The original version of this letter appeared here.
I know you’re a busy man, what with your endless self-promotion and all, so let’s just get down to business. I need you to do a job for me. Some too-bit redneck ran off with my briefcase full of money, and the psychopath I hired to find him has turned out to be unstable. I need you to find the redneck and the psychopath and kill them for me. I believe the standard fee in a case like this is five thousand dollars.
Now, I’m a little short on funds right now on account of that briefcase had most of my money in it, and I won’t get paid again until a week from Thursday, BUT, I’d be willing to give you twenty five dollars up front and the remaining four thousand nine hundred and seventy five upon receipt of the briefcase (It’s black and it has a couple of clasps and a handle. There should be money inside.), and the two bullet-riddled corpses. It’s a tough job, but I know you can handle it.
I know you can handle it because I read Blood Meridian. That book could only have been written by a stone-cold sicko.
I don’t mean to criticize your work or anything, but yuck! I assume you put a lot of yourself into your characters and, well, I don’t know how to end this sentence without offending you. The last thing I want is to cause your crazy ass to come after me! Ha Ha.
Besides your characters, another problem I had with your book was the setting. Too dusty.
Also the plot was no good.
What if, instead of a gang of Indian killers and outlaws roaming the old west slaughtering babies and whatnot, you wrote about a band of sorority sisters working at a candy store! Now that’s a story I could get into! Also, how about throwing a love story into the mix? What if Judge Holden fell in love with a sexy Mexican maid or something? Jennifer Lopez could play her in the movie version, opposite Ben Affleck. Wouldn’t you like to see those two get back together? I know I would. By the way, feel free to use any of these ideas the next time your publisher issues a reprint. Just remember to give me credit and a share of the royalties.
Also, let me know if you want to take the hired-killer job. Scratch that. If you want the job, don’t tell me. I don’t want to be connected to the actual crime. How about this? If I don’t hear back from you before a week from Thursday, I’ll start checking my mailbox for bullet-riddled corpses.
Oh, I almost forgot to give you the name of the redneck. Her name is Shirley. Technically she didn’t steal my briefcase full of money. It was actually my prized album collection. I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry about the money. Those albums are extremely valuable. I’m talking about the Jim Neighbor’s Christmas Album, the original Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing the Blues, and a compilation featuring Men at Work and that band that sang “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine. You’re so fine, you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!” I took very good care of them. Only a few are scratched, and one of my Pat Benatar albums got warped after I left it in the trunk of my car for a couple of years. The rest are pristine. I could totally pawn the bunch and easily make the four thousand nine hundred and seventy five bucks I’m gonna owe you. You’d be a fool not to take this job!
There is no psychopath by the way. Well, except for you. So, just take care of Shirley for me and you can owe me that extra bullet-riddled corpse. See? This job is getting easier all the time.
Watch out for Shirley, though. No man can resist her charms. But she’s evil, I tell you. She made fun of my genitalia! Here's what she looks like: she’s brunette, a little over four feet tall, and she weighs four hundred and fifty pounds. She also has a giant mole on her lip in the shape of Nebraska. You can’t miss her.
If you decide to pass on this job, be sure to let me know by next Thursday, so I can go to my safety killer. You might know him. His name is Anton Sugar, or something like that. I’m worried he’s not up to the task though. He has a funny-looking haircut that makes it extremely difficult to take him seriously.
OK. That’s it for now.
P.S. What kind of name is Cormac? Was your dad a magician or something? If not, I’m pretty sure you made that name up. It’s OK though, my name sounds made up too. Christamar means “Christ, a sea!” and Varicella is Latin, which I don’t even think is a real language.
P.P.S. Since I drafted this letter, Shirley and I got back together, so ixna on the illka. K? God, I hope you speak Pig Latin. Anyway, I’m willing to let you keep the $25 (industry standard) if you’d be willing to blurb my new book Dinosaur Ghost. “They’re real and they’re eating republicans.” Thanks! CV
You might also like An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon, An Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen, An Open Letter to CNN, An Open Letter to FOX NEWS