Vol. 2, Issue 1, January 6, 2004
A Peerless Liniment Experience
Humorfeed

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot, Send a Letter

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

The Holidays act rather like a Wind-storm upon the staid and dusty Attics of our lives. Our pasts and our Memories, resting comfortably in their Blankets of Dust and glinting in an occasional Sun-beam, are whipped up in sudden Gusts of Memory, stirred by Small but Insistent forces: a long-forgotten holiday Carol, reincarnated in the tinny Commercialism of the Radio; an unexpected Whiff of a Christmas Ham, singed in just the way your Grandmother once charred her Dinners so many Years ago. But most of all, the odd and unpredictable Avalanche of Holiday Mail is to blame.

I have many Acquaintances who are now Absent from my quotidian Routine - distant family members far Removed, old Clients from decades past, men who did Business with my Father or Uncle. I am not Surprised to see a cheerful holiday Note each year from one or another of these folk; it is merely a question of Who we shall hear from and what they have to Say. But even so, I was Startled to see a sealed Envelope with the seal of my old Law Partner, Jonas Oldham.

Jonas, Solomon, and I once helmed a most dignified Law-Firm, which exists still if rather in Name only, for none of us Three now actively ply our Trade. Solomon attends the office Still, diligently sleeping beneath his News-Paper Monday through Friday while the younger Associates handle the pesky business of trying Cases. But Jonas has not been Heard from in a dozen Years: since he strode forth on Safari that fateful day, pith helmet Jauntily Askew, his mustache Waxed to its Greatest extent. Jonas! - We did believe you Dead, or at the very least partially Digested by some Carnivorous Beast or other. The mysterious Return of your empty Steamer-Trunk eleven years ago by Madagasacar trawler, complete with multiple Hatchet-Marks and a waft of Italian perfume, did not Encourage us as to your Fate.

What clues does this Card hold? - Where have you Been, old bean, what are you Up to? - A dozen years' Questions to answer, by Thunder.

But the missive is a simple Christmas Card; cherubic Angels adorning a Christmas Tree, rather in the old-fashioned Germanic style. And inside? - Undoubtedly the hand of Jonas, I know well his misspellings! - But if it was a Feast of information I sought, there is but a scant Morsel to be had. "My good Ezekiel; Happy Christmas and many happy Returns. Yours Truly, Jonas G. Oldham." And nothing more.

A sudden gust Indeed, Jonas, but a most Unsatisfying one. You might have at the very Least taken care to spill your Drink upon the card, the better to lend some Drama to the communication - if such it can be Called. I note as Well that you have neglected to provide a Return address, you rascal! Malediction! Jonas was ever the Lazy sort.

Well, I can at least rest Assured that our decision not to remove the Oldham Name from our firm's Letterhead was Appropriate; and I shall hunt for that bottle of his favorite Port in the back of my Liquor cabinet. You have left me quite a Puzzle, Jonas, and if I cannot put my Attic quite back in Order, still I may at least drink to your Health, now I know you still Have some to Drink to. Cheers, old bean, wherever you Are.


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