[Letter Talk] Mail Bag #57

Hi friends! In this episode, we have an exchange with a dear friend, a postcard asking about investment information, and a note to an important lobbying group. I’m also joined by my dear friend Jason Mack (@thejasonmack on Twitter). Let’s dig in!

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.


A letter to an unexpected friend

Dear Alyssa

Hey, look at that. I finally got around to actually writing the letter, almost exactly a year later than i said i would.

I want to be brutally honest with the first things i noticed when stalking your Instagram for a bit. First thing i noticed is how extremely comfortable your bed-sheets look, its seems like it’s the type where you could consider selling your sofa because the bed is superior in so many ways. That might just be my brain longing for my own bed tho as i am writing this 8 in the morning.

The other thing would be how weirdly easy it seems to find a place to chill in whereeveryoulive (it’s been hard keeping track). Seeing how you have your own show now at Stab Comedy Theater, i do wonder why we don’t have something as targeted to a specific audience like that. Alyssa, the glorious day you do decide to chill with me in Norway we need to make our own show, where we just tell stupid jokes to each other for a few hours while eating all the gross traditional food we have.

I’ve been also wondering whether or not it would be weird if you were taller than me. That never really was a concern before i took the graduation photo with my classmates only to feel the tiniest i’ve ever felt.

I have a vague memory of you promising to fly me out to see one of your live shows, however that might have been something i said to myself. I’ll be looking forward to you paying for the plane ticket nevertheless 😉

Queue the obligatory “Engelsk er vanskelig, ok?” just to clear up any weird looking sentences.

Best regards,


Hello, to sweet bb boy Ollie,

Really don’t worry about the letter being late. I’m actually late writing back to you. I think that’s kind of some of the magic of letters, it’s ok to be late. There’s no read receipts, there’s no instant gratification. Letters move goddamn slow as hell, and there’s something to be appreciated there. Also, the only people who can spy on your letters are those who open it and seal back up just so, and let’s be honest, who’s going to do that work? 

It’s funny that you mention my sheets, because they make constant appearances on my Instagram, mostly because they make good backgrounds and I have many different patterns. This is a bit by circumstance. Of the sheets I currently own, I think I’ve only purchased one of them, and it was a horrible red sheet from Ikea. I think the thread count was negative 350. It’s itchy and dog hair sticks to it like a magnet. Anyway it was $10, so I don’t feel too ripped off. I’ve kind of just accumulated sheets from my family. I have various pillowcases from when my mom when through a pillowcase making phase. And I just kept all the sheets that I used when I lived at home, because once I grabbed the fresh sheet from the linen closet, I would only have precious few seconds before the rest of the crap would fall out of the closet and I’d die in a very comfortable avalanche. So, yeah … I was going to try to put a sheet back at that point.

You’re not wrong about the bed being comfier than the couch. I mean I think in the photos you might have seen, it was a different couch than I have now. That couch is was Ikea couch that I stuffed in my friend Dan’s house last time I moved, then screamed “gotta go, bye! No take backsies!” Now he’s going to move, so he has to find some unsuspecting person to run up to, shout “surprise!” then leave them with a couch and run off. It’s the circle of life. 

And of course, you’re not wrong about my transitory nature. I’ve lived in 5 jurisdictions in the last 5 years, and I am tired. I would not suggest it. It definitely wasn’t the “fun” kind of living in different places, where you’re in a Winnebago and you just set up shop in whatever campsite you’ve confirmed isn’t staffed by bears. It was the kind of moving where you have to take your shit with. The kind of moving that makes you want to put all your stuff in boxes, leave them with a family of bears and scream “Surprise! No Take backsies” and run away, leaving the bears to figure out if they need to own sentimental compact discs anymore.

I would love to do a live episode of the Ollie and Alyssa show, and I would at least try to eat all the gross food you’re talking about. We can also, at that point find out if I’m taller than you or not. I would guess that I’m not. I stand at a towering 5 foot 2 inches. I’m not even taller than legendary WWE superstar Rey Mysterio Jr., and his whole brand is “short guy.” Anyway, if I do happen to be taller than you, we can get you a box to stand on like how they do in Hollywood.

