[Letter Talk] Mail Bag #14

Today I’m sharing a suggestion with Applebee’s, apologizing for being a creep, and thanking someone for being a great friend.

Read the letters after the jump!


Dear Applebee’s,

I’m writing with an idea that I think would really boost business for you. As of late, I’ve come to realize that my favorite kinds of restaurants are set up like a buffet and you pay by the weight of the food. They have them at Whole Foods and other grocery stores, and a fuck ton of them in downtown Washington, DC.

Now you may be asking:

  • “Hey, who’s this crazy lady who sends snail mail?
  • “This paper feels nice; what kind is it?
  • “Hey Bob come over here wouldja?
  • “Can you feel this paper?
  • “Doesn’t it remind you of the good old days when we wrote letters to our moms?
  • “Bob, don’t you miss your mom?”

And to those questions, I say:

  • “My name is Alyssa; I may be a crazy lady, but I’m also an amateur restaurant critic and strategist, meaning I sit around in food establishments and think about things I would write in a food blog if I ever started one, which I probably won’t.
  • “The paper you’re feeling is Neenah Capitol Bond Light Cockle — and yes I would absolutely accept a sponsorship from Neenah Paper. Can I use you guys as a reference when I make my request?
  • “Yes, Bob will come over there.
  • “Bob can feel that paper and he agrees that it’s great paper.
  • “It does remind Bob of days when he wrote letters to his mom. He used to write her every year from summer camp, but his relationship with his mother has been strained since his divorce from Lisa. His mother thought that Lisa was the best thing that ever happened to him.
  • “Bob misses his mom so much more than Lisa, but he’d never tell you that because he feels like that would be a true boundary issue and he likes to keep his personal life mostly private.”

Anyway, I haven’t dined at Applebee’s in many years. When I was in high school and college, that’s where my friends and I would go only if we were feeling “fancy and expensive.” I also feel the need to note here that in my town we all went to Olive Garden before prom because it was “extra fancy.”

The times I visited Applebees, I remember I thought the portions were huge. An ever growing blob attempting to take over your life with a never ending supply of leftover french fries that will live out its days being avoided in a fridge. Hence, the pay for weight model: less food goes to waste, and y’all can rest easy knowing that every Applebee’s fridge fry has been foisted upon customers with consent.

I’m not sure what this magical model is called, so I’m going to call them a reverse buffet and hope the phrase catches on. You’ll spread the word of that lingo in your industry, won’t you?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this idea, and please let Bob know that I’m sure his mom will come around, and I’m here if he ever needs to talk.


P.S. I’m sorry my old roommate Ben called you guys “Mishapplebees.” I will check in and see if he still uses that terminology.

Dear Jason Wade,

I wanted to write to you and apologize for an incident that happened on July 15th, 2001. Your band, Lifehouse, was on tour with 3 Doors Down and Tantric. Also, just between you and me, I always thought the lead singer of Tantric looked like Scott Stapp from Creed and the guitar player with the blonde ponytail looked like early 2000s era Chris Jericho, as pictured here:

But I digress. July 15th 2001 was the day your tour stopped in Reno, Nevada in the parking lot of the Peppermill (this is not to be confused with the time I saw a concert in a Walmart parking lot–which is an apology letter for another day). I was a sprite 13-year-old in gigantic baggy pants from Hot Topic (Wow, wow! Those pants were reversible! Much like my opinions about those pants over time). A sleeveless camo print top concealed my torso so as I walked through the crowd, I looked like a dismembered head floating along with two fishnet covered arms and a poor man’s pair of JNCOs. After writing that sentence, I thought about how JNCOs are mostly poor man’s versions of JNCOs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rich person wear JNCOs and now I have a new project to work on.

I elbowed my way up to the front to see your band play. After a couple of songs, I was only a few rows of people away from the stage. I yelled “Take your shirt off!” I’m so sorry for doing that, you’re a human being and you didn’t get up in the morning hoping to be catcalled by a tween attempting to dress like one of the early 2000s Hardy Boyz from WWF if they had a time machine and already knew what “MAGA” stood for.

I think in the case of my transgression it was returned to me tenfold. The simple act of getting up on stage as a female stand-up comedian has yielded commands to get undressed. If that is karma, I feel as though it may be excessive.

Anyway, I just hope you forgive me for being a weird jerk.

Also, I’m sure you’ve googled this before but there are definitely two bands named “Death House.” I like to think your band fights them as a part-time job in this whole battle between good and evil and they’re your enemies. It’s hard because they’re two bands versus your one band. But hey, the Power Rangers were always outnumbered by Rita’s goons, so I have faith in you guys.

One Death House is in Phoenix, Arizona, and one is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So, another theory I have is that maybe Death House started in Phoenix, as a rock band and then moved to Minneapolis, and the cold temperatures changed them…and hardened their souls which made them hella more metal. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

Keep on lifin’, my dude!



P.S. I’ve enclosed copies of my apology letter to American Hi-Fi, so I can show you that I was a dick to other bands as a teen, and I’m trying to change.

Dear Olek,

Hullo! How are you? I am fine. How’s the weather? It is ok here, am I right? Hahaha, rain! Man, can’t live with it, can’t live without it! Hahah!

Alright, now that I got all the letter formalities out of the way, how the hell are you? I feel like I haven’t talked to you ages, and it’s been too long since we’ve hung out. From the first time I performed in Boise, ID, you’ve been so kind to me, and I used to always look forward to seeing you when I drove up there from Reno.

I remember the last time I saw you was at a comedy show for the festival we were on, and it was really great to watch you do stand up. It was really awesome and special just to see you perform, since it had been so long. We didn’t really get to hang out because you had a cold and I shuffled off with the friends I was staying with.

I wanted to write you a letter because I think you’re a super cool dude, and I wanted to sincerely thank you for being an encouraging, positive force at that time in my life. I had a genuinely great time working with you all those times way back when.

Thank you for not losing touch with me after I moved out east. Hell, you even warned me of some danger in DC from across the country. I feel like you’re just one of those friends that I never want to let go of. Even if I don’t talk to you in a while, or don’t see you for years it cheers me up knowing that I can always bug you.

I don’t even know if you remember this, but I messaged you the night I found out my dad was dying because I saw that you were online. You stayed up and sent me a bunch of dumb stickers to cheer me up, and I sent ones back, and maybe for those nice few minutes I didn’t feel quite so scared and alone. Then you kept checking on me to see if you could help, and I can tell you that you really did.

It’s kind of neat how sometimes actions we all think are so small have such a large impact. On the flip side it makes me worry about if I frowned wrong at someone and it made them get hit by a bus… or I think of that one movie with Ashton Kutcher where a butterfly flaps its wings and then all of a sudden Donald Trump is the president and nobody seems to know how hard hacky sack fuckin’ rules.

Anywho, I hope you’re doing well, and having a great time. You’re super, duper funny, and I hope I get to see you perform again in the future.