Ella Minnow Pea a novel in letters


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The *uick brown fox jumps over the la*y dog

NOLLOPVILLE

Monday, August 28
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Towgate,

I am Tassie Purcy, daughter of Mrs. Mittie Purcy, your son Timmy's teacher. I am writing to ask why you felt it necessary to report my mother's slip of the tongue to the island authorities. Mis­takes will be made by all of us during these trying times, and it is my belief that latitude should be extended to those like my mother who are employed in professions in which one is called upon to speak for long, wearying periods and through a wide swath of sub­ject areas.

I believe there was an element of cruelty in what you did, the source of which I now seek your assistance in dowsing. My mother has done nothing to harm any member of your family, and has been especially attentive and helpful to your son Timmy who is a restless student and a slow learner.

This whole incident has distressed her greatly. Please explain why it was necessary.


Sincerely,

Tassie Purcy

NOLLOPVILLE



Tuesday, August 29
Dear Miss Purcy,

We are sorry that the performance of our civic duty has resulted in distress to your mother. We assure you that it was not our intent to single her out for any specific harm, nor was the report made in retaliation for any wrong which we feel was done to our son Timmy or to any other member of our village clan by your mother.

We believe, Miss Purcy, as you obviously do not, that there is full cause and merit to the statutes recently passed by the Island Coun­cil. We believe, further, that Nollop does indeed speak to us from his place of eternal rest, through the manipulation of the tiles upon his hallowed cenotaph, and that the Council serves only as his col­lective interpreter. If I understand correctly, it is your belief that the two restrictions recently imposed upon the residents of this island have been fashioned for some purpose to which Nollop is not even party. A fairly blasphemous position you hold, if I may be so bold. If such were the case, would not the Council exempt itself from such restrictions? And yet, I know, as you must, that our Council members ask nothing of us that they are not willing to ask of them­selves.

My wife Georgeanne and I are happy to see members of the Island Council continue to serve as sole diviners of the will of Nol­lop. (For who should know better than the most sage among us?) Perhaps you and your mother fancy yourselves standing upon the same high plain. Know this: such a self-delusional position can only serve to isolate you from the rest of this community at a time when we ought to be meeting our challenges in full union and concert.

Why do we follow, without misgiving, the will of Nollop? Sim­ply because without him this island would be a shallow shell, an empty conch compared to what it has, in fact, become: a beautiful, sandy-shored haven of enchantment and delishmerelle. And with­out whom the world would never have been given the foxy-dog sentence we have all grown to cherish (but which, naturally, until instructed otherwise, we must no longer speak or write in its entirety).

Your mother should essay to be more careful in the future.


Sincerely,

Nash Towgate
Dear Tassie Purcy,

I must insert this note with my husband's letter, and state, first, that I am in full accord with the sentiments contained therein. I sincerely believe, as do several who have joined me for biweekly talk group sessions, that Nollop, as one who put great emphasis upon the word, is now attempting to pry us away from our tradi­tional heavipendence on linguistic orthodoxy. Through this chal­lenge, he hopes to move us away from lexical discourse as we now know it, and toward the day in which we can relate to one another in sweet pureplicity through the taciteries of the heart. Brilliant in life—now brilliant eternal in his conveyances from Beyond!


With all cordiality,

Georgeanne Towgate
PS. If you and your mother wish to join our talk groups you would be most welcome; we gather in my front parlor each Tuesday and Thurs­day evening at 7:30.
PPS. As an additional demonstration that there is absolutely no ill will being extended to your mother by anyone within the Towgate house­hold, please accept, as well, my invitation to the both of you to join me and other villagers-artistically-inclined for our bimonthly Monday night tempera bees. (Until last week these were weekly gatherings, but too many among our membership wished to be released to attend the newly established Village Women's Humming Chorus.)

NOLLOPVILLE



Wednesday, August 30
Dear Sister Gwennnetttte:

Robbed of two letters, I now chooooose to overuuuse the twenty-four which remaaaain.

I hope you and Amos are well. I haven't been feeeeeeling myself lately. Tassie worrrrrrries about me. Sheee shouldn't. I will bounce back as I always do do do do do do do do do do do.
Love,

Your Sister Mittieeeeeeeeeee

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA,



U.S.A.