Someday when I have more of my shit together, I will fly you from Norway to Sacramento in the winter time, so you can watch me shiver to the same climate as a Norweigian summer (I think. Honestly, I never learned science, so I could have read that article wrong or upside down and I wouldn’t know the difference).

Either way, thank you so much for your letter, and your friendship. Mr. Ollie, I look forward to the first episode of the Ollie and Alyssa show, featuring lutefisk, and if I really have money in the future, I’ll hire Ludacris to come too. We’ll call it Ollie and Alyssa’s Lucracris Lutefisk House Party.



Hi Boll & Branch,

I want to buy one of your sheets, but I wanted to see if they were nightmare proof. When I make sheets investments, I want to make sure they’re devoid of nightmare-causing apparitions, and work terribly as a ghost costume. Please advise.

Dear Kimberly Glas, 

My name is Alyssa Cowan, and I’m an amateur textile activist, so I wanted to reach out to you all at the National Council of Textile Organizations. I want to first inform you that I do have concerns about the full spectrum of textile related issues, from sewing to upholstery to making those brown lunch bags that are cloth but look like paper bags. (Man, what a gas! Who says humor is dead?) As much as I care about all textile related issues, this election season I consider myself a single issue textile voter. This time around I’m voting based only on a specific issue that is rocking the world of sheets and domestics. Actually, it’s probably not, but I think it should be. 

I’ve been doing extensive research about sheets, particularly in the high quality realm. I’ve read countless listicles rating sheet sets by different aspects, like thread count, type of weave, fabric, ability to spill wine on them, slippage during sex, the list goes on. To research this subject, I even worked in the domestics section of a department store 12 years ago. I would say at minimum, you could say I know my sheet. My friends have told me that I’m the biggest sheet head they know.

That being said, I’ve been doing research on and off for the last 13 years about who will sell me a fitted sheet by itself, and so far I found two extremely high end options and two extremely low end options and nothing in between. And much like other one issue voters, I know my issue might be a controversial issue, but it stems from something very personal to me: I do not use a top flat sheet except in a few circumstances: 1. I’m in a hotel or in another setting where a bed is made for me, 2. I’m using a flat sheet I found in my mother’s house to put on top of a red fitted sheet from Ikea, to shield me from something that feels like sandpaper, or 3. Ghost costume, 4. I need to cover a car or motorcycle to give as a gift and I want to pull it off and shout “ta-da” to reveal the gift, as if the person couldn’t tell by the relative shape that I bought them a car or motorcycle.

Other than those situations, I don’t use a top sheet. I just have a quilt on my bed, we don’t need to make it any complicated than that. And I know logically that being between two sheets is softer, but I just have a soft quilt. It’s fine. My issue with adding multiple layers to a bed is that I’m already in, is that I sleep pretty well most nights, but I also toss and turn and mosh and air punch and stop and drop and roll, and put pillows in headlocks, then spoon pillows, then kick them away, then kick away my blanket then grab it and pull it back, then do a twirl, then drool on a pillow, then crumple the blanket, then crumple the pillow, then crumple myself. Basically time before I fall asleep is like I’m fighting a wrestling match with blankets and pillows. The idea of adding another layer sounds so frightening to me. I can’t add to the chaos that is basically the human equivalent of a dog digging in their bed and running in a circle before sleeping in it. Adding a flat sheet with the expectation that I will stay under it is setting both me and the sheet up for failure. It will just help me look like a cartoon cloud of fighting.

But, as I mentioned before, there are only very low end options and few very high end options. The low end options seem to feel like the company’s are saying, “You don’t even want a top sheet, clearly you could sleep on Ikea sandpaper and not give a shit.” And the high end options believe that people want to mix and match patterns and colors between top and fitted sheets, which to me seems like the lowest form of creativity.

Now, you guys are the big lobbyists for the sheets industry; I want to highly encourage you all to introduce policies to make it possible to buy fitted sheets by themselves. We need fitted sheets by themselves in all quality forms. Because America is about freedom, and choices, and bald eagles and shit. Nobody would deny being pro-freedom, or pro-bald eagles or pro-choice, right? Well we should be able to choose not to purchase a flat sheet if we’re not going to use it. 

This is the freedom I grew up with, and this is the America I want to live in. Won’t you join me and urge your members to offer fitted sheets only? Will you make that commitment?

Your favorite Sheet Head,