Word from the Mailbag

Baboon Shavin’ Tunes

Joshua Alan Terry

You know, sometimes fan mail can be a huge problem. The noble side of you wants to reply to every letter, every e-mail, every threat burned into your front lawn. But time really doesn’t permit sufficient opportunity to a man of words like myself to respond to every message individually. Don’t get me wrong: I love the feeling of opening my office door in the early morning and finding a fresh bag of letters atop my desk, only three or four of which have detonated in the night. So please keep writing, just don’t be heartbroken if I don’t get back to you right away.

This week I’d like to take the time to respond to a select few of these messages, just to say thanks.

Dear Josh-

Before your column came into my life, I had sustained a meager existence, spending the majority of my time reading Danielle Steele novels, eating Red Baron pizzas, and listening to Perry Como albums. Thanks to your encouraging words, I have found the energy to found a militant political action committee organized with the express purpose of ousting Fidel Castro as dictator of Cuba.

Love, Pam

Dear Pam-

I’m glad I could help, but I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with Red Baron pizzas. I quite enjoy them myself, as well as a hearty serving of chunky sirloin burger soup.


Dear Josh-

You are always referring to this ‘Dr. Skidmore’ guy as your good friend and mentor. I have worked at this university for 25 years, and never have I come across this person. Do they really exist? Do you change his name for the column? Please explain.

Love, Floyd

Dear Floyd-

Of course he’s real. Why would I bother making this stuff up? -Josh

Dear Mr. Terry-

Your payment on BARBARA STRIESAND: MY NAME IS BARBARA is now sixteen weeks overdue. If you do not make immediate payment, your membership will be terminated and the cost of your remaining selections will be billed promptly. Please make payment and include the additional late fees.

Love, Stan Horowicz

BMG Music Service

Dear Stan-

I never ordered any Barbara Striesand CD’s, in fact I still haven’t gotten the CD’s I was promised with my introductory shipment. Maybe some people can go day to day without listening to Dan Fogelberg, but I’m not one of them.


Dear Josh-

Do you actually do research on the vague historical references you make? You write about Vikings walking around Utah in the 14th century, yet this is almost four hundred years after Leif Ericsson discovered New Foundland! Are you stupid?

Love, Thor

Dear Thor-

Are you a Viking? Your name sounds really cool. If you are, could you get me some information on them? I think the Vikings rule. I was a Viking in High School, and from time to time I’ve been a fan of the football team in Minnesota. Any info you could send along would be way cool.


Dear Josh-

I am very intrigued by this Dr. Skidmore character. You mentioned that he has a daughter, but have said little else about his personal life. Is he available?

Love, Donna

Dear Donna-

In all of my time with the good Doctor, he really hasn’t opened up to me on some personal subjects. At the same time, he regularly asks me about the intimate details of my own life. This wouldn’t bother me so much if he’d call me by my real name or if I didn’t see private details of my life popping up in forwarded spam mail from time to time. But to answer your question, I do believe that he’s available. Good luck to you.


Dear Mr. Terry-

This message is sent as a kind request to please stop writing letters to former President Richard Nixon. Mr. Nixon has been deceased for several years now, and therefore will be unable to respond to your inquiries. However, if it helps at all, even if he were alive, it is doubtful that he could have influenced McDonald’s to re-introduce the McPizza.

Love, Edgar Grimes

Richard M. Nixon Estate

Dear Mr. Grimes-

I take serious issue with your assumption that Richard Nixon would be powerless in the face of the McDonalds’ international marketing machine. If he can open diplomatic relations with China, surely he can get me my McPizza. Incidentally, could you get me Mr. Nixon’s opinion on the Legacy Highway?