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Reading Other People's Mail

by Diannek

The other day I was browsing through the book section at the Good Will and I found a very nice copy of A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold. It's classic nature writing and this particular copy was the special commemorative edition. A great buy at two dollars.

When I got it home and took a closer look at it I found a letter inside. Oh goody. A bonus! No address, just the name Tiffany on the front of the card-sized envelope. Tiffany is not one of my favorite names. I've never met a Tiffany who was serious about anything other than herself. And since I've spent years in college classrooms, I've met lots of Tiffanys.

But I digress. Here's what the letter said:

Tiffany, Merry Christmas, Joyfully, Scott

PS -- At first glance, the attached book appears to be just that -- a book. Actually, at second and third glances, it remains one. Still, this is my favorite book -- albeit one which put me to sleep the first few times I attempted to read it. It is somewhat dry and philosophical, but I really have latched onto the author's perspective; he was a logger and firefighter for the US Forest Service around the turn of the century, and he really does a nice job writing about conservation and resources and nature and such. Anyway, it seems that you and I have at least a couple things in common: (a) we both love to read, and (b) a part of us wishes we were born before cars and television and multi-room schools ... so I thought I'd give you this book to try...I also stuck a little something else on page 121.

Poor Scott. Was this a love letter? I guess not. But there is evidence to suggest otherwise. After all, he gave Tiffany his favorite book, even though he tells her it put him to sleep the first 10 times he tried to read it. Scott: why on earth would you give your girl friend a book that is somewhat dry and philosophical? (Especially if her name is Tiffany!)

And Scott, rule number 2 says: never use the word "albeit" in a love letter. Save that word for when you break up. Rule 2a says: never use semi-colons in love letters.

The real proof that this is not a love letter: Tiffany left the letter in the book when she tossed it into the Good Will bin. I double checked page 121. Whatever Scott left her was missing. I was hoping that it was a $100 bill and that Tiffany was too self-absorbed to read clear to the end of the PS. But Tiffany is no fool. I'm guessing it was not something so crass as money, it was probably another note explaining what the word "albeit" means.

Diannek confesses: I'm terribly sorry to be so hard on Tiffanys everywhere, but I was heart-broken to find Scott's letter stuck in a Good Will book. Scott was probably a heart-sick grad student who tried his best to woo Tiffany in a scholarly manner, and he failed miserably.

Tiffany, next time please toss out the love letter BEFORE you toss the gift in the recycle bin.

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