A while back, an ex-girlfriend who I was clearly not over at the time asked me for a favor. I found the favor to be ridiculous, in fact, and I told her so in a creative and long-winded fashion. Below is the correspondence. In hindsight I realize I was channeling David Thorne of 27b/6, and it may be the finest writing I’ve ever done. The full correspondence is after the break, redacted to take out personal information, of course. If you know who this is, please don’t say. I’m only trying to embarrass myself here.
On Nov 3, 2010, at 16:36
I need some music-related help and frankly – you’re the best person to ask. Think you might be interested in helping a lady out? Let me know please.
On Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 4:46 PM
You’ll need to be more specific. Your email reads like the first half of a 419 scam.
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 3, 2010, at 16:57
I can provide many details, Mr. Fletcher – but to verify your identity please respond to these two questions:
1.) Are you aware of any relative/relation born on the 16th of February 1952, who shares your same name whose last known contact address was West Africa?
2.) What is your bank account number?
I AM ANXIOUSLY WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOONEST.
On Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM
What about music help?
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 3, 2010, at 9:24 PM
Okay fine – in lieu of sending me your bank account number (you do realize you’re forfeiting a king’s ransom.. right?) here is what I sincerely need help with.
1.) 3 musicians who are willing to donate 3 hours of their November 6th Saturday night (7-10pm) who can play one small instrument (thinking guitar?) for my charity event in exchange for free food from Bouchon and Fig and wine.
2.) A 3 hour playlist including great jazz, classical and other intellectually appropriate music for an upper crust crowd. See the pickle I’m in? I could use a music brain to help me sort this out, ya know. Are you game or should I ask someone else?
On Nov 3, 2010, at 11:55 PM
As a relative of someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, your cause is one that I would like to support. However, my charitable efforts are directed to other organizations that are also worthy of my limited time and skill. In addition, I am flying to Boston Friday morning to kill some kittens, vote for Nader and give an eating disorder to a girl (Editor’s note: she falsely claimed I gave her an eating disorder) and will not return until Monday night and have an incredible amount of laundry and homework to do before then.
1) Asking three musicians to play one guitar for three hours is very irregular, and I have only seen it in circus dreams I’ve had. In seriousness, getting a jazz trio to play on two days notice for three hours on their most profitable night of the week in exchange for a croissant and a magnum of third-rate Biltmore Riesling is pretty far fetched. Unless the charity brought people back from the dead and handed out winning lottery tickets, I feel it would be insulting to my colleagues to suggest such a thing to them. This is my professional opinion.
2) Unfortunately, the only 3 hour playlist I have consists of ODB, The Captain and Tenille, a few of Ma Rainey’s more colorful numbers, several 1930s songs extolling the virtues of “reefer” and “tea,” a sampling of Ray Steven’s B-sides, Spike Jones slide-whistle solo records, some bowel-stiffening Mahler, an all-piccolo group that only plays John Phillip Sousa marches, “Fred Rogers Reads Allen Ginsberg” spoken word album ripped from an LP that I found in an alley in Amarillo, Jim Nabors accompanied by a gamelan orchestra (live), a Tibetan singing bowl chorus cover version of “In the Ghetto” that takes up most of 37 minutes, a rare Mongolia-only release of Styx “Kilroy Was Here” in mono, Zamfir’s sequel to “Alice’s Restaurant,” and a Gregorian Chant tribute to “Trapped in the Closet.” There’s a lot more in this playlist but I haven’t made them up yet. While eclectic, It may not be appropriate for the lower-upper-middle class contingent that enjoys being seen at such charity events. Real money comes in Goldman-Sachs envelopes, not L.L. Bean pullovers. My suggestion is to isohunt.com a jazz playlist. They exist in droves. Keywords to look for: Coltrane, Brubeck, Milt Jackson, your mom.
Enjoy your pickles,
Rev. Andrew J. Fletcher, Expert.
P.S. I admit this is a pretty snarky way to say no, but in all honesty I really have no help that I can provide at this time. And my Uncle really is severely autistic. I was watching 8mm film of him as a child this very evening at my grandparents’ home and nearly cried. Good luck in this endeavour.
I never received a reply.