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1996nov07. Mail.

Just thought I’d let you know that you can still experience the wonder of visiting an automat, but you'll have to trek all the way to Amsterdam. There, little restaurants called FEBO adorn many of the picturesque and tourist-laden strassen. A FEBO looks like the wall of PO boxes at the post office, except that the doors are transparent, and there are coin slots instead of keyholes. FEBO employees are hidden behind the wall of tiny clear cubicles, busily preparing tasty FEBOtreats. Although there are a large number of tiny compartments at a FEBO, it’s hard to tell if there is any difference in their contents. Each one simply contains something small, breaded, deep-fat-fried, and unidentifiable. The up-side is that it doesn’t cost much to eat at a FEBO; for a couple of guilders, you can slide open the door to reveal a scrumptious “broodje mit kass” (whatever that means). They’re also open 24 hours a day, if I remember correctly.

– Gary Wicker

P.S. – I’ve visited Amsterdam twice, but have yet to work up the nerve to actually eat FEBO cuisine.

I’m inclined to use my Sprint Bonus Flight (see Missive #985195) just to experience FEBO in Amsterdam. Oh, and the pot. And the hookers (“strassen”). And whatever else they've got lying around.

1996nov07. The day after a certain party, I had to move all my belongings, and then some, to a new rented house thing. Mistake #1: owning a lot of things. Mistake #2: renting a U-Haul truck. This wasn’t that wimpy little pick-up designed for maximum head banging (rent one sometime; I’m not talking about music here), this was a monster truck (SATURDAY! SATURDAY!) with stripped gears and no center rearview mirror. I had to fight it for nine painful hours, sometimes on major freeways. The stick shift, the steering, the brakes, everything was conspiring against me. I was worried about sideswiping small cars or fauna hiding on either side of the truck, but then I just stopped caring. “Listen for metal scraping metal,” I thought, and began to enjoy truckerdom. I ruled the road! A turn signal would send drivers fleeing for other lanes. Wise, they are. “Fuck YOU, asshole!” I would yell at no one in particular over the crappy radio blaring what the DJ referred to as “Alternative Rock” (I’ve got to check into this). My U-Haul experience brought with it a newfound respect for truckers. And the inclination to give other U-Haul greenhorn idiots out there a wide berth.