Saturday, September 8, 2007

Stand Up, Sit Down

My short time on the open mic last night went well and I accomplished what I had hoped – I have taken a step toward getting over my stage fright. I got alot of laughs and compliments on my material and I will make more appearances.

On another note here is the next installment of short stories;

Slush Files; Part 3
Let’s Make This Happen

Dear Augustino Gnassingbe Eyadema,

I am so sorry it has taken this long for me to get back to you regarding your family’s loss and news of your government’s upheaval. I’m really bad with the email—ask anyone—but yes, I HAVE been getting all your emails and, of course, yes, I’m interested in helping you out. I should first tell you I’ve never helped release an inheritance before but my husband jokes I’m a fast learner. Unfortunately, Bernard will not be able to join us on the trip to your wonderful, topsy-turvy country as we’re adding a third bathroom for the girls so one of us has to stay here. But you will be meeting (drum roll!) Mr. Trousers, our Jack Russell terrier dynamo. So as you can see there’s a lot going on here, too. A busy month indeed!

Your e-mail’s instructions on how to transfer funds were a bit confusing so I’m going to have my bank contact yours. My girlfriend Debbie works there. She can provide you with that account information you requested, although I think your offer of $3.8 million is far too generous. We can talk about it after I get there. I think we should first iron out my travel arrangements as I’ve never been to Togo before (what a cute name for a country!). There are some things you’ll need to know about me beforehand. While I enjoy a good meal as much as the next person, I have been cursed with more than my share of food allergies. Please refrain from serving shellfish, coconut, strawberries, pork, night shade plants and anything containing yeast. Decaffeinated coffee is fine…if it’s fresh. Mr. Trousers is not as picky and will eat anything, including people-food. Like us, he has a three meal a day regimen.

I’m very anxious in learning more about your country and finding out if where I’ll be staying has a gym or pool. If you could e-mail me back the website of the hotel where I’ll be lodging at that would be tremendously helpful.

How long can I expect my visit to last? Right now I’m packing enough for a week with an extra bag for the millions of dollars, but let me know if there’s anything special I should pack. I’m currently shopping for an English to Togo translation book, some industrial-strength sun block—something at least 200 SPF as I’m very fair-skinned—and a very large hat. I hope it doesn’t present a problem getting through customs—the lotion or the hat. If your airport is anything like ours I may just have to get them at your duty-free shop. The last time I was at JFK mean security guards confiscated all my bottles of Mary Kay meant for my sister-in-law. Instead I had to stop off at Target and buy her a panini maker.

How is your toilet paper? I know it’s an awkward question but although Bernard and I have been doing our part being green and cutting back on our usage, as I have learned from our trip last year to Lake Como, I’m still not ready for European style toilet paper. Nothing fancy, mind you, one-ply is fine. Thank you. Now, is there anything I can bring back for you? I have the money orders you requested but I was thinking of something more personal I can give to your last surviving wife. My aunt hand-knits toaster cozies, those practical sweaters for kitchen appliances. If that doesn’t sound good I can get something else. Has your country ever heard of Tupperware?

No doubt ours will be a great adventure and I can’t wait to meet you. Words cannot express my excitement and the honor I feel that your royal family has chosen me, of all people, with such a responsibility. In a world with so much distrust and hatred, it is reassuring that people from opposite corners of the world can still be brought together in a common interest. Let it begin with us.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Chechesky


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