For Laughs! By Kathy Gardener and Peg Eilerson

My mom and I both love to write.  She lives in Florida and I live here in Columbia. We started a tradition of emailing each other on Sunday mornings many years ago. Here are some of our recent exchanges:

Dear Dr. Philo,

angry chipmunkWell, once again, we are calling on you for your psychiatric powers.  Yes, it’s Alvin.  As you know, in SC’s Snowland, elves, dwarfs, chipmunks, etc. are assigned to particular toys to create, to color, etc., and it has been the policy to keep the respective workers on the same toy, year after year, as they become professionals.  With this in mind, Alvin has stayed with the toy soldiers for six years.  Unfortunately, during the last two years, he has usurped his position through attempting to change the soldiers.  Yes, he made soldiers look like the US Marines, US Army, US Navy, etc.  Instead of accepting the rightful criticism, he destroyed each and every toy soldier.  (The year before, we caught him in time.)  Now, we have to put on a triple shift for this line.  Before the SC Court passes sentence, we thought perhaps you could reason with Alvin.  He had been such a grand asset to the toy soldier line.  Yes, he had received the VIP rating for his first four years.
Assistant to the Assistant to the Vice-President of the Toy Soldier Line (TSL), Randolf Gustav

Attn: Assistant to the Assistant to the Vice-President of the Toy Soldier Line (TSL), Randolf Gustav

Dear Mr. Gustav,

I am most happy to offer assistance concerning Alvin.  I will, of course, need to spend some time with the little chap… he is one of the chipmunk varieties of Santa’s Little Helpers, correct?  I have yet to see a chipmunk who can refuse peanuts.  May I inquire as to where and when I could encounter Alvin, and if there is a quiet place he and I could go talk for an hour or so?  It will need a locking door.  I will bring a bag of honey peanuts along.  I will need to lock the door so that Alvin doesn’t fill his cheeks and run off to hide the peanuts.  Peanut PileHad that happen a few years ago and that chipmunk was gone for good.  He was able to fit 32 peanuts into his cheeks in a matter of seconds.  He could have been a circus act.
In the meantime, I suggest that you offer Alvin rewards for staying on track with the toy soldiers and completing X number each day… offer him a candied almond or a gin fizz, if he’s a drinker.  At least it may help production before I can get to him.
Sincerely yours, Phineas Philo, ChD

Well, Hi-do, Cousin Pearlmae,

cute-pig-character_fymHG4dd_LWe’uns jest caint thank you nough fer a’helpin’ usins with gittin’ ready fer the Fair.  How you was able to git Lauralee, our prize pig, washed and dressed in that polkidot goods — wall, t’is way beyond me.  She done got wayed an, yep, was rite — 450 big ones.  But Rose of Sharon, James Edward and me jest love every bit of her.  An, we feel shore that Lauralee will be bringin’ usuns nother blue ribbon an’ a gold medal.
Thank you kindly, Pearlmae.
Yer the bestest cousin, Billybob

Wall, it wuz nuttin but fun heppin with Lauralee ..

she’s so sweet I hardly think of bacon when I git round that girl. I is standin’ in line at the Walmart in Dalucca City. Had ta come in ta town Fer pigssupplies an ta git me sumpin ta wear ta Agnes Pritchard ‘s funeral. Walmart had a right smart black blouse with tiny pink pigs on it… sure did! I  knowed ol’ Agnes wal be smilin down from heaven when she sees me. Her n me was always jokin about bein hitched ta pig farmers! Are you goin ta make it down Fer it? You knowed Agnes dint ya?

More when n ifin this line moves n I git home.
Love. Pearlmae

Dear Kathleen,

Well, faith, here I am botherin’ you again for your help, you darlin’ Colleen.  There I was playin’ a respectable video game in one of my favorite arcades (John O’Sullivan’s st-patricks-day-cartoon-character_Gyy2ijPd_Lrecommendation) when Willie Watts, one of the lead leprechauns, sidled over to my game table.  Well, darlin, seein’ Willie was no real surprise, don’t you know, but he seemed to alarm the others in the arcade.  I guess his kelly-green suit with his red and green polka-dot tie stood out.  So I says, “Willie, don’t you know that you’re scarin’ the other players?” With that, Kathleen, he pulled himself up to his two feet, and answers,”I’m wantin’ to know, Sean McCartey, where we go to be a’interviewin’ for CEO SC since we all want to be one of the workin’ elves.”   Well, Kathleen, I jest stood there,dumb-like.  Then, I told Willie I would find out and be a letin’ him know.  Since you are the wise Colleen, Ms. Kathleen, what am I to say to ’em since I know SC would not have them after last year’s —-well, I’ll say it — tragedy.

Your close cousin,
Francis Daugherty

Well, Francis, me boy.

I fear we’ll have a problem excludin’ Willie and his lot from the elf interviews next week.  I believe Santa will want us to allow ’em into the process, and santathey’ll be vetted along the way.  We’s got a few of the Leprechaun ilk workin’ up in the valley beyond the Pole with the reindeer… they’s got a way with four-leggers and fairy dust that no other elves have, and we give ’em credit for teachin’ the younguns about flyin’. So even though Willie’s not gonna make the cut, SC will want to take a look at
Willie’s kin and friends. I will be sure to fill the Big Man in on Willie’s shenanigans last year, but I’ll be discreet.  So tell old Willie that the interviews are at Baile Átha Cliath at the Rovers Return.  Look sharp at 6pm for the white haired big man wearin’ a bit o’ red round his neck.  SC has to go incognito in the off-season or the poor dear ‘d never get a thing done!

Your dear Kathleen

My dear Sherlock,

I am having a most peculiar morning. I awoke to strange noises and determined that they were coming from the garage. I quickly dressed and as soon as I opened the door to the garage, silence. Ever since I was bitten by a bat back in the 60’s, my hearing has been on par with winged rodents. I thought I could hear the tiniest squeakiest voice coming from the opposite side of the garage… from the far side of our new car. I dashed over and fell to the floor. At first I thought it was all my imagination, but as I scoured the floor, my eyes caught the glint of something shiny and metallic. Ever since I accidentally ate an eagle for breakfast one morning back in the 60’s, I have had the vision of wrenchraptors. I picked up the object and found the smallest wrench you can picture. If a Barbie Doll had a wrench with her Miss Goodwrench accessories, barbiethis would be it. But now the visitors were as silent as church mice, and I heard no more. I laid down on the floor to look again, but the Prius is too low for me to fit my bulbous head under, and I saw redpriusnothing else. However, I could smell something. I recognized it as teriyaki chicken! Ever since I had a run – in with a German Shepherd back in the 60’s, I can sniff like a police dog. So those are the clues, Sherlock. Tiny voices, a very small wrench and teriyaki chicken. I call upon you to employ your superior sleuthing skills and arrive at a conclusion. If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask.

Yours, Ernest

My dear Ernest,

If only I were in your area and could visit this strange happening in your garage. However, Watson and I are busily engaged in a high-priority case here in Calcutta. So, if you will trust my deductive powers, I shall endeavor to answer this strange problem. Since these tiny noises, together with the smell of teriyaki chicken, are emanating under your new car, a Prius, I strongly suspect the noises are from wee inhabitants who have landed from Star MXPTX, commonly known as the Prius Planet. They so enjoy picnics and their teriyaki chicken. They, being harmless, will leave soon (if they haven’t already gone). This is their way of endorsing your new, metallic-red Prius. Incidentally, Halpern, the head mechanic, was undoubtedly checking to see that this new car is road-worthy, hence, the tiny wrench.

Your servant, Sherlock

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