Sunday, November 17, 2002

My Dear Boy,

A quick note to tell you that your vinaigrette receipe was an enormous hit. Our guests could not stop gushing. Served with baby greens, well, let's just say it made the day. Just that the doctor ordered. As the sun went down on another lovely weekend, all you could hear on the back property was the sound of our guests wonderfully munching the delicious salad. I mentioned it to Herb that it sounded like a bunch of goddamn cows grazing. Munch, munch, munch! It nearly drove me insane! I made quite a little scene, I did...rushing up the lawn and onto the deck, covering my ears, face contorted. I ran directly to the kitchen, pushing poor Peter and James out of the way. I poured myself a tall glass of Johnny Walker and downed it in one motion. After a few minutes, I'd recovered, thank God.

Have I told you about my vacation idea? A cross-gendered, cross-country tour. That is correct, my friend. We will rent a sporty coupe of sorts, and take off from Manhattan, boldly across this great land. Cross-dressed! I myself am starting off with something smart, a short mini and simple silk top. Full make-up and a long blonde wig. Pumps or platforms? Hell, either one will put the pedal to the metal, don't you think? We'll hit all the truck stops in New Jersey! How long before I get beat up? We could place bets. Could we make it to Pennsylvania without a black eye, broken teeth? A different outfit for each day, one more revealing and pathetic than the last. What fun!!! As bad as we want to be. By Ohio, I'd have a fairly serious drug habit, heroin hopefully. By the time we hit California, I will look like an old tramp, worn-out, defeated, but still sexy in my own way. Will you come? Think of the possibilities. We will be a huge hit in places like Elkhart, Indiana or Grand Forks, Nebraska.

Do us a favor and think about it?

Now, sod off!

Dear Mr. Tobin,

In the name of brevity, let me get straight to the point. Having done business together for years, you know I am a straight shooter, not a man to pull punches. I feel our transactions have been mutually beneficial, with back scratching on both sides of the aisle. You have always had my best interest at heart. We have mastered the art of the deal and had some laughs along the way. If I had a dollar for every Manhattan I've had with you. Not to mention chicken fingers at every goddamn hot-plate from here to Sonoma! Ah, there have been good times, haven't there, Thomas? The booze, the floozies? (Remember "Christy" from Dallas? Good Christ!)

Unfortunately, after meeting with our suppliers, superiors, the Board of Trustees, assorted underlings and of course, my lawyer, I've decided to pack it in. For any number of reasons, too numerous in their staggering numbers to calculate or bring before the board, I must cash out. I trust you understand me and would tell me if you feel otherwise, but I feel as if you've grown tired of my banter, my anecdotes, old war stories, boozy breath and bad gas. The indigestion of it all. I won't blubber on your shoulder, for chrissakes. I'm a businessman above all else. If I can't make the sale, no hard feelings, but I am out of that room faster than you can say "blow it out your ass, you pluky-faced ratfuck"...I'm not one fo those A-holes who wears out his welcome. If f you can get a better price from someone else, do it! I have always respected the work you do, the way you finesse the deal. And of course, the way you move product. You are like me, from the old school, where class and style and thinking on your feet still meant something. We come from a place where a firm handshake still means something; something other than "I'll meet you on the back nine"; I have sensed for some time that the scene is changing, all these cocky young bucks moving in, not giving a rat's ass for protocal, friendship and loyalty. The come in with their suits with european styling, $35 ties, the hair grease, their goddamn sports cars with hi-fi's and t-tops. Ah, hell, I can't get worked up abou tit, the doctor told me to take it easy. In any case, Hildie and I bought a place in Scottsdale and will be spending winters there, doing the things we enjoy. Cocktails at five, a steak around 7:00 and an old fashion fucking by 9:00. She hasn't slowed down a bit, and asks for you often. Anyway, I will be here for one last round before heading up to Boston in a week or two. The Spring line is in and somebody's gotta move the goddamn shit. Let's plan on meeting at the same bar; have a double, straight-up waiting for me, you old fuck!
My Dear Kenneth,

For the love of Christ, it's been too long, hasn't it? The last time we spoke was at the annual shareholders meeting at The Quay at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Remember, I jostled you awake during that blowhard Sowden's trying little harangue? God, help that bloody bore, but you really should not have had the rowe with him later at the pub. He's under intense pressure, compounded by the fact that the bird he's been shagging clipped him good by making off with much of his savings. One look at him tells you he's beaten. I saw him just the other day at Cockfoster's chatting up some tired old nag, puffy and red-faced with drink.

Now Kenneth, I'm not sure you received a message that I called Friday past. I placed the call after fearing that you had forgot to sell my shares in Swithens International. I'd gotten word that their 3rd Quarter earning will be much lower than expected and the price is sure to plummet. I hope to sell half my interest and put it into something much more solid. I've taken a bath in any number of ventures this year and Hildie is beginning to wonder if I'm properly off my nut. I, too wonder sometimes, after my usual two scotches. Staring at myself in the mirror as the barkeep prattles on about his beloved Manchester United, I see a middle-aged man who has never quite lived up to his potential. Definitely not what the schoolmaster at Kent had in mind for me. What I'm getting at Kenneth, is please do make that transaction if you haven't already. Then go out and get yourself properly knockered and have a go at that Gretchen. She's a wild colt, isn't she, all leggy, and needed a bit of the riding crop!

Please phone me to let me know details,

I remain, yours faithfully