The Book Tarts' Mail Bag
by Hazel Otter Moon
So, here I am at the mostly deserted offices of TLC, catching up on the filing, phone mails and general tasks the Tarts had given me to complete before they return on Monday when the place will be buzzing with the four of them blogging, meeting book deadlines, and breathing a sigh of relief that the first hurdle of the holiday season is over. No doubt I'll have to wave a little sage to clear away foggy auras as they furiously type, mutter and curse their computers.
I'd finished up the last few details and was getting ready to leave when, to my surprise, I discovered Margie had failed to log off her computer. Hmm, I should just shut it down, shouldn't I? But my curiosity got the best of me. I checked to see if the coast was clear before I sat down at her desk. I don't expect anyone else in today, as they're all entertaining family and friends through the weekend.
Except for Harley, who's in her office, sleeping. She came in this morning, saying she had to write, but I don't think she ever writes anything here. She just comes in to catch a few Z's. I'll wave some M&M's under her nose to wake her later. She looked exhausted and mumbled about relatives, Pepperidge Farm stuffing, exploding nuns, trundle beds, a bruised kidney from people stepping on her, and a few things I won't mention. So I'd better leave her alone.
Back to Margie's computer. I shouldn't snoop, by goddess, but I have to know what Margie cackles about all day while I'm trying to keep up with the Tarts' requests for whatever they need at the current moment. Margie's forever clicking her mouse and typing furiously, which makes her look extremely busy; but her sporadic hoots and laughter raise suspicion on my part. Especially when I'm busier than a three-legged cat in the litter box, answering the phone, scheduling appointments, fetching stuff, filling the M&M bowl, watering the plants, researching odd topics, and doing my best to keep the distractions to a minimum so our favorite authors can write.
Dang it to Stone Henge, but her files are all locked with passwords. Still, she apparently left her Internet connection open, and I can get into the e-mail she answers for TLC. So let's just take a look, shall we? Besides, I love her chair. It's sooo comfortable. So here I go, kicking back and putting my feet up as I scroll past all those email messages for Viagra, porn, low mortgage rates and affordable prescriptions. Ahhh, got it. The good stuff.
SUBJECT: Sci-fi Conventions
The Neptunian Extraterrestrial Replicant Droid Spacefleet, or NERDS, would be pleased with your presence at our Book Convention in 2006. We have secured a happening location, that is sure to draw many other interested parties to this mega event. We are contacting as many life forms as possible to attend our first annual Sci-fi Regalia, so please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your table, space is limited.
We do have one condition, could the four of you venture in to our realm and write Science Fiction so we can justify your presence at our convention? We love the Tarts, but would be subjected to ridicule otherwise. Plus we can't use the location unless all of you agreed to attend, it was a special request by the owner of the building.
The best part of the event is dressing up as your favorite characters to participate in the events scheduled.
A special thanks to Captain Picard's Mom for letting us use the garage for this event.
Spacefleet Base Commander Nimoy
SUBJECT: Re: Sci-fi Conventions
Could you be a dear and zip this over to a translator at one of the science fiction sites for us please? Unfortunately, no one here can decipher the code, language, or symbolic message you sent to us. A few of the passages look like Klingon, but it might be a Romulan subtext, and we'd hate to mistranslate your message. Uh, may the force be with you, I think.
You're a doll, thank for writing the TLC!
SUBJECT: Moonlight Celebration
Hazel Otter Moon,
We were so excited to hear from you, and are so pleased you agreed to lead the traditional Naked Fertility Dance under the full moon in celebration of our Wiccan Sisterhood, on December 15th. Your post on the TLC was an inspiration, and for you to agree to be our honorary guest speaker at such a small group is truly a miracle.
Where would you like us to send to travel information?
Amethyst Turtle Heart
Grrrr…Margie is toast, this means war! She is the only one who answers this email address, so it had to be her that responded on my behalf, and without my knowledge. She told me she had tickets for a peaceful retreat in the woods that she couldn't get a refund on, and offered them to me because she had a scheduling conflict. She is setting me up to freeze off parts in a naked moonlight dance. Ha, I'll get her back. I'll forward this to my personal address so she'll never know they responded.
SUBJECT: Book Signings
We want to see the lovely ladies of TLC and have a book signing for our cell block. We hope you sign body parts too, as this would be great! Spike is willing to tattoo your signatures on us for a discounted rate.
Visitor days are Mondays and Fridays between 10 am and 2 pm. Write us back to schedule the signing.
Gunther and gang
SUBJECT: Re: Book Signing
My Dearest Gunther,
2006 is booked solid for the Tarts, sorry to say, but I'd be more than happy to visit with all of you, and bring signed books. I'll be there January 9, at 10 am.
Thanks for your message. I'm looking forward to meeting you. We are sure to hit it off and have a great time. I'll bring a set of indelible markers in different colors for you boys to choose from if you'd like me to sign any particular regions of your orange jump suits (my favorite color, by the way).
Hugs and big kisses,
Who do I complaint to abot errors in that book you write? Do you not reserch befor writing this things? The gramma was afful, but the histoy facts are leding children across America asstray in the classroom. I have a list of blatent errors so-called facts form you're book, and the proof to back up my clams of your screw-ups regarding our histoy.
Profesor Stanley Tort
Talk about your blatant screw-ups, this guy needs a clue, and then some, sheesh.
