All of these letters are real in some sense. All were concocted by somebody, and that somebody is (at heart) a real person. If by real we mean actual letters from actual viewers, human writing sincerely to communicate with fellow(s), not all would qualify. To be perfectly bluntless, these are mostly made-up letters from nonexistent readers with fake names and moustaches and just hideously bad breath. The responses however are real, as they are not made up by a fake person at all and therefore must, by definition, be considered real if only in the sense that they were really created and written in the name of a fictional character. But may I just ask: from your point of view, what’s the damned difference? I mean if you can read it then you can think it, and anything you can think on must be real. Otherwise you’re crazy, I’m crazy, the whole internet is crazy!
I found a shell that I want to use to make a beautiful necklace for that special someone (Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo), but there is a hermit crab living inside of it. How do I get that little bugger out of there?
Anne, Brown Cables
According to the FBI field manual, useful in hostage situations or when someone is holed up inside and won’t come out like this, you should first surround the shell with a SWAT team of approximately 50 trained snipers. You can then lob in tear gas, and following that send in the goons to remove the dazed crab. But be careful: crabs pinch, and Mr. Romo is a notorious womanizer. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Dear Mr. Rasmussen:
Your magazine has gone off the third rails again this time, or maybe I should say off the deep end of the pier. All this stuff about shells and turtles, it’s like a beachfront publication. I mean it’s an affront to the beachfront. It’s an outright effrontery to the front of the beach!
Bucky Huffets, Lothario, Rhode Island
Dear Mr HuffyBuckets: Thank you for your feedback, it will be used to improve our product, which will no longer be available to you because you’re banned, now take one last long look around and get out.
So how do you pronounce your last name, is the accent on the first syllable or the second?
Leonard Thurston, Providence RI
Thanks for the question. In a neat phrase now the exclusive property of the McDonald’s corporation: I’m loving it. In our family the preferred pronunciation was with the accent on the first. But if people want to say it the other way we don’t get all high and mighty about it.
Dear Proverbial Bejesus lady:
You broke my brain. Thanks a lot.
Dennis, Rhode Island
No charge bro. Just keep laying there and don’t try to breathe. We’ll send a man around in the morning.
Dear Mr. Rasmussen (if that is your real sobriquet):
Am writing to express my belated thanks for you not keeping your threat to destroy every last existing copy of Citizen Kane, which is widely regarded as one of the pillars of modern cinema. Kudos to you for your wonderful self-restraint.
Kevin Vertigo, Cinnabonymous, New Jersey
Thanks for noticing. Decided to spare Kane and instead have destroyed all existing copies of the best surviving television sitcom of the 1960s. So far, no one’s noticed.
I know I should pray to Jesus as he is the number one god around here. But next week I will visit Okinawa and my friend told me they have different gods there. Is Jesus the one true god of all the universe, including Japan? Why does he always make it rain when I have to walk to the grocery store? Why can’t he stop traffic jams, or have pizzas delivered instantly?
Prosser Malamute, West Texas, Idaho
Jesus? Don’t get me started. My doctor ordered me to stop talking about religion in general and that guy in particular. Look, you can believe whatever you want, worship any god you please in any spot on earth. If your behavior disturbs the locals, you are doing great work. If they tear you to pieces, bingo, you’re a martyr. What do you care what other people think? What are you, a leprechaun?