Friday, September 1
Dear Ms. Purcy,

My name is Nathaniel Warren. I am a Master's candidate in his­tory and sociology at the University of Georgia. I am also publisher and editor of a new academic journal Nollopiana with publication of its first issue slated for later this fall. As you might guess, my journal is exclusively devoted to your island, its people, and its unusual history.

Last week I was contacted by someone you know: a young man by the name of William Creevy. Mr. Creevy had heard of my publi­cation and wondered if I might like to write about his recent expul­sion. He is presently without income and says he could benefit from any compensation I might offer. I agreed, but soon came to see that another more broadly encompassing article begs to be written.

Through my lifelong interest in Nollop I have gained a level of familiarity with your country that has until now been matched by only a handful of Americans and Nollopian expatriates. That inter­est has fueled a desire to learn as much as I can about your island, and to share what I learn with others. In light of recent events, this mission has become much easier. Lately, Americans have started to take much closer notice of their tiny neighbor to the southeast. In fact, I estimate that if these strange edicts erupting from your high council continue, the whole world may soon be demonstrat­ing a rubbernecking interest in your plight. I have already made a number of advanced subscription sales to residents of the coastal tidelands whose number now includes a growing community of Nollopian émigrés.

Now to my reason for writing: I would like to come to Nollop for a lengthy visit, for purposes of investigating this odd, unprecedented political and social crisis in which you now find yourself embroiled. Since my interest in Nollop has been hidden to some degree by the veil of academia, my name and face may not be known to the Coun­cil, and so my application for short-term visa may stand a chance for approval. I know that the Council has, since Statute 24-37, refused entry to all American journalists and scholars. (All the news of the latest goings-on has come from those who have involuntarily—or in an increasing number of cases, voluntarily—left the island.) As an added precaution I will assume, with your permission, the role of "old friend of the family." Mr. Creevy reports that you and your daughter have remained in Council favor, and so I'm hopeful that such a visit won't raise governmental objections.

I know that I am asking much from you; I am, after all, a total stranger to the two of you. (And yet from Mr. Creevy's descriptions of you both, I do feel that I know you somewhat. I understand that some of Mr. Creevy's happiest childhood moments were spent in your company—with you as his second grade teacher and your daughter Natassa as his middle school English tutor.)

I will certainly understand if you have reservations, and if those reservations prevent you from allowing me to stay. (If this turns out to be the case I trust that you will divulge to no one the fact that I approached you in this regard.) But if you feel as many of your fel­low islanders do, that the actions of the Council should be brought to the light of public scrutiny with my earnest little journal serving as appropriate vehicle, perhaps your convictions might outweigh any misgivings you may have about the reason for and the manner of my visit.

I look forward to your response.


Sincerely,

Nate Warren

NOLLOPVILLE



Monday, September 4

(American Labor Day)
Dear Mr. Warren,

I have discussed your petition with my daughter Tassie. She has allayed my minor concerns, and so I am able to hereby welcome you to our home as "good old friend of the family." I look forward to hearing if your application for visa will be approved. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.


Best wishes,

Mittie Purcy

NOLLOPVILLE



Monday, September 4
Dear Cousin Ella,

Mother is better, buoyed somewhat by the strangest letter we received last week, from a gentleman named Nate Warren who publishes a journal about Nollop. He wants to write an article for American readership on the Council's actions of late, and for this purpose has asked if he might come to stay with Mother and me. Mother immediately wrote him back to say yes, by all means. I have never known her to act so hastily in any regard!

I must say that I am rather looking forward to the young man's visit.
With love,

Your cousin Tassie

NOLLOPTON



Wednesday, September 6
Dear Tassie,

I am excited to learn of your soon-to-be houseguest. Anything to boost Aunt Mittie's foundering spirits, and yours as well!

Perhaps, by now, you have heard of the tragic public flogging of the Rasmussen family—all six members whipped like misbehaving canines on the public green as was their choice following the soon to be infamous Daffy and Donald affair.

