To Tile or Not to Tile – Letter 4


I have some news of the most tragic sort. On my way to the post office to mail you a few of my finer sketches, I was ASSAULTED from behind by some wretch and robbed of my most recent masterpiece. THIS IS ALL QUITE TERRIBLE! Unfortunately, I did not get a view of this villain because I was struck on the back of the head with what was apparently a slab of Formica and blacked out. I can only assume it was a lackey of my long-time rival Gaston Clutterbuck, who has been looking for an opportunity to out-do me ever since I took the tile scene by storm with my High-Five masterpieces. Gaston, that BASTARD! Just when I was about to release “Two Businessmen High-Five While Bruce Lee Flying Kicks Out of the Explosion!”

If and when he releases his version of “Two Businessmen High-Five While Bruce Lee Flying Kicks Out of the Explosion,” I’ll be ruined. He’ll be the new and happening tile artist on the scene and I’ll be some old hack riding on the coattails of the new star. Mack, I’m positive that this is no exaggeration when I tell you that MY LIFE IS RUINED! What am I going to do? How am I going to provide for my family?!

I suppose I’ll do my due diligence and pretend my world is not spiraling into a enormous vortex of chaos by congratulating you on not drinking till you black out anymore. I’m sure if Mom and Dad heard that you weren’t destroying your life via the deep, dark road of alcohol abuse, they’d be so proud. I’ll let them know if you want.

So Mack, it is with much chagrin that I must, at this point, not permit you to be married. As interesting as this female you’re now seeing sounds (I mean, she is a fellow artist), until my life is sorted out I can not allow you to have your life sorted out.

Please Mack, if there is anything you can do to help me return to my position as tile artist extraordinaire, I promise I will be your best man and will completely forgive you for all your previous wrong-doings.  Help me Mac, you’re my only hope.

Eternally Thankful,

To Tile or Not to Tile – Letter 3


I’m so glad you wrote back! I’m also pretty happy that your letter has an even mix of normal human conversation and hateful slander. Are you getting soft in your old age? HA! I kid.

In the years that passed I learned that it was wrong of me to suggest adding regular tile-work to your business. The Glorious High-Five has brought you success, and, as you’ve said since we were young, “every time you have a thought, remember that your thought is shit compared to mine.” Sometimes I slip into this selfish mode where I think I have an idea, without even thinking first that your idea is better.

I am sorry that I broke your heart all those years ago, and I am truly apologizing now. I’m happy that, as you mentioned, you accept my apology! And don’t worry about hating me, it actually brings me back to childhood: being in the den with my toy train, and you coming in, picking it up, and throwing it into the fireplace, saying all the while “I hate you.” Over the years, as you threw more and more of my possessions into that fireplace, I grew to love it. The fireplace itself was the one thing you couldn’t throw in the fire.

But, enough of this reminiscing about the good ol’ days, bro; let me tell you all about my fiance Joanne!

During those self-proclaimed “bad years” I mentioned in my last letter, I would often get blackout drunk, wake up some place not knowing where I was or how I got there, and then repeat the process. At one point, I woke up covered in my own vomit at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I had apparently bought the highest priced weekend tickets. I had learned to just go with the flow of my blackouts and follow through with the next thing my drunken self had wanted me to do. So, I went to the following performance: Henry VI Part 2.

Now, I had no idea what to expect, but boy howdy was that a riveting performance! Suddenly, when Gloucester went to talk to his wife, I was spellbound: playing the Duchess (Wife of Gloucester), was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I had promised myself I would speak with her, but I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to do. I kept telling myself that I had to get over my anxiety because this was my one chance at happiness! I was sweating profusely, but after the performance I stood near the backstage area and waited to see if she would come out. Then I would risk it all and say hello to her. It couldn’t be that bad, I kept telling myself.

Luckily, when she came out she informed me that we had been sleeping together the past week and a half, but that I’d just been blacking out so often I couldn’t remember. My nervousness was replaced by a bit of shame and awkwardness, especially since she kept grabbing at my crotch stating that she “needs a fix.” It was then I knew that the bashful, quiet, and never-forgetful sober Mack was not the same as this debauchery-inducing drunken Mack.

