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1997aug11. Mail.

Good evening. I am assuming that the travelogue on a trip to Salt Lake was written by you.

I must say that you have provided myself (Brian) and my good friend Sean quite the evening of laughs. We were just at Saltair ... literally, like two hours ago. We too planned a frolic down to the infamous lakeshore for a bit a weightless swimming ... we almost puked about halfway across the parking lot of the “Taj Mahal gone awry.” We walked out on the beach as far as we could until our shoes began collecting black sludge ... this is one very freaky smelly beach. I didn’t see anything about flies and stench in my tourist magazine.

We are going to the salt flats tomorrow and will try to identify the mysterious stupid thing for you.

Thanks for confirming that this was not just a bad dream caused by an evening visit to Mormon square.

Brian and Sean

1997aug13. Mail.

hello unknown web creature,

i love your site. still reading? good. i thought you might be interested in the club night (that’s nite) a friend and i do called pickle. this month it’s ‘glowing pickle', on a freak-show theme. we play progressive electronica, nu-school, old-school, and school-school hip-hop, trip-hop, flip-flop and other funky stuff, and have fun spelling our names out with pickles, doing projections, ‘n’ stuff. we’re final year art-students here in cape town, and tomorrow i’ve roped in a physics friend to help me construct a glowing pickle. shall i send you a tif of our flyer? byeee ...

ralph dogboy. (new zealand)

That sounds freaky cool man. Send that tif!!!! Go art students go!

“School-school"?

1997aug28. Mail.

Hi, Jeff. I’m Jim.

Wait. Perhaps ‘Jeff’ is too informal; perhaps I’m stepping on your figurative toes by my on-the-spot assumption that you would prefer a casual reference. In that case, let me keep in the spirit of the “don’t-touch-me-there” 1990s and offer up appeasement: Mr. Jeff. If that’s too formal, see first sentence.

Well, I was reading “Cross Country Burn” for the seventieth – just a second, here. I can’t go on without getting it clear in my mind as to what to call you. Therefore, from this point forward in this electronic mail thingy that we computer scientists call “that thing that I don’t know what it is,” I will refer to you as THE READER. Just like that. In all caps! Festive, sassy, and FUNCTIONAL!

Anyway. I was reading “Cross Country Burn” for the 37,848,960th time, and once again was enthralled by the tale of the Stupidest Thing In The World. Being the fan of personal/reality/humor writings that I am – slashes included due to a Wes Craven film fixation from my early teens – THE READER’s tale of a mad dash to stack up inches of playa on one’s feet has struck a chord in my unresounding soul since the very first time my eyes fell upon the account.

My verbosity apparently knows no bounds. In an effort to bring this tormenting, amorphous blob of uncertainty to an end, I am curious of one thing, and one thing only. (Yes, one thing.) Did anyone, in the last two years, manage to unearth the purpose of the Stupid Thing and pass it on to you, like savings from Sam’s Club? You see, if not, my curiosity will know only the bounds of my current unemployment in seeking an answer. Sadly, the resultant shortage of funds will make it very very difficult for me to go on my self-funded pilgrimage to the Stupid Thing and find out. The public wants to know.

So, there you have it. I am on a fact-finding mission, and YOU, THE READER, may have facts that – no, I can’t do this. I can’t restrict myself anymore. I will not be anyone’s plaything! I will not dance the many-stringed waltz of a marionette! You, mister, are Jeff. No more of this ‘THE READER’ crap. What do I look like, Jamie Farr? Anyway – may assist me in that very mission. So, thanks, if you have anything to give. And thanks if you don’t. I'll subsist on bitterness and muscle tissue alone.

Calling Leonard Nimoy,
Jim