Old Mates – Letter 6

Dear Mayor Lou,

I can think of no greater pleasure than heading back home to Fort Scott to be there on the front line when you battle with Nancy “I Smell” Abrams. Standing offstage while you dish out a slanderous attack would put a huge smile on my face. It should also help ease some of the pain of being beaten up by her all those years ago. I never understood how asking a girl to the Freshman Formal brings about that much disgust. When all’s said and done, I don’t care…I still think wearing nothing but a dozen roses romantic. It’s how I proposed to Tracy!

On another note, while HoneySmack appreciated the pin, he was very demanding in his expectation of payment in cash. I assume an invoice will be mailed soon, as he told me to “watch out” for something coming my way.

The good news is that he did dig up a little bit more dirt. Apparently when Nancy was a sophomore at Wichita State University, she violated page 23 of the Housing and Residency Life handbook which states that refrigerators may not exceed 4.9 cubic feet. According to a former roommate, Nancy had a fridge that was at least 5.2 cubic feet! Perhaps we can get her degree revoked!

I told my wife exactly what you said, and it did lead to a fight. I can see why you have so much experience in that field! She claims that I become an entirely different man whenever your name gets mentioned. She’s just never had a chance to see the real Lou in action. Do you have any videos of yourself performing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that I can share with her? I imagine she would be so outstandingly impressed with your natural joie de vivre that she would book her own flight down in no time!

She did ultimately come around to the idea of me cancelling all current work projects and being there to support you for the debate…under one condition: I will be bringing my son Jake along with me. In the end, I think it will be a great opportunity for him to see a man on top of his game vanquish a foe.

During the debate, I say keep this Darkwing Duck thing close to the vest. When the moderator comes out with a question that you don’t know how to answer, or contains words you don’t understand, interrupt and let the audience know the shocking secret. If she fights back, hit her with the fridge comment. By then, she should be CRUMBLING WITH FEAR and I will be LAUGHING AT HER STUPID BEAUTIFUL FACE.

I booked my ticket back home. My son and I will be arriving shortly after you receive this letter. Let’s do this!

– Vincent “Skinny Vinny” McCarthy III

Old Mates – Letter 5


So, you’re going to have to send me more foldy birds. I completely forgot you were sending me a package and in my haste to see what arrived, I went a little nuts. You see, I kind of go into a weird package-opening fugue which usually results in completely destroying anything between me and the mystery present. I mean I doubt you’ve experienced this, considering how poor your parents were. Needless to say, my hedgehog has bedding for the next few months.

GREAT job digging up dirt on Nancy Abrams. Send HoneySmack my regards as well as a “Lou’s Lips Sink Ships” pin. This is exactly what I need to knock my opponent down a few pegs. According to the polls (I’ve been polling some random women at bars), I’m trailing Abrams by a fairly significant margin. I’m going to need a heck of a showing at the debate to pull this off.

Speaking of debates, IT’S ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY! I’ve been doing a whole lot of Bar-Campaigning and Sleeping and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in preparation. I haven’t done much “policy-wise”, though. I figured when I get up behind that podium I’ll just do what I do best: talk at great length about myself and belittle the person in front of me. Any suggestions on when I should whip out our Masked-Waterfowl Secret Weapon?

Come to think of it, why don’t you come home for the debate? I’m sure you miss your old stomping ground and it’ll give you a chance to get away from your wife for a little while.


You certainly came to the right guy for wife-related problems, considering I have so much experience arguing with wives. In a situation like this, I’d just tell her that you choose your best friend over her, storm out of the room, and then wait for her to apologize. This method has worked at least once with each of my wives. She’ll be a Lou-ette in no time!

-Mayor Lou (That has a pretty nice ring to it, huh?)


Old Mates – Letter 4

Mayor Lou,

I have tried for years to block Nancy out of my mind. Nancy Abrams. The name pains me to think about. And although it’s been many moons since I have woken myself up shouting “NANCY,” or since I was the recipient of many scornful stares by screaming her name while my son was at bat in a little league game, it is still a daily struggle to forget.

Sometimes I hear her name as a train passes by, and I wonder which far away land the sound, clutched to the caboose like the lime cardigan she would wear, is heading off to.

But, that’s all in the past, like you said. Now, I must focus on CRUSHING HER, the way a broken heart crushes a man’s soul!

I made a few phone calls to some old colleagues at Kellogg as a start. They’ve got a great consumer insights group who had no interest in digging up dirt on someone. So, I tracked down a guy they fired in disgrace, and he has been more than happy to help. I figure since this is the world of politics, we should use code names, right? So let’s call him HoneySmack. I always loved that cereal!

So HoneySmack did some digging around and found out that Nancy Abrams was involved in a scandal…

In 1992, Nancy Abrams swindled the Kellogg corporation by mailing in upwards of TWELVE proof-of-purchases under fraudulent names to receive multiple Darkwing Duck fanny packs!

I’m sure you remember the Corn Flakes offer in the early 90s: mail in a proof of purchase, and get a free Darkwing Duck fanny pack (or “Hip-Pouch” as it was officially named). The fine print prohibited a single household from getting more than 2 fanny packs. Nancy “I’m too good for Skinny Vinny” Abrams mailed in proofs with names of family, friends, and even one as People Magazine’s 1992 sexiest man alive, Nick Nolte!

I hope she kept those fanny packs. She’s going to need a place to HOLD ALL OF HER REGRET because she is going down for this one! Lou Sampson for Mayor!

