I hear you're still having some sunny weather out there in the lowlands. That's good. Helps keep the late-blooming tourist off our backs. Here there's already a bite of frost in the air. In the early mornings you can
see icicles forming up in the whiskers of old John the CETA foreman, and the Kickumas Indians have started shopping for winter underwear. You don't know what "stealth" means until you've watched a member of the Kickumas Nation sneaking up on a clothesline full of long-johns.
[quoteright]Here on the ranch everybody seems wall and happy except for the ravages of a case of chronic meanness that is being passed around. It's not serious. If you catch it in the bud, it can be cured by a mug of hot raisin-jack with a raw egg in it. That will cure practically anything except rigor mortis and has been known to alleviate that on occasion if the stiff isn't standing in a draft. Of course in the case of an attack of rigor mortis caused by overdose of raisin-jack which is not unknown in these parts, the old "hair-of-the-dog" treatment doesn't do any good. But then that kind of rigor mortis usually wears off in an hour or two anyhow.
We got your message a couple of months ago about wanting some biographical information on the troops here at the old homestead. I guess Two-step Swenson, the post-person, brought that over on his last trip before he knocked off work for the winter some time in July.
Well, there isn't much of interest to tell about us. We're just your ordinary run-of-the-mill Mensans living out our lives of quiet desperation in this out of the way corner of the world. We live in this big old ranch house on 460 acres inherited from Uncle Elmo, located on the outskirts of a little town that is not named Mburg. We just call it that ironically because it harbors less Mensa material per square foot than any comparable area of the known world . All the Mensans in and around Mburg live here on the ranch -- all four of us. There's old Casey, the retired ape who sleeps in the basement, Javot the butler, my little sister Vernalee, and me. That's it. Other people I might mention from time to time like the Technical Virgin, or old lady Skaggs who comes on Tuesday to bring the eggs, are not Mensans and do not live at the ranch.
I have heard of a rumor started, I imagine, in Sonoma County, (there are an awful lot of liars in Sonoma County) in which it is said that these letters from Mburg are written by a short, fat and ugly old person who intends them as a Freudian metaphor of the Mensan psyche. In this version I (Willie) represent the ego, my little sister Vernalee and Javot the butler represent the superego, and old Casey, the retired ape who sleeps in the basement, represents the id. This rumor is, of course, unfounded in fact.
It is also ridiculous. Casey might be made to do as a representation of the id, but Vernalee and Javot as a representation of the superego just won't fly. Javot spends most of his time clumping around with his feet jammed into ten quart buckets pretending to to a race horse named Handsome Gilbert. He says that gives him insight into horse nature. Sounds foolish, but he does win consistently at the track.
My little sister Vernalee, although she has multi-psy powers and can have or do anything she wants, spends most of her time painting pictures with names like "Two Turtle-doves on a Bale of Hay" or teaching a bullfrog to sing "Amazing Grace" or cooking up "exotic dishes" Which she lowers down to Casey through the trapdoor on a rope. He's the only one who can eat 'em. Things like rose-petal ragout or fried squash. I don't know how he does it even if he did spend most of his working life as a geek biting the heads off live chickens in a carnival show.
As for me, Willie, I am tall (6' 4"), 36 years of age, handsome, debonair, articulate, suave, muscular, self-assured, quick-witted, compasionate, athletic, virile, virtuous, and modest. At the age of four I was earning a good living writing dialog for Casey Stengel. At present, just to keep my hand in, I write ad-lib remarks for Prince Charles and Alexander Haig.
As I said we're just your everyday, run-of-the-mill Mensans whom the accidents of life have relegated to this quiet corner of the world. We may not do things exactly as our neighbors do, but then who does? Or who would want to? Not Mensans surely. Thank God our nearest neighbor is several miles away. That would be Jim McCool, a rancid tub of lard With a mousy wife, ten kids and a lust for cheap muscatel wine. If he ever again chases a kid onto our property to beat him, my little sister Vernalee has threatened to turn him to stone. God knows we don't need a marble Jim McCool out there with the marble Animal Control Officer who will swing his net for eternity halfway between the house and the barn. Well, at least she turned him into a good grade of dolomite.
The same to you,
Warren Fogard reappears this month with further scratchings from his lair in Mburg . He attributes his success in life to "learning to run and hide."
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