Today you’ll hear about Wisconsin’s most important export, my own personal wishlist, and a few adventures with my friend Evan.
If you’d like me to write you a letter, click on “Request A Letter.” But fair warning: I will stalk your social media, and I will read the letter on the podcast. If you write back to me, I might read that on the podcast, too.
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- Letter Talk is written and produced by me, and my sister Amy edits my writing. This episode features music from Kevin MacLeod.
Dear Wisconsin Tourism Board,
What’s up? Long time never talk. I thought of you guys because I have a fondness for “shitty” beer. I put shitty in quotes, because I feel like it’s all relative. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so on that note tasty, is in the mouth of the bedrinker.
I remember my old roommate Melissa promised me that someday she would take me to Wisconsin because all of my favorites are brewed there: Leinenkugel, PBR, Natty Boh, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller64, Coors Light.
I decided to prepare for this trip by going on your illustrious website. Holy crap, can I just say those two floating ladies look absolutely insane? That’s not a comment about their looks — they both look like fine, normal Wisconsin-ites (Wisconsiners? Winsconsineers? A gaggle of Wisconsins?) …people from Wisconsin. But they’re cropped out in such a way that they just look insane: like they are two dimensional paper people who fell into another world via a glitch in the Matrix. It’s odd.
Anyway I noticed that you don’t have a page touting the benefits of drinking shitty beer, even though we all know science has proved that there are many. Some examples include: improved sexy eyes, more confident bowling, increased “no fucks given.”
I think it’s important that we zero in on one that is particularly special: beer makes you proud of the little things you do. Follow me on this one: recently I spent an evening with friends and imbibed many a beer and woke up feeling like shit… But every little victory I took for granted any other day meant so much more:
“Wow, I woke up.”
“Wow, I made the train on time.”
“Wow, I can eat without barfing.”
“Wow, I smell ok.”
“Wow, I remembered which key is my house key.”
These things are gratitude-log worthy things, mostly because you can put anything you want in a gratitude log — it’s your gratitude log and it’s your gratitude.
My dad once told me that “If you’re feeling like you have low self esteem, do something to impress yourself, even it’s small.” Managing to pull myself out of bed and to the station on time for work was small on the grand scale, but big for that day.
It makes me wonder if his advice still counts if you created the problem that you solved. At the same time, that was MY victory and nobody can take that away from me, like nobody can take away the entries in my gratitude journal, my dudez.
Thanks for having this brainstorm sesh with me. I hope to hear from you soon.
Cheers & beers,
I know it’s really early to write to you, but I wanted to get ahead of the Christmas rush — Black Friday, am I right? Such a bummer with all those kids trampling others to get their letters to you. Anyway, I have a wish I would like granted … sorry, my editor suggested I do a quick Google search to see what you actually do, and I see that it’s material things and not wishes, so I’ll try to think of more tangible stuff to ask for.
Number 1 — Lottery tickets. For someone my age, I feel like my retirement account is really sad, so I’m looking to give it a boost, and since you’re Santa, I’m think you probably can get the hookup on some winning numbers … wait my editor is telling me again that you have no insight into lottery numbers — nor do you collude with the Maryland Lottery folks.
Number 2 — Some sort of mix of stocks and bonds that performs as well as the S&P 500.
Number 3 — An electric drumset, because how are you supposed to rock out with your cock out if you can’t rock out in your home without pissing off your neighbors? This is probably the most feasible of the list so far, so I don’t want to get guff from you on this one, Santa.
Number 4 — Some bigger confirmation or sign that there’s something else out there for your soul after you die … Asking for a friend … who died … who I’d like to see again. Not soon, but you know … eventually.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t be asking you this — it’s really not what you do *but* I’m not religious … so asking God these things seems out of the question, or downright rude. That seems like asking your boss for a raise on your first day of work.
So, after God and these holy folk, you’re basically the next wise cultural power in line after Vin Diesel, who won’t return my calls. You’re the best person I have to answer this question.
Number 5 — Confirmation that you’re OK. I know being Santa can be a big job, so I want to know that you’ve achieved a decent work/life balance. Or are you more of a work/life harmony type person? I could see that, since you’re an entrepreneur, and has my friend Nate says, “Are you an entrepreneur or a WANTrepreneur?”
