplight towns and sprawling metropolii, but if there's one thing that's the same wherever I go, it's been my unending need to make two-sies.

Unfortunately, I was not blessed with the gastrointestinal confidence to perform under pressure in public settings. I worry about being seen, being heard and being generally bumfuzzled until I'm shut tighter than a clam in a pelican's pouch. As such, I sometimes go days without relief, leaving me in poor form during my many sales calls and golf luncheons. To remedy the situation, I've started a spreadsheet of the Best Bathrooms Across the Nation. Once I've filled my list with every city, I'll be able to travel freely and know I'm never far from a relaxing setting for my future bowel movements.

Naturally, I've come to you to get the skinny on the Hearst Tower. I'm sure your shining beacon of commerce can be my home away from home when I'm bricklaying in Charlotte. Here's my basic criteria: First, the bathroom must be very warm. I've found basement bathrooms to be the best here. Second, it must be off the beaten path. The best bathroom is the one with complete privacy, so perhaps there's a restroom in the lower levels no one likes going to, or perhaps one in the lobby that gets looked over. Finally, the seat of the bowl is most important. Do you have any wooden seats? Nothing envelopes my bare cheeks better than a well-worn cradle of maple or oak, the laquer finish worn down by years of good use.

Of course, you're the one with the most experience so I'll let you fill in the blanks on your own building. Just let me know the location of the best bathroom you've got, along with any special tips (bring my own soap?) and I'll add you to the spreadsheet. Thanks again, Mr. Harris, and if you ever need to drop a deuce in Ohio, just let me know and I'll take really good care of you!

Sincerely Yours,

The Correspondent