[Letter Talk] Mail Bag #26

In this mail bag you’ll hear a letter to an artist, a postcard asking for important information, and some suggestions to fix a repeated problem.

Letter Talk is a short (~10 minutes) comedy podcast where a I write letters to anyone about anything, and I’d be honored to write one to you.


Hi Otto!

Thanks for reaching out! You’re the second person I’ve written to so far that’s an American living in Japan. That’s hella cool! I wanted to do that when I was in college, but I never got around to it. I did however make a video with a couple of other students in my Japanese class in college, in case you ever want to hear me speaking horrible Japanese to a slideshow. It’s like a live action comic book, almost. I hope people find it and think that’s my comedy style. I might start sending it out as my audition tape. 

You wrote a sentence that was so wonderful I have to just put the whole thing here. You said, “My goal in life is to live in a cottage in the woods with sheep whose wool I spin and dye into yarn that I’ll use to knit garments to stock my future super trendy etsy shop. (I’m really just an old recluse tbh).” That’s a great plan, and I understand being an old recluse. I’ve had several day spans where I don’t leave my block, and only have face to face contact with my dog. Or with a bug here and there. I usually sweep them into the hallway thinking maybe the neighbor would want a new friend.

Anyway, usually when you read a sentence that starts with “my goal in life is to live in a cottage in the woods” it’s promptly followed up by some terrifying doomsday prepper shit, and there’s definitely not a business plan wrapped into it. It’s usually something like, “We have 300 years worth of spam to eat and if we save all our glass jars we’ll have adequate pee storage.” It’s like all panic, but at the same time I gotta give them props for having goals. They don’t sound like SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Awesome, Rhetorical and Terse… I don’t remember what SMART stands for), but they are goals nonetheless.

I hope you do start a super trendy Etsy shop! I’ve really enjoyed looking at all of the stuff you’re creating. I just really appreciate your eye for detail, and the care you put into creating stuff. And I also just happen to be a sucker for brightly colored stuff, and I loved anime growing up. I drew it all the time, too. I would draw all the people I dreamed about. I can only speak for myself here, but I know that it’s one of the reasons I have unrealistic beauty standards for men. All those pretty anime dudes were so perfect, but man, once you get out in the real world, it seems hard to even find a dude that wears clothes that fit, showers regularly and doesn’t shout at you, or what I like to call a “triple threat”! 

So, when you start an Etsy, I promise that I’ll be a customer as soon as I find out about it! Especially if you’re creating postcards from some of your illustrations.

It seems like you’re having a lot of great adventures in Japan, and I’m really excited for you. That’s a really cool life experience you’ll always have, and I’m sure you’ll have so many stories to share and friends to keep. That’s one of the kickass things about technology — I write ironically in a printed letter — you can have friends that you keep in touch with regularly who live across the world. Or in this case, you can make a new friend without meeting them in real life.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great time, and I hope you continue to share your work with the world. 



I wanted to see how many carrots you can fit into your largest storage tub. Also, do you know when the carrots would go bad? I’m planning for doomsday, and I don’t think I could survive without access to mediocre juice and cake!

Dear Experian,

I’m writing you a letter to see what you’re up to. You were having hella data breaches in the last few years. I just wanted to check on you and see how you were doing, and maybe offer you a few suggestions on how to prevent more breaches. 

Have you considered going off the grid? Maybe you guys might take a lesson from your crazy uncle who says, “they can’t mess with you if you don’t have any information, or internet and you refrain from leaving a paper trail at all.” This is the kind of guy who won’t get his kid a birth certificate, so they end up not technically being a citizen and then all sorts of gun toting doomsday prepping libertarian types are jelly because that poor kid technically doesn’t belong to a nation. 

Man, I wish I had the optimism of a doomsday prepper. They set aside all this stuff assuming that the doom won’t get to them too. That’s the thing about doomsday, that day belongs to doom, and doom will likely get everyone somehow. Otherwise, if it didn’t get to everyone, it wouldn’t be doomsday, it would probably just be a bad day… like when my local Red Lobster had to close, or when the marathon was going by my apartment and I couldn’t use my car. Just a bad day. I think it’s probably gone out of style by now, but how many people did we all know who said things like, “In the zombie apocalypse, I’ll have these skill to use”? And quite honestly, I’ve always found the “skills” questionable. It’s always someone who says they would be a great fighter, but they have trouble lifting something heavy and have never operated an antique crossbow or katana sword.

My friends thought I was nuts because I said, “if a zombie apocalypse happens, I want to be the first to go. I don’t want to deal with that drama.” Someone actually said to me, “but when the zombies are beaten back, the world will need comedians.” Not true. We’ll probably need doctors first. I’m not going to be able to heal someone’s injuries with some hilarious observations about tandem bicycles. I would feel horrible if I took up that space. 

But anyway this guy might be on to something, as far as the credit industry goes. How are you supposed to get hacked if all your files are now pieces of paper in a shed at an undisclosed location?

Another tip, you gotta stop using your birthday as your password. Or just using “password” as a password. 

Or here’s an idea, maybe just close? I know that sounds wild, but let’s be real, the whole credit industry is a little shady, so maybe you can cut your losses while you’re ahead. There’s no shame in walking away from something, unless that something is your spouse and children and you’re walking away from them because you want to be free to play e-sports full time.

But let me tell you, walking away is one of the best ways to not get hacked, because if you do get hacked you just don’t care. It doesn’t matter. I used to have a Yahoo email address. Ask me if it’s gotten hacked. Alright, you’re not asking, so I’ll just tell you: I don’t know if it’s ever gotten hacked, and I don’t give a fuck. I walked away from that shit and never turned back and it feels good. I’m just saying think about it. 

Perhaps you can tell I’m a bit biased, and it’s mostly because I’ve seen how the credit industry has built up a problematic system that punishes people for years, and punishes others who choose not to participate. It’s like a game of dodgeball where I can go into the audience stands and pummel people who aren’t even involved in the game. Take that, 16-year-old spectator! I’m hitting you in the face with a rubber bouncy ball using my antique crossbow precision AND I have stolen your identity!

Anyway, I hope you’ll consider some of these wonderful suggestions I’ve been brainstorming. I’m available if you’d like to kick it. You know, just spit some ideas back and forth, and really shoot the shit.

Let’s party,