17 July 1987

Hey, there, Udo!–

Enclosing a copy of an ad for re-inkers from InfoWorld, a computer magazine that I take weekly to pretend that I understand the difference between bytes and laser printers. (If there is one, I don’t see it.) Anyhow, the ad boast re-inking capability for 11,000 printer models, and if they don’t have one to fit your 11,000 printer models, and if they don’t have one to fit your ribbon cartridge, it must have been made in Albania. In that case, send inquiry to Enver Hoxha Memorial Workers’ Glorious Paradise Ribbon Cartridge Production Factory, Tirana. Be sure to specif all specifications, and describe all descriptions. If a package arrives, plunge it immediately into a tank of water. Be comforted by this thought: At Least I Tried To Bridge The Gap Between East and West.

Your printing is what we call in the trade “distinctive,” a cross between the first Gutenberg Bible and a hectographed underground anarchist newspaper produced in Riga in 1903 (the publishers were never caught).

I will accept all rhymes for Dobbs except “jobs.”

Thomas is clearly Goal Directed (astronomy, carpentry, fire-fighting, and Knight Templar). To assist him up the arduous path to the heights of success, I offer the maxim by means of which I have reached my own enviable zenith: If you take a stick 6 feet long, and drive it 3 feet into the ground, when the sun is directly overhead, it will cast no shadow. If he lives by that principle: 1) each of his actions will be accepted by the world as a universal law; 2) whenever he uses the men’s room in a restaurant, the paper-towel holder will be full, and so will the liquid soap dispenser. His life will be rich and rewarding, and he will live in a wonderland of his own making. It’s the next best thing to a lifetime subscription to the Reader’ Digest.

Yes, we remember those hot summer days in New York. Mary says we accepted them without thinking. When we came out West, we sensed that the climate was too pleasant. We had come to a fool’s paradise, and sooner or later the fools would pay the price of their heedlessness. We had grown up in a normal, standard, healthful climate in New York; anything else is suspect. SO here we wait, knowing that the climatic apocalypse will come, and we will take comfort once more in humidity, gnats, mosquitoes, rashes, perspiration, air pollution, dust, mud, thuder, lightning, roaches, mice, milkwagons and rabid dogs. But every Christmas the local ward leader will have a ton of coal delivered to our door.

“Those new folks bought the Kovalik place…”
“He’s a lectrical chemist.”
“What kind of work’s that?”
“Makes lectricity out of chemicals.”
“There’s plenty of lectricity here.”
“They’ll find out.”

Regards to Anne and Thomas and the whole gang in the zoo, and it’s STAMFORD, HO!

Fred C. (“Ho-ho-ho!”) Dobbs

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