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1995oct08. I get a lot of mail. Some of it I actually like.

Dear Mark,
Pregnant Muse is not your typical, everyday surreal transgender play zine.
[ ... ]

I believe you. NEXT SCENE!

Dear Mark H. Simple,
President Bill Clinton urgently needs your immediate response to the 1995 Presidential Poll enclosed with this letter. [tearful cajoling for $$$ follows]

This has to be the most obnoxious piece of mail I’ve received in my entire life. First, how the hell did I get on the Democratic National Committee’s “Beg” list? Luckily, the DNC kept my tricky middle initial intact (“H” – Harper’s, “W” – Wired, “S” – “Splosh”). Second, the whole envelope is done up like an airbill from some pseudo next-day air company, even though it’s marked bulk non-profit US mail. Lots of small print about “shipments,” “authorization,” and the like. The sides of the address label are flanked by perforated tractor-feed strips, or IS IT? In actuality, they've just printed grey-colored circles (the envelope color) to create the illusion of tractor-feed paper. The “From” and “To” fields are printed in one of those cheesy “real-writing” fonts. But to cap everything off, the design element that set me over the edge, the reason you’re reading this VERY SENTENCE: the address portion of the “To” field is half-scratched out, just one of thousands of scratched-out “personal” 1995 Presidential Poll envelopes. I didn’t even need to open the damn thing; I know more about the DNC thanks to their multi-trick envelope than I would by reading anything they've written. Keep in mind that given a choice between the two evils, I’d vote Democratic; but for the last ten years, I’ve been filling out the write-in ballots for Banner, the tv-friendly talking toilet paper tissue. “This is a BANNER ELECTION!!!,” I would yell at the top of my lungs from within the booth while scratching out my hero’s name in a crabbed hand. But once again, I’m settling for a lesser candidate; I personally prefer that little Zip-loc finger guy, but I don’t know his/her/its name. Maybe if I just wrote “the little Zip-loc finger guy” in the space, they’d figure it out. It’s a plan! Vote early ... vote often!

Dear Mr. Simple
In about a month’s time, I will be moving to the Detroit area. After thorough research, I have familiarized myself with your magazine’s “alternative” style. [ANSI-standard resume follows]

Wow! The bullshit flies in the second sentence! [My PR department has just issued this inter-departmental memo concerning this very letter: “SENSATIONAL!”] Perhaps she forgot to familiarize herself with our “constant laments about lack of money” style or mebbe even our “no staff” style. This is the fifth resume we’ve received in the last year. Times are tough out there. Jobs are getting harder to get. This concludes my pinpoint social commentary for this missive. Collect them all, but you knew I was going to say that. I’ve become formulaic and drab.