September 27, 1954

Post # 52

Dearest Linda;

I think it only fair to tell you that this is my first letter of the current school year.  I like to keep you up to date on these matters so you will be the alert young Girl Guide I like to remember you as.  “I like to remember you as.”  How anybody wh does that to the English language can hope to learn French is beyond me.  By the way, how would you pronounce “wh”?

Your mother is becoming more of a problem every day.  We were discussing the Oceanarium with some people yesterday and she told of the home-sick shark who was kept all by himself in the tank.  I asked if he was by hisself, was he a loan-shark?  Quick like a mouse she replied that she didn’t know, she hadn’t seen his three balls.  What a serpent-wife she is.

The hills hereabouts are tinder-dry, as you know, and there has been a really severe rash of bad brush fires.  The brown-grey smoky crud has drifted down and mated with the greasy acid of the smog to form a really unpleasant blanket over the city.  The stuff makes you want to cry, but plugs up your tear-ducts and makes you want to murder whoever is responsible, but prevents you from finding them in the muck.

Speaking of French, and who wasn’t?  I went down to take my lesson this morning only to find that I had made a mistake.  I wasn’t due until the afternoon and there were no French teachers available.  I was offered my choice of Arabic, Pakistani, Watusi, Icelandic and Armenian, but I didn’t feel that I could attain a speaking acquaintance with any of these in an hour, so I left in a huff. Or, as Groucho says, in a minute and a huff.

Just heard a wonderful term:  “McCarthy-wasm.”  It’s not so popular to be pro that grubby ape now, thank goodness.

The Indian summer is upon us and the heat is pretty trying, coupled with the smog—as above.  I find that psychologically I stop thinking summer about September fifteenth and from then on anything above eighty-two degrees causes unseemly sweats and general distempers in body and my pore old mind.  I’m ready for the winter snows about now; I’m greasing my flexible flyer (sled) whilst others are still toying with water wings.  Dammit, I want to don tweeds and drink hot-buttered rum and it’s ninety-three outside and a hundred and four in here.  Four letter word!

My correspondence is piled up to last July.  Throughout the nation naïve moppets are awaiting their or’ginal B. Bunnies.  I feel very sad about this and incapable of action, too.  Poor lil slobs.

No parental pats or admonishments today.  I wouldn’t know just where to pat or of what to admonish.  No reports of you yet.  Are you in the [town] pokey?  (Jail)  Have you been elected president of the United States?  Have you been tossed into some lime-pit, reserved for recalcitrant students?  If so, I want some of your tuition back.  I want some back if you are only in jail, part of the dough goes for board, you know.  Why not send us one of your fingers, to prove you are still alive?  You’ve got lots of fingers, it’s not like I was asking for a leg.

Note the new paper with all the peg-holes.  We only use two skinny ones and the center one, the rest are hold-overs from the old system.  Well, I could do something on holy paper, but I won’t.

The fact that I love you in no wise indicates that you are lovable.  I have odd tastes, that’s all.