HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

June 7, 1990

Hey. they’re, Udo!–


MARY HAD AN EMERGENCY GALL-BLADDER OPERATION and is now home from the hospital. For several days she had sharp pains that started and stopped three or four times a day. Finally she decided to see her internist. He put her in the hospital
immediately. She also had inflammation of the pancreas, which needed to abate before they could operate. She was there for 3
days, on l.v., before anything happened. After the surgery she came home in four days. She is has just about recovered her
strength, and feels good about having lost 6 or 7 pounds because of the I.V. Soon she will be walking her three miles a day
again, to the cheers cf the neighbors lining the curbstones. The Sacramento Bee covered her surgery and recovery: “Saorimentoe
Sotial Leeder Undar Njfe, Recuvlrs nappadiie.” Unfortunately they called her by the name of the woman next door (Edna Twidd, a
well-known collector of Early Sacramento Bath Mats). The reporter wrote that she had “ghoul blotter sirjary.” But we all know the facts. (The editor put it in the category or a “iudgemint call.”)

THE MAIL GOES THROUGH: l appreciate your addressing me at just “Sacramento, Calif. 95934” with no street address. I am so
well known here that it should have been delivered without question. obviously my enemies intercepted the letter in a contemptible effort to humiliate me, and then returned it to Stamford. Needless to say, I shall smite them hip and thigh, and drag them through the ordure or their insufferable arrogance Nobody monkeys with FCD.



“has the postman been, Charles?”

“Matter of fact, l’m reading a letter from that chap who’s writing about us. ”

“bear me … I’d quite forgotten him.”

“wants to replace me.”

“What nonsense. We’re irreplaceable.”

“Not you, my dear, Me,”

“How odd. Do so on, Charles.”

“Replace me with someone called ‘Shoiman Shoiman.’”

“What dreadful names these Yanks do have. We’re well rid of that colony, Charles.”

“The notion is that this Shoiman would be ‘a Cockney brought up in Brooklyn.’ That would give rise to much hilarity over his muddled accent, if I’m following this.”

“‘Scheuman’ means ‘shy person’ in German. They’re none of them the least shy. Quite the opposite.”

“Suggested by a friend of his named ‘Udo.’”

“Hugh Doe! Anyone called ‘Hugh’ is bound to be Welsh! A hun and a Welshman! I could never forgive myself for allowing you to be replaced by a German—Welshman!”

“I can’t see why he would want to do it. The Yanks do seem to find us rather oddly humorous.”

“Why is that, do you suppose?”

“They are a rather curious people, as we both know. He wonders what we would think of a new title: ‘Kind Hearts And Luncheonettes’?”

“What on earth is that last expression?”

“In Brooklyn—~you remember that bridge business—~he says that a luncheonette is some sort of diner.”

“‘Diner’? One who dines?”

“Then again, this Shoiman person may not be Welsh. It seems he’s called ‘Big Tim.’”

“Great heavens! An I.R.A.! He’ll bomb our gas pipe!”

“By the Lord Harry! He does mention the I.G.A.! I’ll wager that’s the Yank branch! ”

“You must cable him immediately that this shy person is not at all acceptable!”

“That might provoke retaliation! Perhaps I should say only, ‘Request more details.’”

“Say what you like, Charles! But do make haste to a cable office!”

“Now then … what’s this writing chap’s name? Ah, here it is: Snavely Frunn.”

“Another dreadful Yank name! How did we ever become
involved with these persons?”

“As I recall, it was Blaugh … and the gas business.”

“When that woman in Downing Street gives him the sack, he shall not set foot in this house again!”

“On the other hand, I shall want a bit of lolly for this cable, my dear. Blaugh was always willing to tide me over, you

“Why can’t that new Brigade-Of-Guards fellow below stairs tide you over?”

“Rather awkward. We haven’t paid his wages.”

“Blaugh would never make an issue of something like that, Charles. Go down at once and ask.”

“Perhaps I might rather go to Downing Street and approach Blaugh.”

“Excellent idea! I’ve been wanting to have that dreadful woman to dine again. What better reason than this obvious I.R.A. connection in America? What was it?”

“The I.G.A. Ah—HA! I see how to deal with this, my dear! I shall have Blaugh recommend an official cable from the P.M. to this Frunn person! No cost to us, you see!”

“Splendid, Charles! That puts an end to it. Now, then, what else was in today’s post?”

“Just the gas billing. I put it in the dustbin.”


THE JUDICIARY AND ‘BIG TIM’: As far as The People of America are concerned, you are officially ‘Big Tim’ Udo, and your hayseed magistrate can go slop the hogs. Don’t back down from rightful recognition! The truth will prevail! The mask of hypocrisy will be ripped away, and the rotten core laid bare! That is the word brought by The Tomato Express Rider to The Last Tomato Saloon on Front Street!  The regulars were falling all over themselves in support of you. In fact, they were falling all over Front Street. What more could you ask? Everybody is on your side! “Another round for Big Tim!” they shout. You have grassroots support from coast to coast! Only in America could this happen!

THE FLOODING OF MAIN STREET: I remember that old diversionary conduit that’s causing the problem, because I lost my little bathtub sailboat in Palenville and they told me it was probably stuck in a Stamford hydrant. If Anne finds it, I want it back for nostalgic reasons. Not only will the flooding stop, but I can put my boat in the bathtub out here for the totties to sail while bathing (at the tops of their lungs). Send express-collect, at no inconvenience.

“BEST IN THE WEST’: Please show the enclosed to your friend Dick Sanford, so he can see for himself that FRONTIER JOURNALISM LIVES! When was the last time The Stamford Science-Monitor won an award? The Bee wins them all the time. It awards them to itself, with Lukenbill as master of ceremonies. Heads-up journalism, Udo. Tell Sanford to write to The Bee for their informative booklet, “Dubbul You’re Sirkulashan! Seacrits of Jernalizam Nowe Reveeld!” It’s free with a year’s subscription, payable in advance. He’ll be the biggest paper in the Catskills. He’ll thank you again and again. Maybe again.

”AEROFLOT NOW BOARDING AT GATE …” When do you leave for The Worker’s Paradise, now awash in Glasnost Gladness? Don’t forget to get me out—rate subscriptions to Argumenty i Fakti and Literaturnaya Gazeta, West Coast editions. They’re cheaper in St. Petersburg, sometimes both for a bar of Lifebuoy. Try the news vendor at the end of Nevesky Prospekt. (He also handles The Wall Street Journal in plain wrapper. One of us, Udo.)

Schastliy v’sadzivaty!

Fred C. (“Sailor”) Dobbs

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