So… 2020, eh? Not to steal a line from NWA’s original gangsta Eazy-E. And this might come as a pleasant surprise. But I am entirely down with OPP! After all, the OPP (Orange Presidential Prolapse) finally got something right. A couple of months ago when describing the Covid pandemic, he stumblingly muttered, “Hey, it is what it is.” And believe it or not, the red rectum was correct. Or as Fonzi would exclaim… Correctamundo! (coincidentally pronounced kuh-rectum-undo).
Libel Disclaimer: Not to be confused with the Undo’s in Benwood or anything deemed “presidential anal.” And yeah, I know that OPP was from Naughty By Nature. I mean, I’m not a fucking idiot. Capiche?
So let’s just agree that 2020 was… uh, well… it was what it was.
Alright, here’s the dealio. At the end of 2019, I made a New Years resolution to do something out of the ordinary. My idea was to write 365 letters and send them out via the United States Postal Service. That’s 365 physical letters to people from my past. Family, friends, K-12, college, and even a few people I dislike and/or barely know. I’d say about 75% of the recipients came directly off my facebook friends list. This is important to note. Because I did make a concerted effort to avoid using that particular list as a crutch.
Anyway, I figured what the hell. Turning 50 has a certain half-century panache. So why not step out of my literary comfort zone?
I could have kept an accurate response tally and broke down the percentages. But I just didn’t feel like going the extra mile. After all, writing that shit every day was kind of a pain in the ass. Hey, each letter was a minimum of 4 pages long and took me on average about 40 minutes to write, reasonably proofread, print out, and pitch in the mailbox. Each letter was, for the most, unique to the individual. I mean… sometimes I’d ramble on about Trump or Covid or the weather. But for the most part, I tried to veer away from the daily news and political scene. It was my desire to evoke more faded memories and shared experiences, silly observations, you get the drift, blah. Sometimes it clicked. Sometimes it didn’t. Whatever. In the end, it was a worthwhile experience as it helped me grow into the compassionate human being and upstanding citizen you’ve all come to know and love. Yada-yada-yada… and all that crap. (obligatory dry heave).
My biggest regret. I should have used the “make your own stamp” website thing. Could have made a stamp out of my AGSAF logo. Even though the website’s temporarily offline. Don’t ask.
Another regret was failing to explain exactly HOW I obtained everyone’s mailing address (fastpeoplesearch.com). Probably should have mentioned it in the cover letter. You know, to help avoid the likelihood of being deemed a creeper/stalker.
Seriously though, many of the responses were heartfelt and very much appreciated. As I was saying, I shoulda kept more precise tabs on this whole thing. I could sift through it all but I’m just not feelin’ it today.
In a nutshell, out of 365 unique letters, close to half of all recipients responded in one form or another. The other half didn’t.
I’d say about 120 responded via facebook messaging, email, or text message. As I really don’t care much for lengthy phone conversations, I chose not to include my phone number. You gotta realize that I’ve had zero contact with some of these people for 30 to 40 years. Those letters tended to be far more expressive as they focused on very specific, distinct childhood memories.
About 40 people replied with actual physical letters. Some of them very poignant. And on a few occasions, even a gift of some sort. Merry Fuckin’ Hanukkah Mother Fuckers!
About 30 or so came back as undeliverable. And required additional physical address research. But in the end, all of them reached a destination of some sort. Even if it was trash can, recycling bin or welcoming chiminea.
Naturally, one individual near the end was left emotionally traumatized. As my letter obviously violated the sanctity of her marriage, and to a lesser extent, her mailbox. Letter #359! Truth be told, I should have known better. Some people just aren’t mentally capable of dealing with the slightest external stimuli. You know who you are. May I humbly suggest avoiding any future attempt of portraying yourself as a rock’n’roll star. Whoops, too late.
In the cover letter, I offered up a challenge for each recipient to commence a letter writing campaign of their own. While I doubt anybody took the bait and committed themselves to an entire years worth of dedicated, daily correspondence, many did remark how they intend to pen more letters in the future. But in the end, it’s impossible to fully gauge the impact. Yet the whole idea did lend itself to a certain “conversational spark.” Yeah, that fucking douchebag Saf sent me some nonsensical, rambling bullshit. Felt obliged to read it though. What an assclown! So I think it’s safe to say that it did have some sort of impact. Particularly in a small town like Wheeling. Wheeling residents accounted for about half of the literary load, or as Trump would say, “massive mail dump.”
So… what’s in store for 2021? Good question!
The answer is song parodies. 365 to be precise! Starting tomorrow...