Many years ago, before the kids were born, I had a notion that I was going to write a comic novel about a small southern town, and the novel would be written in the form of letters. I didn't get very far: only three letters and only one of those completed. This is the letter that I did finish, and I only have one printed copy of it. I'm rather fond of this piece, so I thought it might be a good idea to try and preserve it online in case another Rapture comes and somebody loots my house and steals all my old humor writing.
Willard M. Eckert
Putnam, MS 44302
Albert P. Snodgrass, Esq.
Not Sure Exactly
Putnam, MS 44302
You will be receiving this missive via Sherrif Harlan Agglethorpe who says he will see you this evening at the Red Star for your weekly Poker Night. He also says that his phone is broken and can only take incoming signals, so I will have to pen my complaints instead of being allowed my God-given right to one phone call. I pointed out that there is a pay phone directly across the street at the Dunkin' Donuts, but he claims I cannot be let out of my cell as I might terrorize the citizenry.
Seeing as how you so ably represented my after that crazy truck driver careened down Highway 94 in reverse and plowed into the front of my Chevrolet Caprice and forced me to guzzle copious amounts of Mad Dog 20/20 to cover up his crime, I feel I must put you on retainer again as I have been unjustly accused of sexual harassment. If anybody here has been harassed, it's me and I demand justice. The woman in question claims that I have been stalking her when in reality she's the one that's been stalking me. Every day, when I drive the scenic route to work on US 47 north to the new bypass in Farmdale over to Route 73 and back south, I always stop at the WaWa on Lincoln Ave, and every day, without fail, that woman is there, standing behind the counter, acting like she works there. The sheriff has pointed out that there is another convenience store just two blocks from my house and practically next door to my place of employment, but I responded that it is clearly stated in the Constitution that a man has every right to purchase his morning Yoo Hoo at the WaWa of his choice and that none may deprive him of this right without due process.
Anyway, not only has this woman connived to place herself in my vicinity every day, she has also forced me to stare at her young, nubile body in a lascivious manner by dressing provocatively in big, baggy sweaters and heavy down overcoats. The sheriff—who, by the way, I have noticed is not terribly bright—seemed to think that less clothing is more alluring than a lot, but I countered with the argument that a Christmas present is more likely to be shaken if it's well wrapped. That seemed to shut him up for a time. Anyway, if she didn't want me to leer at her breasts she should have just popped them out and set them on the counter next to the beef jerky. What's obvious doesn't require attention, am I right? But that huge overcoat forced me to undress her with my eyes, and, frankly, I felt violated.
So, I went to her house that evening, despite the fact that she lives nearly forty miles away, intending to speak with her about the situation so as not to get the authorities involved. I figure young people deserve every chance to turn over a new leaf, since I know how the label of "pervert" can ruin an otherwise saintly reputation. She must have known I was coming since it was nearly midnight and all the lights in the house were off, forcing me to look in the windows to find her. And when I did find her, where do you think she was? In bed! Pretending to be asleep! The sheriff, who is really getting on my nerves, claims that her being in bed and asleep signifies that she was not expecting any company, but he is obviously unversed in the subterfuges of the sexually obsessed. I pointed out to him that the figure of a reclining nude is a classic erotic symbol and he tried to argue that she was fully dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, so I had to drag his feeble mind back to the Christmas gift metaphor.
At any rate, her evil powers of seduction began to work on me as I stood on the air conditioning unit outside her bedroom window, and though she claims I made a "moaning noise" and woke her up, I was fully aware that she was faking somnolence and so made no attempt to be quiet.
This brings me to the last charge made against me, which I most emphatically deny: I did not expose myself any any way that she could have seen clearly. The only indecent exposure I am aware of is right here in this jail cell where the toilet is right out in the open and my cell mate appears to be suffering from a bladder infection.
I firmly believe this whole matter can be cleared up in a brief chat with Judge Entwhistle, who, the sheriff informs me, will also be in attendance st your poker game. The judge is a wise man and well aware of the forces which so often conspire against me to ruin my good name.
Anxiously awaiting jurisprudence,