18 Nov 1986

Hey, there, Udo:–

Before I get into the body of this letter I want to advise you about the postage stamp situation. About half of the letters I get from you do not have stamps cancelled. This obliges me to steam them off at great inconvenience so I can use them to pay the postage for my return letters. I would like to suggest a compromise: would you be willing to enclose the stamps with the letter inside the envelope? I suspect you have some kind of special arrangement with the Post Office that allows you to send mail for nothing; sort of like a franking deal. I won’t blow your cover. Just put the stamps inside instead of on the front. That way I can avoid steam burns, as well as keeping my postage bill to a minimum. Your cooperation will be much appreciated; Yours faithfully Euclid Putsock.

We Freds do not have an easy time of it it, let me tell you. For example, for a number of years I had what I thought was a week blood vessel on the side of my nose. It would burst and form a scab every couple of months. Very awkward, especially if I happened to be addressing the Sacramento Lodge of The Sons Of The Nucleus, on the subject: Will The Future Take Us Out of The Past? My strong points were not taken too seriously if my face happened to be covered with blood as I pounded the podium. For one thing, I was accused of grandstanding. A cheap shot, but my accuser was really after my job as night janitor, which adds a few innocent dollars to my retirement income. Anyhow, my wife finally said, “Fred, this has gone far enough.” (She used to call me Leonard, so progress has been made.) “Ask the doctor to take a look at that, and report back to me.” She used to be the administrator of the UCLA Cancer Center, so she is suspicious of ongoing sores, etc. Anyhow, it turned out to be a skin cancer, which I had biopsied and then removed and prettied up with plastic surgery. Not a really big ordeal, but an interruption in my rewarding schedule of weed-pulling.

So, have your nosebleeds checked, and report back to me, or I’ll get my wife after you.

This is being typed on my new IBM close, which I bought soon after telling you I was thinking of buying a computer. It is called a DATA PC XT, made by SBI CALIFORNIA. I don’t know who that firm is, and neither does my son-in-law, but he says that all the clones are assembled from parts made by the same Japanese or Korean companies, so they’re all pretty much the same. The big computer manufacturers buy their innards from the same supplies, so I have presumably an IBM equivalent. It has 640K buffer and a 30-megabyte hard disk. All of which means very little to me because I am just a plain old county boy that like nothin’ better than crackin’ walnuts with my bare toes. I also have an Epson LQ-800 printer and an Epson monitor. I hope I can get this letter to print. Sometimes I input the command and nothing happens. (It just drew a line across the screen, meaning a new page has started. We’ll see.)

My son-in-law-the-doctor says he has examined all or most of the programs for medical office administration, and they are all deficient. That is why he is writing one. In fact, it all started when he couldn’t get a program for his own office, where he and two partners are incorporated. That is, he couldn’t get one that would cover everything involved in a medical office. So he decided to write one, since as a hobby he taught himself how to write computer programs. I hope your friend Roy Lindberg is not offended. There is too much bad feeling in the world already.

In the recent elections the Monarchist candidates did not take any of the offices. (I watch these things closely.) But we shall never give up. It has been rumored that Harold Stassen may switch parties. We may make our move then. Watch the headlines.

I, too, watch only the World Series, but this year I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Five-million-dollar-a-year infielders falling over their shoelaces. After about six innings of the first game, I shut down the TV for good and all. (I don’t watch football any more, since Knute Rockne left the scene.) I returned to weeding, which can be quite fulfilling in its own uncomplicated way.

As part of our service, I offer you once again John K. Herzog’s address and telephone number:

2954 Plaza Azul
Santa Fe, New Mexico

(505) 473-1954

The latest on his progress is that he was progressing very nicely until the actor playing opposite him in Pinafore accidentally bopped him in his good eye, a stroke of good fortune, but hardly needed. This was during rehearsal, and John says that he planned to sit out the next two sessions in the audience and take notes. (What? Quit show business?) His “good” eye is not all that good, of course. It is next on the schedule of cataract removal. The kid’s got greasepaint in his veins, I tell ya.

Will now put your stamp on this letter and mail it with the confidence of yeas of experience. Regards to Anne and Thomas as always.

Fred C. “Weeds are only unwanted flowers”) Dobbs

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