[Letter Talk] Mail Bag #8

Hi folks, this week we have a letter responding to mailed survey, a humble request, and a thank you letter to two of DC’s most popular residents.


Dear National Opinion Network – Infant Division,

I’m writing to you in response to the survey request you sent to me. I don’t know if you actually sent it to me, it was for Alyse Cowan, but you did send it to my family’s house…where I haven’t lived in years, but I still tend to collect mail there.

My first order of business, I wanted to ask about the name: National Opinion Network – Infant Division. Do you focus only on opinions about babies, or are you guys just a very small division that is growing? If you only focus on opinions about babies, then you’re in luck, I have lots of opinions about babies, and I’ve taken the liberty of listing them out in a numbered list for you. My opinions are as follows:

  1. Babies are mostly smelly, but you can freshen them up much like people.
  2. I think spelling “baby” with just two “b’s” has saved Americans loads of time, and that should be recognized.
  3. Most babies look the same to me, and I think that might make me a baby racist.
  4. Baby food looks gross, so I get why they spit it out and make weird noises.
  5. People would stop saying that things are as “smooth as a baby’s bottom” if they imagined a baby’s bottom when they said it, because those things are covered in poop.
  6. I think it’s ok to mention dogs when people talk about babies, because that’s the closest thing us sad non-parents can really offer the conversation. If it turns people off, that’s ok too, because I didn’t want to talk about babies OR COME TO THIS DAY TIME BIRTHDAY PARTY AT A BREWERY THAT I GOT DRAGGED TO! THIS ISN’T EVEN A BUILDING! IT’S A TENT!
  7. Even if they say they’re a “safe space” and you can leave kids there, you shouldn’t just leave babies at McDonalds. My personal rule of thumb would be to think about getting a babysitter first.
  8. “Baby” by Justin Bieber is a catchy tune, but his later stuff is better.
  9. We should stop calling babies “bundles of joy,” because they’re people and we don’t know if they’re going to be more prone to depression so that moniker puts a lot of pressure on them to act happy.
  10. I don’t think we should give babies handguns to defend themselves at nursery school.

Also, your letter kept asking me about the birth of my youngest child, i.e. when it happened and what I did beforehand. I don’t have a child, so I will tell you that my dog’s birthday is March 28th, 2013. So yes, the day is coming up, and yes birthday cards are welcome.

My sister was saying that you kept sending baby food samples, too. Please update your records and send them to my current address, and I will taste them and let you know my opinions on them. I’m really glad you’d like to hear them, because I consider myself a connoisseur of shitty tasting food. I’ve been really good at eating it since I decided to try and learn to cook.

Sorry I did not stick to the questions of the survey. It looked really long, and my sister already took pictures so I could see and I didn’t want to make her scan them. I hope this helps in your baby studies.



Dear Justin Bieber,

I wanted to write to you to make a humble request. I was hoping you could help me right a wrong from the past. You see, long ago my friend worked at a fine fast food establishment in Reno, Nevada. I don’t want to name any names, so for the purposes of this letter I will call her “Baby,” since that’s what we call everybody now, am I right baybeee?

So, one day you came into the restaurant, and it caused a stir with everyone on staff. “Wow! A celebrity!” they all must have written in their Live Journals when they got home. Baby and I were technically too old to be your fans at the time. We were already in our early 20s and you were probably in your mid teens. We just pretended we didn’t love your album as much as we did, and waited slowly for you and Miley Cyrus to age so we could feel less creepy about our music tastes.

One of Baby’s co-workers had the guts to ask you for an autograph, because, like Baby and me, she was a fan. Sheepishly, she said that the autograph was for her daughter. Which is great! I’m sure it saved everyone some embarrassment, because I’m sure as a 14-year-old singing sensation, the last thing you want is someone in their 20s saying they appreciate your work. Anyway, the truth was that the co-worker’s daughter was 8 months old, there’s no way she could have really gauged if she liked your music or not. And I’m sure that at the time the only thing that could embarrass you more is knowing that an 8-month-old liked your music. “MY MUSIC’S NOT FOR BABIES!” you probably yelled before bursting into a beautiful shout cry.

