My Written Responses To A Typical Thursday’s Postal Mail

By: Dan Shea

To Jeremy F. Steinberg, Senior VP Marketing, Citicorp Trust Bank

Dear Jer,

First off, let me apologize for not writing back sooner. I assure you, the fact that you sent the same exact letter twice in as many weeks (even down to the nuances of your signature, you fiend for details, you!) is a hint not wasted on the likes of me. That being said, I feel I must mention that most people — those not so in tune with our unique brand of instant camaraderie and fraternal ribbing — might find such an act to be a bit pushy and impersonal. Not that you have to worry about me, my good new friend. No, sir! I naturally got the gist and chortled until I could find a pen!

Well, where to begin? This is usually the part where I tell you all about myself, but that seems pointless in our case; between your mystery sources and your instincts, you seem to have me well pegged already! For example, I do have bills that I need to pay every month, I do like having cash on hand, and I certainly do despise variable interest rates! But at the same time, I’d like at least 24-72 months to pay, the ability to consolidate my bills, and, hell, what person in their right mind WOULDN’T jump at a fixed 16.99% APR? It’s like you read my mind!

At the moment, however, I’m in no need of financial aid. Considering how well you know me and appreciate my friendship (16.99%?! Is it Christmas or something?), I’m sure you know this already and are simply too proud to ask for help. Already I feel I can read between the lines with you, and though we’ve only just begun our pen-pal relationship, I’m comfortable extending a helping hand.

How about $40 at 14.99% APR? Fixed, of course, and I wouldn’t even expect a payment before January of next year. Don’t be too proud to write back, okay?

Your Brother for Life,

“Dan The Pre-Approved Man” Shea

To My Local Community College Continuing Education Program

Dear South Bluff College,

Look, I’m gonna be honest with you: I got drunk one night last fall, I was a little lonely, one thing led to another, and before I knew it I was enrolled in a creative writing class. I showed up the first week, but I could tell it was a mistake and never returned.

I thought you took the hint, but today I find this course catalog from you in the mail. I don’t want to lead you on, so know that I won’t be there this spring either. Just please accept that it’s not you — it’s me. Corny, I know, but this relationship has failed twice already, and we both know that I’m simply not alumnus material.

Just Your Friend Forever,


P.S. I know you have my Social Security number, so I’m begging you not to be vengeful. Let’s just stay friends, okay? Maybe we can do an online thing next semester? I’ll call you around July-ish, I promise!

To The City Police, Parking Enforcement Department

Dear S.O.B.s,

For the fourth time, I KNOW MY VEHICLE IS ILLEGALLY PARKED DOWNTOWN — you’ve sent me the same letter about it every day this week! As I stated in my first response to you back on Monday, THAT’S WHERE IT BROKE DOWN! I was hoping our little dialog this week would be a foundation for open discussion on the subject, but today you’ve forced my hand with your cryptic “Final Notice.”

Since you don’t seem to understand the concept of a car that won’t move, I’m going to considerable lengths to illustrate it for you: when you arrive tomorrow with your tow truck, you’ll find a broken-down late-model Corolla filled to the roof with beach sand and chained through the axles and frame to every single parking meter and bike rack on the west side of 10th Ave. I’m sorry it came to this.

All Out of Patience,

The Thirteen-Ton Toyota on Tenth

To My Local Cable TV Company

Dear WavyCast Collections Dept.,

I truly appreciate your diverse and entertaining array of stations, but I’m afraid you continue to overvalue your service. Instead of me paying the $300 that you’ve vehemently requested, perhaps we can find some middle ground? I mean, I really enjoy Cartoon Network and Comedy Central, but these days VH1 and MSNBC are simply too juvenile for me, and when you consider that the Home Shopping Network no longer accepts my calls and SNL is in a long-term slump…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s time for us to meet face-to-face and finally hammer out a realistic channel lineup for a price we can both live with. Call me; I’m free every single day of the week.


Account #44786003-50

To The New “Cirque du Soleil” Flyer

Dear Cirque,

While I continue to be flattered by your personal attention, I’m afraid I must insist that you stop sending me all these flyers every time you come to town. I’ve been to two of your performances already, and even though you claim to be an “unconventional” circus, I find that you employ the most frightening clowns of all: European mimes.

Beyond their overall creepiness, I am haunted by the increasing possibility that they might randomly choose me from the audience to be the butt of your many elaborate performance antics. I warn you that you’ve been extremely lucky in your selections here so far, as many Americans tend not to be such good sports and VERY rarely walk around wearing their own high-wire harnesses.


Dan Shea

To My Mom


I skimmed through your letter regarding your first trip through Europe and Asia and Africa and it bored me. Please limit correspondence like that to emergency-only situations in the future. My mailbox space is precious and I am a very very busy man.


Daniel Laurence Shea

P.S. I don’t suppose you brought several tons of that really fine South African beach sand home with you as a souvenir? Also I may need $300 for cable plus some parking ticket and impound fees this weekend. Oh, and my new buddy Jeremy needs to borrow forty bucks.


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