Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Letter 1

To Cheryl, Atlanta

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Aug 29th 2010

You will be glad to know that I have made it safely to Amsterdam without incident. I have been telling Mike for many months that during our trip he would surely get a seat on the plane next to an endlessly-squawking chicken in a cage, as one is likely to see on any third world bus in a movie, but this proved not to be entirely true. Instead, he was next to a snoring, drooling buffoon who shall remain nameless, but who is devilishly good looking.

As I walk around the airport, I am reminded that Europe is where fashion comes from. You can tell because the people here dress in all the shades of the fashion rainbow. Yes, from the dourest gray to the blackest black with occasional splashes of white, these people really know how to ignore color.

Truthfully, I am thinking of you and hoping that you are well. I have reflected deeply upon your suggestions of what to do should I come under attack by a pack of flamingos in the Ngorongoro crater, and I am very glad for your perspective on this grave issue. You are surely right that the best thing to do would be to grab one flamingo and use it as a bludgeoning weapon against the others, but the question remains: do you grasp it by the feet end or the beak end? I will experiment and report back.

I have taken to singing a little song as I take each one of my malaria pills. Since they cost $6 apiece and I was prescribed a bottle of 20, I think each one should go down with a little ceremony to mark the occasion. The song goes like this, to the tune of the inimitable TLC hit “No Scrubs”:
No, I don’t want no bugs
a bug is a thing that can’t get no blood from me
like a small turd in the sky
I hope it dies
And don’t give no diseases to me

In a few hours we get on the plane again headed for the heart of Africa. I’m planning to take an Ambien and drool on Mike some more. I don’t mean to be rude, but I hope you are missing me terribly.

Intrepid explorer,
Future writer of the Great American Novel,
Jim