SUBJECT: Re: Complaint
Dear Professor Tort,
I gather you typed this with your feet, while birthing a calf in the breech position. How else can you explain the e-mail you sent blasting someone about their blatant spelling and grammar errors, when your e-mail should've come with a decoded ring to figure out the mess you made of the English language. The duress under which this was sent also explains why you sent this to the Goddesses of TLC, instead of the actual author of the book you're railing against. Note: Goddesses equal females. There are no male authors here, and none of them write historical text books.
You might want to toddle on down to the English department at the college where, for reasons incomprehensible to me, you are employed and have them help you with the composition of this complaint. Do not attempt this on your own a second time, you are going to injury an innocent bystander and could face manslaughter charges. I really hope you are not associated in any way with the English Department, as that would be a terrible burden on your students and humankind alike.
You didn't list the book in question that caused you such angst, nor did you contact the proper author (not that we care--we're just curious). Thanks for the laugh, though. We do appreciate it!
Loved the photos you sent me. My brother was right, you are hot. I'm so glad he hooked us up. I can't wait for the 15th, when I finally get to meet you. The confirmation came through on the reservations, so we're set for our encounter! Can you send me some more photos of you?
SUBJECT: Re: Trip
You gorgeous man you. I'm so sorry to have to cancel our getaway, but the doctor said I'll still be on antibiotics and probably contagious for the next month. Maybe we could try again in January?
All my love,
That should fix her.
I found an error in one of your books, and I was shocked. I want to complain and make sure it gets fixed immediately. There is no reason to produce a book with errors.
Doesn't anyone write in with nice stuff? Why is everyone so testy?
SUBJECT: Re: Error
Dear A. Patience,
So feeling superior about finding an error isn't enough for you, huh? Can't you just gloat to your friends and be happy? No? Okay, if you insist in going through with your complaint then you need to place the blame in the proper place: it's the editor's fault. The Book Tarts don't make mistakes, errors, or send out any books with screw-ups to the editor. Write the publishing company and give them the details. Proper punishment consists of raking editors over a bed of nails and dipping them in a vat of rubbing alcohol. If screams loud enough to strip paint off your walls don't bother you, then please proceed with your complaint.
Thanks for writing TLC, and we hope the shock didn't do any more permanent damage.
I wish to comment on the November 22 blog entitled A Room Of One's Own and No House Guests, by Sarah Strohmeyer. You are complaining about doing what you are supposed to be doing, staying home and taking care of your husband. You should be thankful he allows you to have a career, especially since it seems you aren't performing your wifely duties around the house. That's the problem with this country, women think they can just let housework, meals and taking care of their men slide for their own selfish reasons. My mother agrees with me on this, and we have yet to see any positive effects of the women lib movement that put stupid ideas in your head about having a career o your own. It's shameful.
My mother has dinner on the table for me every night when I get home from work, and draws my bath every night. She knows how to put the perfect crease in my pants, and I don't have to listen to her nag about her 'hard day' doing what she is supposed to do around the house. She loves taking care of me, as she should, it is her function in life.
You should rethink your priorities, and get rid of the idea you should have a career.
SUBJECT: Re :Blog
We should be so lucky as to have a man like you tell us how to live our lives. Sarah will probably rethink her whole position in life because of you and will be forever grateful, just as soon as she picks herself up off the floor from laughing at your letter. If you reread the blog, you'll find she can do all that your poor slave of a mother can do--and more--so go back and sound out each word carefully so you understand exactly what she wrote. On the other hand, have your mother read it to you tonight instead of your regular bedtime story, after she draws your bath. (I could've gone the rest of my life without ever knowing that little tidbit...TMI, Clarence.)
You must be the ultimate catch of a husband, and your mother sounds like a peach of a woman. Tell me, how does she manage to crease the polyester pants you wear without melting the material? A feat that only a master can perform, and we are in awe. The fact that she hasn't smothered you in your sleep is, by goddess, a true indication of the amount of patience she has for her son.
You didn't mention a wife, and it's just mind-boggling that someone hasn't snatched you and your mother up by now. What woman doesn't lust after a life full of dismal chores, such as picking up after a slob like you. Is your mother a part of the package? There must be plenty of young, single women looking for a man in his 40s, who still lives with his mommy AND who has the ability to fill out the hip portion of his polyester slacks with such style as you, Clarence.
Come to think of it, our own Margie would really benefit from knowing a man in your position, so maybe you should look her up. I hear she's free on Tuesday evening. Sure, she'll try to chew you up and spit you out like so many other men, but I have a feeling your mummy dearest can set her on the right path.
Thanks for your outstanding advice! I plan to call an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss our roles as women in society. We've been misled about our independence and need directions back to the kitchen, where we shall learn the tricks for sprinkling the appropriate amount of rat poison into your Chicken Cordon Bleu so we can stun, not kill.
Give our best to your mother, Clarence!
We did get several lovely e-mails praising the Book Tarts, but I'll leave those for Margie to take care of on Monday.
I'll probably get into trouble answering the e-mails, but I figure it's worth it. This is a holiday after all--and a busy shopping time with all those Black Friday bargains--so I doubt anyone will read this; but if you do, don't rat me out to Margie. I know she won't see it as she's gone away for the weekend with her latest victim, uh, I mean boyfriend.