You scribbled your name with a black sharpie on a white sheet of printer paper and created an instant heirloom for Baby’s co-worker. When Baby found out that her co-worker had your autograph she asked if she could make a copy so she could have one herself. The co-worker agreed, and Baby took the sheet of paper to the work copier. Then SHE GAVE THE COPY TO HER CO-WORKER, taking the original for herself.

From what Baby said, the copy was really good. It looked like it was original; it was really a testament to the work copier. It’s wild to think about that fast food place having a good copier. “We pay our employees 7 dollars and hour, but by god, we’re going to have the best 3-in-1 printer/scanner/copier combo that money can buy!” Baby told me that she took the original for herself because: 1. Her coworker said she got it for her daughter, who was only 8-months-old, so she wouldn’t know and 2. Baby had your CD and her co-worker didn’t, clearly making her a bigger fan and thus more deserving of the real autograph. While those reasons made some logical sense, I didn’t’ feel great about knowing about this autograph thievery. My response to her was not what she expected. I was like, “Baby, Baby, Baby, NO.”

Looking back on it now, I don’t really have strong opinions about who deserved the real autograph more, but I think the easiest thing to do to make it right would be to get another actual Justin Bieber autograph to give to Baby’s co-worker’s daughter. Granted I don’t remember the name of the co-worker, nor would I know how to find her, but if you send me one I will sincerely try to find her. Even better, maybe you can find her! I’m sure you have a better platform.

One day at a show you can yell, “HOW MANY OF YOU GOT MY AUTOGRAPH FROM YOUR MOM FROM WHEN I VISITED HER FAST FOOD RESTAURANT?” and then when you see a little girl of about 8 years old, who was dragged there by her mom, who is quietly raising her hand… you’ll know it’s her.

But like I said, if you send one, I will try to find that little girl and make sure she has an original.

Yours in Babies,


Dear Barack Obama and/or my friend Kevin,

I’m writing you this letter as a thank you for reviewing my podcast. Your review said “I lost a hundred pounds of fat since listening and gained 200 pounds of muscle. Also it’s great and Alyssa is great! Listen!!!!” signed “B-Obama.” Your letter sounded suspiciously like my friend Kevin, and I noticed that you reviewed Kevin’s podcast also. But to be honest, there’s no way for me to verify that it’s Kevin…or that it’s not Barack Obama. I tried to confirm with Kevin, and he was pretty vague, so I tried to confirm with Barack, but he didn’t return my chats. I’m going to do my best, and write a letter to both of you. That way I at least know it’s going to right person.

First of all, thanks for your kind words! It means a lot to me to have a former president or my friend Kevin enjoy what I’m putting my work into. I know you’re also both busy people, so the fact that you took the time out of your day to say something nice was really a cool thing to do. This last sentence applies less to Barack Obama, considering he just left his job recently, so I imagine that he’s doing what anybody does when they leave their job without a new one lined up: scramble on job websites, grow a beard, binge episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” and eat tuna and ramen so you don’t have to dip into your retirement account.

I want to thank you both for helping me move crap from my apartment in Arlington, VA into the U-Haul van. I realize that that sentence sounded very sad, and I want to reassure you that I took my crap to another apartment. I don’t live in a U-Haul van. But boy howdy at the DC prices, it might be cheaper to do that, am I right? Anyway, That was a solid thing to do for a friend, and Barack, it made me very thankful that you haven’t moved out of the DC area yet.

I also miss when you guys were the president. Not that I think our current president sucks. He does, but it’s not that I think that, it’s that I know that. And it stinks that you can’t just come back and do another term, because you did what most presidents do and you did your two terms back to back. The other option would have been to get sassy like Grover Cleveland, and have your presidential terms be the bread in a Benjamin Harrison presidential term sandwich.

Kevin and Barack, I think you guys are so funny and you’re some of the guys I still enjoy watching every time I see ya’ll do stand up. I admire every time I see you guys, because I can tell that you’re willing to have fun every time you’re up there. That’s contagious. My dad was never a performer, but I remember him telling me: “People like watching people who are having fun. It’s infectious.” That stuck with me throughout life, and I think you, Kevin and Barack Obama, embody that. I’m very thankful to have met you and have both of you as friends and collaborators in my life.

I hope this podcast continues to entertain you in the future, because knowing that it has had that effect on you fills me with a lot of pride.

I’ll see you both around!