HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

August 8, 1990

Hey, they’re, Udo!–

THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN about Mary’s condition. I wrote in an earlier letter that she had recovered fine and resumed her morning walks. You may have mislaid the letter or turned it over to the KGB to throw them off the track. Anyhow, she has put the operation out of her mind, and is concentrating on making the world a better place. Everything else is going smoothly here, except for a corroded car battery cable connector, which I replaced for $1.59. Nothing more seems to be corroded except The Bee, which is under the impression that the word means something else. “I canot allowe uncorroded evadance in this court,” diclared Judge Gavel Blackrobe duran a trial yestarday. In The Bee’s Revized Stile Manuel, “uncorroded” and “uncorroborated” are synonyms. This accelerates court reporting.

SPORTING OF YOU and the editor of The Stamford Science-Monitor to acknowledge The Bee’s superiority when it comes to misspelled words, garbled headlines, and butchered grammar and syntax. What gives The Bee its edge is that out here on the frontier what counts are the important things, like the weather report (always wrong), the latest loss of the Sacramento Kings (the country’s worst basketball team), and the next attempt of Gregg Lukenbill to rip off the public treasury for a sports franchise. The displaced owner of the N.Y. Yankees is a Good Humor Man compared to Lukenbill. What he wants now is to have the City Council obligate the citizens to buy shares in a major league baseball franchise. He tried to get the Council to fund him outright, but the snarls of the citizenry reached their ears. Now he wants every resident to “own” part of the franchise. Was that Donald Trump who just fainted?

TO RETURN TO the subject of omission and neglect in letters–which YOU brought up–we have not heard a word about your Mission To Moscow. How was the trip? What happened? Did you meet any displaced commissars? Did you shop at GUM? Did you return refreshed in body, mind and spirit? How did Anne and Thomas like it? Do you think you can get back the one sock you lost in the Chelyabinsk laundromat (prachyechnaya samoobsluzhivaniye)? The Sullivan Speedy Wash in Stamford still has your other sock, as I remember. These and other vital questions remain unanswered, despite the pleas of The American People for the knowledge and insight that only you can provide! The shar is in your kort!


“Has the postman been, Charles?”

“Matter of fact, that Shoiman person was there when I opened
the door. Gave me quite a turn.”

“The name ‘Soheuman’ is vaguely familiar, Charles. Sounds
like a hun.”

”Friend of that Udo fellow, if you recall.”

“That person! Thought he was afraid of being smitten with an escutcheon.”

“Wanted employment. Said he was a plumber, well-digger, glass-blower and chimney-sweep.”

“All at once?”

“He also mentioned a ‘sandwich man’…whatever that might be… an upstairs maid, lion-tamer, sword-swallower, bean-bagger, gymnast, ventriloquist and harmonica player.”

“Anyone possessing that many skills cannot possibly be without gainful employment.”

“Called me ‘Charles.’”

“What cheek!”

“Still, my dear, I was not unmoved by his plea for honest labor.”

“Surely you didn’t offer him a position here!”

“Not to worry. I suggested he apply at The Claridge. The doormen are so splendidly uniformed. Gold—braid head to toe. Seemed to appeal to him.”

“Do you know…if they take him on at The Claridge, we shall not lose our Brigade-of-Guards man to them.”

“I say! Didn’t think of that. Bit of all right, what?”

“I still want to invite that dreadful woman to dine … or bully Blaugh into fitting us in at a Downing Street dinner.”

“Then I shall go there directly and mention his infatuation with Labour before she took him on. I’m sure he’ll find a way to seat us one evening. And I might touch him for a bit of lolly to tide me over.”

”Enough to pay the back wages below stairs.”

“Capital notion, my dear. We supported the servant class for centuries. Time they returned the favour, don’t you think?”

“With all this chatter about servants, I forgot to ask about today’s post.”

“Another gas billing.”

“In the dustbin?”

“Thought I’d take it along to Downing Street. Ask Blaugh to add it to theirs.”

“Splendid notion. For a better England, no matter how one looks at it.”


The enclosed menu and newspaper article prove that you cannot relax your vigilance for even a moment. Remember that The American People are solidly behind you. “Big Tim’s our man!” is what they are shouting from coast to coast.

Fred C. (“Off To The Track With Drag!”) Dobbs

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