I promised to clean up my act, and I did. I got off alcohol altogether. She told me she had been using performance-enhancing drugs in order to up the drama in her life…specifically cocaine. She got off the blow, and we’ve never been happier. We live a life of subtlety, quietude, and above all, love and serenity. We love to laugh at the little things in life, and let the beautiful music of the crickets lull us to sleep each night. We are two people who have seen the darkness, and within each other, found light.

Hopefully you think she’s as cool as I think she is, Steve! In fact, I know you will. She’s great. Plus, she loves burritos.

I want you to know that I am mailing this return letter out 52 minutes after receiving your reply. You mentioned that you needed me to respond quickly. I hope this will suffice.

Love you bro! Keep on kicking ass in the tile business. And let me know your decision on the best man thing as soon as you can. We’d love to have you involved in the wedding.

– Mack

P.S. I’d love to see your new sketches! Send ’em along.

The Fox Trapper – Letter 8


Oh, amorous babe o’ mine, I am in love with this “artist’s lifestyle” which I am currently leading. The paper is asking me to deliver to them a cartoon thrice weekly, which means that in order to heed your advice and be drunk all the time (so that my art may excel into realms which it can not whilst sober), I have been on an overload of creation and ingestion.

I can not wait for you and Claudio (the mouse, not my brother) to come home to Windsor. Although, my dear, know that I am not the same Eliza as I was before you left. This Eliza is in high demand, and you must get accustomed to my frequent indulgences, alcoholic mood swings, lash-outs from a creative block in ideas, bottle smashes, and vomits. Of course, my love will still be there for you, albeit a bit hungover.

In order to get you used to our new lifestyle, I have included my schedule:

Sunday, Monday, Thursday – Drink from Dawn until Dusk in order to create a vivid Cartoon.
Tuesday – Drink in the morning. Attend The Meeting of Ladies for the Creation of a New World (going to Adeline’s place to indulge in alcohol and occasionally illicit drugs).
Saturday – Spend the day with Wilbur, the love of my life…while CORNED!
Wednesday – An entire day of rest and slumber whilst I recuperate.

As you can see, I have scheduled us for Saturdays. You always said those were your favorite days since the wildlife seemed more awake and easier to talk to. I have not forgotten you, my love.

In fact, if these cartoons allow us enough financial stability to wed, and live harmoniously together, I plan on having such a lavish estate with a beastly amount of acreage so that you may commune with the wildlife.

Also, our estate will have a “Drinking Room” which locks from the outside, so that my alcohol-induced states of extreme violence and swearing will not interfere with our love!

See, Wilbur, I have got it all figured out. Now I just need you to get your sweet rump back home to Windsor!

As for your letter, I am glad you left that worthless camp full of fox murderers and doctors who wouldn’t know how to diagnose Adult Onset St. Vitus Dance if a medical book on diagnostics was right in front of their pathetic noses! My fury for these men is at least triple the previously highest fury this world has ever seen! My rage makes wars seem like baths, and I wish I could slaughter them all and drain their blood into my morning cup of Scotch.

That being said, please be careful on your long and arduous journey back home. My lips will be well-wetted by whisky and awaiting the lovers lock that is your lips pressed against mine. Once you arrive, I do believe the whole world will hear how loud I will passionately shout your name. I had begun a practice of practicing this shouting; however, I was told by local law enforcement to cease under the penalty of being “hauled to the Looney Bin.” I held back my desire to murder those men who dare think they could tell me what to do all for you, my love. Making love to you, Wilbur, on top of a pile of the blood and corpses of our enemies is the thought that lately has been getting me through the day. First on the list to murder are these so-called officers of the law which I speak of. Next will be the doctors and men on your fox adventure. I do not have a third yet, but lately I am very easy to agitate and fantasize about murder, so I am sure it will not be long.

Be safe, Wilbie! I love you so much, and I anxiously await your reply.


P.S. I have included a copy of my latest cartoon published in the paper. Your love for animals inspired me!