HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

December 16, 1990

Hey, they’re, Udo!–

We were badly shaken by that xerox of “Covert Activities,” which rips away the mask of hypocrisy and lays bare the rotten core of cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, orange juice, carrots, celery…. vs coffee. We are destroying ourselves with health foods. Back to coke floats and double-fatburgers, with lots of cheese. The viciousness of oat bran is beyond description. We can’t thank you enough.

Thomas’s ”abhorrence for study” is a good sign, take it from One who has been there. I was a lousy student all the way, and look where I am now. Could you hold up a better example? I mention this as a comfort for both of you, not for self-glorification.

For every “A” shout not “hooray,”
But set your minds at ease.
Forget “B’s,” too,
And cheer in lieu
For solid “C’s” and “D’s.” —Henry Oddshirt Lawncello

We will go to daughter—in—law’s for Xmas dinner and another feed a few days later when her folks come up from Malibu. I will bring one of my world-famous Cheesecakes (I stole the recipe; if you would like it, just tell me), which her folks drool over. On Thanksgiving I downed eleven courses and was barely conscious. Can I do twelve? You’ll be the first to know (from me or the hospital). Stay by the phone. The call may be collect. You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll bet Anne’s Thanksgiving dinner set a new high for Stamford. If people drove all the way from New York, we’ll see it in Gourmet magazine. The rest of the town council is probably grinding its teeth. Too bad for them. If they’d cooperate about getting the snow removed from in front of your house, they’d be invited to a decent meal once in a while.

We finally had some rain, about 1-1/2 inches. We are up to about 50% of normal for the season (starts in July). The Bee loves the drought, which justifies morbid headlines and long headshaking articles that foresee desiccated Sacramentans in the dry gutters, licking the dusty asphalt. Lukenbill will probably leave for wetter hustings where, with luck, he might drown. (He’s into football and basketball, but not swimming.)

Because of the relentless pressures of retirement, along with the hyperactivity of the holiday season, the new titles for Udobbs Press lie fallow. But don’t shut down the coalbin operation. It has a mystique. Down at the Last Tomato Saloon in Old Town, the regulars sidle up to me while I’m sipping a cold glass of Gold Rush Extra-Nugget and whisper, “Say, dude, whut’s a Coalbin, inna—ways?” I smile enigmatically and say, “Just what the name says, Old Timer.” They shuffle off and whine to their fellow imbibers that “uppity dudes is roonin’ this town.” But this gave me an idea: we could start a second operation for the whittlers. They could Whittle hard coal into the shapes of U&D cars and engines, and sell them at high prices. “The same coal that goes into our engines! Buy this skilfully whittled lump and save it from a fiery end!” The money should pour in, because the coal can be sold all year, not just during the tourist season on the U&D. Furthermore, it’s for a good cause: our profits.

Haven’t seen any cold-fusion articles lately, but I’ll send them along if any show up. Glad you can benefit from them. The program will eventually need a top man, and this kind of information will keep you at the top of the short list.

And now it’s Post Office time, all you nice folks out there!

Best to Anne and Thomas, as always.

Fred C. (“Woodpile”) Dobbs

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