A Letter from Carlton Egremont III

This letter was received by Carlton's technical editor, Gary Swanberg, shortly after publication of Mr. Bunny's Big Cup o' Java.

Note: This is an "open letter" in the sense that Gary Swanberg opened it in order to read it.

April, 1999

Dear Greg [Editor's note: He always gets my name wrong],

Well, this is normally the time of year when I renounce the family fortune and set out to make it on my own. But since the publishing of MBBCOJ, the family has cut off my trust fund allowance… and sent me to bed without supper.

So I decided to run away from home. Which, as I mentioned, I was about to do anyway.

That's why I'm writing to you from inside the windmill of a miniature golf course in Winnemucca, Nevada.

I like it here. It's a little low tech, but I'm taking care of that. I've already set up a satellite link to the fake waterfall, and hope to lease an ISDN connection to the pirate ship.

It's quiet here once the place closes and the golf balls stop rolling through. I like the solitude. It reminds me of my time in that cave in Tibet. I know you think it was silly of me to wall myself in there to seek enlightenment through sensory deprivation. If I know you, you think sensory deprivation is watching public television during fundraising season, or maybe learning Unix. But if I hadn't made the trip, I never would have met my Shirpa guide, Lobsang McGhee.

As you may recall, Lobsang had acrophobia, a career limiting affliction for a Shirpa guide. His fear of heights was so bad that he got vertigo when he put on a hat. Anyway, he was of tremendous assistance when I was living in that cave: I had a small opening in the cave wall, and every day Lobsang would slip in a plate of liverwurst finger-sandwiches. Later I'd pass back the empty plate with a note written in Sanskrit giving my current level in the game of Doom.

I spent six weeks in that cave, and I know I achieved some degree of serenity, because I never got sick of liverwurst. But I knew it was time to leave when my AOL graphics finally finished downloading and I saw I had no email from God.

So here I am in the windmill waiting for my ISDN line, and Lobsang is still an invaluable assistant. Every afternoon he putts in a liverwurst sandwich. He's two below par.

Have you heard from my lawyer, Scooter? He'll need to depose you for the class action suit by the readers who claim to have lost IQ points from reading the ActiveX book.* I'm a bit nervous about Scooter's problem. As you know, he suffers from agoraphobia. (I ought to introduce him to Lobsang.) He hates crowds and open spaces, kind of a claustrophobic in reverse. He's got a novel solution, but I'm not sure what impression he'll make giving closing arguments from a Port-A-Potty.

I hope everything goes well promoting the new book. It used to annoy me when you claimed I didn't exist, but not existing has its benefits. I like the free bus rides, and rude body noises always get blamed on the guy next to me.

I figure I'll hide out here until the Y2K problem blows over. I've got unlimited power now that I've hooked a generator to the windmill blades.

My funds should be replenished by next year. I've still got my take from the coin-operated doorbell, and I've been sinking every nickel into Internet stocks. Let's hope the class-action lawsuit doesn't eat up the profits.

Your imaginary friend,


PS. No, that rude noise wasn't me. But still, I've got to get off the liverwurst.

* See the 1-star reviews at Amazon.com.