Send over all of those campaign slogans as they hit you. I’ve mailed a package your way of 100 origami birds with your name on the wings so you can start scattering them around town. A little guerrilla campaigning to get things started.

– Vincent “Skinny Vinny” McCarthy III

P.S. I told my wife the great news of being hired as your campaign manager and she was extremely unsupportive. You’ve always had a way with the ladies. Any good advice on how to make her a Lou-ette?

Old Mates – Letter 3

Skinny Vinny,

It’s funny you should mention the Lon Ury Museum! They just added a wing dedicated to “Old Sleep’s” Major League hit. They have the boxscore from that day and everything. Really enthralling stuff!

I’m happy to hear you’ve accepted my most generous offer of allowing you to run my campaign. There’s no way to sugarcoat it – it’s going to be a grind – but with your hard work and long hours and my ability to turn an afternoon nap into a full night’s sleep, we’ll most certainly have Nancy Abrams shaking in her boots.

Yes, that Nancy Abrams.

That Nancy Abrams who beat you up in front of the entire lunch room for inviting her to the Freshman Formal. Boy, I’ve never seen a girl give a boy such a whooping. I’m sure you’ve long forgotten that life-altering humiliation though, and I’m positive you have no more lingering feelings of resentment or unrequited love.

Which brings me to your first assignment as my Campaign Manager: dig up as much dirt as you can on Abrams. Dirty money, family problems, relations to former Third World dictators – I want it all! At some point I’ll have to debate your former crush, and I’m going to need to lay into her real hard.

Also, if you can find some way to make it seem like I haven’t been married a bunch of times, that would be great. At the very least, figure out a way to spin that into a “Family First” message. Those are quite popular these days, apparently.

While you’re handling that, I’ll spend time thinking of catchy slogans. “This Lou’s for You”. “He Puts the ‘Lou’ in ‘Lousing (pronounced like “Losing”) Incumbent’” (may need to work on this one). Those alone took me three weeks so you see I have my work cut out for me.

Now, off to my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. I’ll have my sensei take some promo photos we can use during the campaign! Get crackin’, Skin Vin!


Old Mates – Letter 2

Dear Lou,

I have to say that I was excited to get your letter! It has been 19 years and 20 days since we last spoke―the last day of our freshman year of high school. I remember the last words we said to each other. You shouted “Skinny Vinny, this is all your fault!” And I tried to get the words “I’m sorry” out through my sobbing, but you had already walked out the school doors and out of my life.

I must say your life is very interesting. All those various jobs and hobbies and marriages. Sounds like you achieved your goal: to wander without a goal.

You’re right, as usual, in that I don’t have much going on. After getting my Bachelor’s and Master’s of Finance from Penn State, I took a job at Kellogg’s corporate headquarters in Battle Creek and moved to the town of Hastings, MI about 25 miles north with my wife and 2 children. I now run my own consulting firm that partners with Fortune 100 companies to manage high-level strategic initiatives.


I can’t say that I haven’t often thought of the good old days when I would stay up all night meticulously crafting oragami birds to paste onto your campaign posters while you got your beauty rest. “A true politician needs time to DREAM OF THE FUTURE” you’d say as you put the sleep mask over your eyes. In the world we live in now with all its expectation of immediate solutions, I think about how right you were. Those fat cats in Washington should be getting in a solid 13 hours of sleep a night, “The Lou Special,” to dream up a better direction for this country!

I couldn’t think of a better man to run for Mayor of Fort Scott. Gosh, I miss our hometown. I haven’t been in 8 years, when I took my wife to the Lon Ury museum on West 15th. But she has declined any offer to go back, citing it as “too depressing.”

I am honored and graciously accept your offer to be your Campaign Manager! I’ll tell my wife and kids at dinner tonight. You’re gonna be the next Goldie Wilson, Lou (like in Back to the Future! Our movie!).

– Vincent “Skinny Vinny” McCarthy III

Old Mates – Letter 1

Dear Vincent,

Hey! It’s sure been a while, huh? By my count, I’d say it’s about 18 to 20 years since we last spoke. Boy, have I missed you, Skinny Vinny. You remember why they called you that, right? It was on account of your calves being about as thick as pool cues! Man, we just laughed and laughed at that nickname. Those sure were the days.

Anyway – uh – what’s new?!

ACTUALLY WAIT LET ME GO FIRST! After high school I eventually finished my degree in Business Administration at Brookdale Community College (home of the Fightin’ Unpaid Interns!), then moved back to Kansas, where I’ve worked for about 7-8 different sales organizations. I’ve been married 3 times (I’m still technically married to the third one), and in my free time – and believe me, there’s plenty of that these days – I like to cook, do Mixed Martial Arts, and follow politics. I happen to be in-between jobs at the moment.

Which leads me to why I’m writing to you today.

I’d like to formally offer you the position of Campaign Manager as I run for Mayor of Fort Scott!

You remember back in high school, when you ran my campaign for freshman class President? Boy, did we ever give the eventual winner a run for their money! You did such a wonderful job with my last campaign, I knew you were the only man I could trust with something so important. We’re 20 years older with 20 years more experience, so we’ll definitely win this time. I know all sorts of political terms now, too. We’ll gerrymander these poots right in the voter-fraud!

And don’t even try to tell me no. I know what “self-employed” really means. You’ve got plenty of time for an ol’ high school chum.

You and me, Skinny Vinny. Fort Scott has seen some dark times as of late, but together we can make a GREAT (fort) SCOTT! (Remember? Back to the Future?!)