From The Pop Culture Dead Letter Office: Revelations

By: David Jaggard

July 17, 1963

Malley & Torelli
Bill Collection, Private Investigation
2117 E. 58th St.
New York, NY 10138

Mr. Michael Corleone
1 Westshore Drive
Lake Tahoe, NE 80229

Dear Sir:

In our capacity as representatives for Bellini Bros. Inc., owners and operators of Louie’s Italian American Restaurant, 3179 Bronx Boulevard, New York, NY 10131, we are writing to request payment of an outstanding bill.

On the evening of February 12, 1946, you dined in said restaurant in the company of one Mr. Virgil Sollozzo, self-employed entrepreneur, and Captain Mark McCluskey of the New York City Police Department, both deceased.

The bill for your table shows one small antipasto platter, two orders of mussel soup, three orders of veal picatta (the best in the city), a magnum of Barolo Grigio 1932, two tiramisus and one slice of lemon cake. The total comes to $24.57, including the desserts, which were not served, but as they had already been prepared and entered on the bill are legally inclusive in the liability.

As the only surviving member of your party, we must assume that you were intending to pick up the tab for this meal. We hereby request that you remit payment in full, plus the sums of $37.40 for interest and damages (including the cost of replacing two chairs, one tablecloth, four glasses, the chef’s pacemaker and 24 rolls of paper towels) and $189.95 in collection and processing fees.

The total (see attached itemized list) comes to $251.72, not including the tip for your waiter, although since he died of shock shortly after your departure from the premises, we are willing to forego this customary nicety.

Furthermore, unclaimed property found near your table, in the form of a Smith & Wesson 38 caliber revolver, was auctioned and the value of the weapon allotted to defray collection costs, which otherwise would have been higher.

We realize that $251.72 is a sizeable bill for three partially-consumed, and in the majority of cases undigested, dinners, but you must consider that our agents have been trying to track you down for a number of years.

In the spring of 1947 they had located you in a villa in western Sicily, but they apparently arrived just moments after your departure. In the courtyard they found the burned-out, still smoking wreck of an automobile with a woman’s corpse in the driver’s seat.

Being professional investigators as well as bill collectors, they examined the hulk and determined that the explosion was caused by a leak in the fuel line which was ignited by a spark from the starter.

A local man, apparently a servant of yours, was seen running from the property as our men approached, but he returned in a few minutes, explaining that he had eaten some bad scungilli the previous night and had urgently needed to relieve himself. This person informed our agents of your sudden and inexplicable disappearance.

Several years later two of our agents attempted to serve you with papers concerning this matter by introducing themselves clandestinely onto the grounds of your property in Lake Tahoe during what appeared to be a celebration of some sort.

Since it was impossible to speak to you during the day, they approached your front door that night, intending to hand you the dossier and depart, but they became disoriented in the dark and found themselves in the back of the house, outside your bedroom windows. Shortly thereafter three of your own guards located them and opened fire with machine guns, killing both agents instantly and in the process spraying your house with bullets.

We hope that we will receive payment (certified check or money order only) from you soon so that we may clear this long-standing debt. In anticipation of your cooperation, we remain faithfully yours…


January 14, 1967

T.Q. Olufson
National Parks Service
1278 Jefferson Boulevard
Washington, D.C. 10203

Mr. Paul Simon
1759 Central Park West
New York, NY 10012

Dear Mr. Simon,

We have completed our review of the photographic documentation of the event described in your 1966 song “The Sounds of Silence,” and we regret to inform you that the figures cited in your lyrics seem to be grossly exaggerated.

In the third verse you report having seen “ten thousand people, maybe more.” The National Park Service monitored the entire crowd from helicopters and our estimate of the headcount that day is 3,550.

Since you claim to have seen the gathering “in the naked light,” surely you must have realized that there were nowhere near as many participants in this bizarre ritual as you allege.

We trust that you will correct your figures in all future performances of this song.

Sincerely yours…


March 23, 1962

California Highway Patrol
Branch Office 211
433137 Imperial Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 92451

Mr. Brian Wilson
1455 Hedgerow Circle
Hawthorne, CA 92438

Dear Sir:

Enclosed you will find a citation for a moving violation in the amount of $55.00 imputed to a vehicle registered in your name. This vehicle was recorded on traffic surveillance cameras engaged in what appears to be a “drag race” on Waterfront Strip, Long Beach, CA, on the evening of March 4.

The incident began at 9:27 pm in the 1800 block, where the road changes from four lanes to six. You have been identified as the driver of a silver Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Yours and another vehicle, namely a blue Dodge 413, were photographed standing side by side at a red light with large quantities of exhaust emanating from the tailpipes. Of course our visual evidence is not a film with soundtrack, but one can only conclude that it must have sounded real mean.

In the next photo, the light had turned green and both vehicles apparently accelerated to a high rate of speed. You and the Dodge were then captured in time-stamped photos by cameras in subsequent blocks, which prove that you continued to exceed the speed limit for slightly more than one-quarter of a mile.

It appears that the Dodge, which given its rapid acceleration must have been equipped with dual quad ram induction, really “dug in,” so to speak, and gained an early lead in your little informal competition. Black streak marks in your lane indicate that your rear tires must have spun considerably at the outset (you might want to check the tread — just a suggestion). But given the fact that both vehicles arrived nearly simultaneously at the 2600 block, we have been led to understand that you have a fuel-injected engine sitting under your hood.

In case you, or millions of fans, might be interested, the end of the race was exceedingly close and only our final photographs show incontrovertibly who won. But we are not legally authorized to divulge that information.



October 12, 1964

Dear Gilligan,

Here’s your ring back, you spineless scumbag. I never want to see it or you again. Look, if you didn’t have the guts to break up with me in person you could have at least called. But no, instead you act all lovey-dovey and all “I just have to work for three hours this afternoon and then I’m taking you out to dinner,” and then you vanish for five weeks without so much as a postcard.

Five weeks! It’s like you got blown away!

Okay, so I just want to know one thing: who is she? Some rich bitch you met on one of your “luxury” tours who wanted a little hanky-panky with a mighty sailin’ man like you?

Or did you just decide to dump me in the wild hope of realizing your ludicrous fantasy of meeting some movie star and going off to a secluded island with her? As if! It doesn’t take a college professor to calculate the odds on that ever happening!

So let me know who it is — you owe me that much — and then you’re out of my life forever, you cowardly loser.

And don’t try to weasel out of telling me either — I know you’re still around because every time I drive by the marina I see your car sitting there, right in its usual spot.

It could really use a wash, by the way.

Get lost,




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