1980 Sense and Nonsense
This column is dedicated to those parents of offspring who have flown (or fallen) out of the nest and now reside several postal codes away from home.
Do these children, whom you once gave up your girlish girth for; for whom you fed, burped and diapered; whom you scrimped for and saved for so that they could grow up to be healthy and non-illiterate, write letters regularly to dear old Mom and Dad…?
Oh, they do phone once in awhile… But you can’t pass a phone call around the neighborhood or send it down to Grandma. (when you remember to write your mother.)
I used to include a self-addressed return envelope in the letters I sent to my daughter. However, she tells me it is not the envelopes she has trouble with – it is remembering to write the rest of the letter!
After much experimentation, I have invented a surefire, answer-getting letter. (I may patent it.) It is second best only to the letter one father sent to his son which mentioned money but didn’t include any. (The trouble with that technique is that eventually, in all honesty, one should send a cheque!)
My technique is based on arousing the curiosity of the letter-getter. The trick is to leave certain parts of the letter blank so as to interest him into answering, if only to obtain the missing information.
The beauty of it is that one does not necessarily have to have anything to say at all but merely to hint at it…..
The following is an example of a Surefire Answer-getting Letter. The blank areas are numbered and the corresponding words listed below.
Dear Daughter (or son)
Remember the girl who sat behind you in eighth grade? The cute one with the baby blue eyes? Well, I saw her the other day and she is noticeably 1)……….. now. About eight or nine 2) ………..’s, I guess.
The 3) ……… and 4)………. families are back here again. I’m sure you remember them! I had almost forgotten what a noisy, squabbling bunch they are!
I kind of like them but I guess somebody took a shot at some of them the other day.
We ate out 5) ….. ….. ………. last weekend. A 6)……. robber stole some 7)…….. from the 8) …… He managed to get away with five 9)……… He then had the nerve to come back for more!
Mom and Dad
1) older; 2) years; 3) duck: 4) geese; 5) in the bush; 6) camp; 7) beans; 8) can; 9) beans