Letters From Down Home #1
Dear Uncle Caleb;
We just got your letter. Lawn sakes! That moss sure does grow quick in your neighborhood. I hope you find your power mower soon, Uncle Caleb. Ma says thanks for the photographs of your trip. Who would ever have thought that a tour of toxic waste dumps could be so interesting?
I've got some sad news about our neighbor, Vera Hansen. You remember her. Us kids always played in the woods behind her house. She kept gettin' after us about the fires we lit. We didn't like her much then; but, y'know, I can't really blame her. She had a right to complain, especially the time when we burned up her laundry.
Anyhow, I don't know if I wrote you about this or not, Uncle Caleb, but last year her doctor told her she had this rare disease and might die unless she had an operation. Well, when she found out that a lot of people die just from the operation and some people get better without any treatment at all; sufferin' surgeons! You can imagine. She simply couldn't decide what to do.
She came to visit us about that time. I'll tell you. She was in a blue funk. She kept asking Ma, "What would you do, Pansy? What would you do?" It was sad. Our hearts just went out to her. Of course, Ma said the same thing like she says to everybody; "Vera, take your mind off of things for a while," Ma says, "Go shopping."
Sure enough, a few days later, Vera is in a bookstore at the mall, looking for books on her favorite topic, amphibious cooking. Those were some picnics she used to have for the neighborhood; remember, uncle Caleb? Well, fry my frogs! All of a sudden she spies this book by some East Coast egghead Doctor of some such named Neo Logist called If it Works, Don't fix it.
So, she buys it and takes it home.
I've seen that book, Uncle Caleb. That Logist fellow is so practical and clever. Vera read it cover to cover. Then she decided; and sutures be praised! She figured that as long as she felt OK, she would postpone the operation and enjoy life.
Newts alive! What a change in that woman. Why, her whole personality seemed to radiate happiness. Last summer she had two small picnics and then a real pollywhopper for Labor Day. She even enrolled in a scuba-diving course.
Oh, but here comes the awful part, Uncle Caleb. You remember how dedicated she was to amphibious cooking. That's why she wanted to learn scuba diving. Well, last week she went on a field trip and got eaten by a giant squid. It's so hard to fathom. We're so sad.
Well, that's about it, uncle Caleb. Betty Lou got an 'A' in wood shop. Zeke's doin' OK too. The weather's been cold, so we've got the home fires burnin'.
Bless you, Uncle.
Your favorite nephew,
P.S. Ma says "Hi"
Other stupid stuff by Neo:
STOPPING BY OUR HOME ON AN ORDINARY EVENING