Either way, Santa, I’m assuming that life has picked up since you also have sitcom again. I think it’s called Last Man Standing? Is that still on? Are you as busy as you were when you did Home Improvement? I worry that the Santa duty would make you so overwhelmed and you’d want someone to kill YOU so you don’t have to do it anymore … and considering you might have more information on it than I do, you may know if the opportunity cost of being alive is like a nice Sandals vacation in the sky.
We all have moments in our life where we want someone to Santa Clause us so we don’t have to work at our job anymore, but in a normal working world that means we need to find a new career or wait another 10 minutes for when the feeling goes away.
Anyway Santa Claus/Tim Allen (IF THAT’S YOUR REAL NAME … HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH), whichever you go by this time of year, I would love to hear your feedback on those requests … or I’ll patiently wait until Christmas for the electric drum set.
Stay chill bro.
What is up, friend?! I hope this letter finds you well, especially since at the time of this writing, I don’t remember if you’re permanently in the U.S. or china. Either way I will do the proper research to find out again.
Dude, thanks for being there for me that time I was freaked out about my period being late. Hey correction: one of the times — but a more dramatic time. I think we were meeting up to work on sketches for our comedy show and I mentioned I was concerned my about my period being late and you were like, “Hey it’s cool, let’s just go around the corner to the Walmart and get a preggo test.” I was worried if that was a weird, trashy thing to do to buy a test at Walmart and take it in the bathroom. I can confidently say now that it IS a bit of a trashy thing to do. You reassured me and said that you and your girlfriend did it the previous week. I don’t know if that was true, now that I look back on it, but it most definitely made me feel better.
The test came back negative which to me was a gigantic positive! My experience as a young lady in her early 20s often included me being scared of being pregnant every month because my period was 5 minutes or more off schedule. I knew that day might have been an anxious freak out, and it’s always nice to have a good friend when you’re having an anxious freakout. I ended up telling my boyfriend at the time about that preggo test later and he was pissed.
“EVAN WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT OUR CHILD BEFORE ME!” he screamed. At that point I was in my early 20s, and had never had a full time job, I’m not sure what made him think I would let it become a child. It was a wild assumption that made me seriously doubt the viability of the relationship, which was eventually terminated.
Remember when we just happened to be visiting L.A. at the same time? The friend I was staying with was creeping me out, so I asked if I could come stay where you were…which was with your Grandma in Simi Valley (I think?).
I showed up to the neighborhood early in the night and we kicked it at the TGI Fridays. I was very TGI thankful that I didn’t have to stay with the friend that night. We stayed until closing eating apps and having chatty girl talk.
When we got back to your grandma’s place, we were pretty drunk from getting mildly TGI fucked up, and on the porch we saw a spider that was the size of a quarter. We just stood there screaming, as it stood between us and the door. We got so frightened we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and try again when there wasn’t an 8-legged guard stressing us out. So we backed away slowly and left the yard. Girl talk continued as we walked around the ‘burbs at 2am hiding from something the size of a shot glass. I’m sure the neighbors loved us loud chuckling hens chatting it up.
When we came back there were two terrifyingly large spiders guarding the door, but like puppy dogs, we had walked around enough to be tired out. We dramatically, one at a time, leaped over the two spiders while screaming like children.
At your grandma’s place, you were staying in someone’s unchanged childhood bedroom. You slept on the floor and let me take the bed. It was very kind of you. We stayed up giggling about the spiders. I remember you saying that you would have killed them, but you “didn’t have a sledge hammer.” That’s the closest thing I can remember to having a slumber party within the last decade of my life. I announced that night that you were an honorary girl.
Evan, you’re such a cool dude and such a funny, talented writer. I can’t remember what your job is right now, but I hope it gives you enough fuel to have a happy life. Please tell me you’re still writing, because I know you have a lot of great things in your brainbox that the world should hear and your creativity is endless.
Using your creativity, you pulled a goof on me that got me so good. When you were living in China you left a comment on my website saying that you were kidnapped and needed help. It was jokingly written, but I also couldn’t tell. I figured if you did get kidnapped, you’d find a way to make it funny. I sent you a panicked email and I immediately panicked more and sent the U.S. Embassy in China a panicked email. You got back to me and said it was a joke, and I got back to the embassy and said it was a joke. They were shockingly chill about it.
Here’s the entire exchange:
I’m literally chuckling as I write this letter because I feel like a goob.
Anyway, thanks for being awesome and a great friend. I’m happy you’re back stateside so I can bug you more.
Stay chill, bro!