Their offense? Each member in deliberate provocation of the High Island Council had marched single file into last Tuesday's open session wearing cartoon masks and making loud duck sounds— sounds which any sentient Nollopian knows by now are forbid­den—while holding aloft large cardboard containers of a certain recently outlawed brand of American oatmeal.

As the Rasmussens were being manacled by members of the L.E.B., Council Member Willingham asked for the reason behind such a flagrant flouting of the "clear and unambiguous" law against use of the seventeenth letter—a flouting made all the more "perni­cious" by the enthusiastic abandon with which it was embraced. The head of the Rasmussen household, Charles Rasmussen, Sr., a clothing merchant here in town, (I bought a lovely powder blue lace partete from his store just last month), responded, "It was actu­ally my children's idea. They are very fond of this letter and felt a protest against its removal from island discourse was very much in order. My wife and I agree. We also wish to be flogged in the pres­ence of as many town residents as choose to be in attendance. And if this produces no outcry—especially the laying of leather tassel upon the youthful backs of my nine-year-old twin daughters Becka and Henrietta—then please trundle us without delay from this island of cringe and cowardice, for we no longer wish to belong to such a despicable confederacy of spinal-defectives."

And so Mum and Pop and I stood and watched the harrowing and loathsome sight of children being ritually beaten, and the com­mensurately disturbing picture of frightened onlookers—"the town baa-baas," as Pop has taken to calling our dear neighbors—doing what they do oh so very well, and that is: absolutely nothing. Lifting not even the proverbial finger to remove these high council bastinado-benediced buffoons from their pinnacle of abusive power, nor doing anything otherwise to stop or decelerate their efforts. Watched these Nollopimpotents, Mum and Pop and I did, as they stood in will­ful immotility. And as we absorbed, in full, the lamentable scene being played out before us, we found ourselves entertaining identi­cal thoughts—concretious thoughts of retaliation and the ultimate reclamation of a society so disturbingly transmogrified.

A first meeting to be held in our home a week from tomorrow under the guise of Pop's twice-monthly poker game. To plot and plan our insurrection—our nascent underground movement to restore a full twenty-six letter alphabet to the people—deserving or not—of this, our presently polluted island home!

Even as this morning—in the early predawn darkness one Creighton O'Looley was discovered attempting to replace a tile newly fallen. He was apprehended and is being held without bond for attempting to circumvent this most recent misconstrual of all-holy decree from the great and omniscient Nollop.

J.—

It could have been worse.



But J!

As you might say: Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!


Love you.

Love to your mother.

Ella

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA



U.S.A.

Friday, September 8
Dear Ms. Purcy,

My application for visa has been approved and I will be arriving Monday, September 18, at Pier Four in Nollopton on the 4:12 Wal-Mart supply boat. If it isn't convenient for you or your daughter to meet me, I will find my own way up to your home in Nollopville. (It shouldn't be difficult. I spent my childhood studying maps of your island.) As I understand the internal mainway is mired this time of year, don't expect me until late.

I have just received word about the loss of the tile containing the letter "J" and do not wish to wait until I see you to share important news. Chemists here in Georgia who have obtained smuggled chips from the two earlier fallen tiles have just completed an exhaustive battery of chemical analyses on the fixative that has held the tiles in place for the last hundred years. Their assessment is that the glue— a strange compound not familiar to them—glue which also oddly, and we now know impractically served as a substitute for simple, durable cement—has calcified to the point of ineffectual granule and powder. Within months, perhaps even weeks, all of the tiles currently mounted on the cenotaph will become similarly loosened and fall to the ground. The chemists doubt that within a year's time there will be even a single tile left affixed to the monument. Should your council continue along its present course, the outcome will be too dire even to contemplate. Here I am telling you nothing you don't already know.

(I am, as you can also imagine, fast losing my academic objectiv­ity; word of the Rasmussens' ordeal reached us this morning.)

While researching the series of articles I now plan to write on the Council's recent actions and the tangible effects those actions are having upon the residents of Nollop, I seek, in addition to your hospitality and safe cover, assistance from you in reaching that one member of the Council you feel most open to reading the chemists' report, and making a case for a reversal of these apocalyptic direc­tives.

It is, I believe, well worth a try.


Sincerely,

Nate Warren

NOLLOPVILLE



Sunday, September 10
Dear Ella,

Most wonderful news. Mr. Warren, who will be arriving on the 18th, is coming to our rescue! I know it's foolish to put stock in any promises of assistance (and while I hope that your underground meetings prove independently fruitful, I cannot count on them— forgive my blunt honesty here—and must parcel my optimism in such a way as to best contribute to the state of my emotional health) but I am nonetheless encouraged by the following: Warren arrives bearing more than simply suitcase and notebook. He brings, as well, the results of chemical analyses performed on slivers of the errant tiles—analyses which prove beyond doubt and wanton denial that the tiles are falling for the simple reason that they can no longer hold themselves to the bandiford. It is as elementary as that. Nollop is not God. Nollop is silent. We must respect that silence and make our decisions and judgments based upon science and fact and simple old-fashioned common sense—a commodity absent for too long from those in governmental elevatia, where its employ would do us all much good.

I seek your assistance, dearest cousin, in determining which of the pious five would be most open to reading Mr. Warren's report. I think, perhaps, it should be Mr. Lyttle. He has always seemed to me the least moronic of the bunch. Indeed, if I am not mistaken, Mother voted for the man many years ago for this very reason.

Rush me in tomorrow morning's post, dear Cousin, your much anticipated opinion in the matter. And good luck with tonight's meeting. Please don't interpret my lack of active endorsement as a dismissal of your family's admirable efforts. I'm afraid I am becom­ing more and more the selective cynic. Thankfully, now and then I do see glimmers of hope. And Mr. Warren has just unveiled such a glimmer.

I am looking forward to my upcoming visit with you and Aunt Gwenette and Uncle Amos. Let me know when it would be most convenient for me to come down.
Mother sends her love.

Tassie

THE OFFICE OF HIGH COUNCIL

NOLLOPTON

Monday, September 11
Greetings, Nollopians,

It has come time for the Council to make its position clear and direct with regard to the issue of the fallen tiles. Indeed, our last three executive sessions were devoted exclusively to this task. The product of those sessions is this letter which we now post to every family on the island in an effort to bring us to common mind on this, the most pressing matter ever brought before our people. It is a matter with which each member of this body has tuss-and-tangled. Late into the night have we searched our souls, into the wee smalls have we plumbed our hearts with profound and intensured moral rectilitude. Because a formidable duty has been charged to us, an overtitious ask-me-now posed, yea posited, which we cannot in good conscience ignore. And in the answer, in die noble venture of compliance, our mission now comes to encompass the putting forth to all of you, the good people of this proud and independent island nation, the reasons behind what at times must seem a harsh and unwavering capitulation to the wishes of Almighty Nollop. This we do. We do willingly; we do dutifully.

Some, including those malcontents and apostates who have since departed our shores, might wish to modify the word "wishes" in the previous paragraph by the term "perceived." As if everything passed down to you from Council Assembly has been based upon supposi­tion—upon meandering hypothesis and amorphous conjecture.

It is none of these things.

The signs have been presented to us, and while it took us a while to ascertain the desired course rising from their assignment, we now, we are happy to say, and with only temporary delay, securely grasp and freely endorse without temperage these pathfinders dropped, literally, at our feet.

For those of you who desire explication, we offer the following ten salients:



  1. Nollop was a man of words.

  2. We are a people of words.

  3. All that we are, we owe to Nollop.

  4. His will be done.

  5. We have become unfortunate victims of our own complacency.

  6. Complacency is a destructive force, capable of ending through invidious stagnationality all that is good which we have created for ourselves here.

  7. The falling tiles can represent only one thing: a challenge—a summons to bettering our lot in the face of such deleterious complacency, and in the concomitant presence of false content­ment and rank self-indulgence.

  8. There is no room for alternative interpretation.

  9. Interpretation of events in any other way represents heresy.

  10. Heretics will be punished, as was, for example, Mr. Nollop's saucy stenographer, who was cashiered for flippantly announcing to her employer the ease with which she could, herself, create such a sentence as his.

Those of you who see undue cruelty in the penalties meted out for speaking or writing the forbidden letters should make note of the following three points:

  1. Adhering to the commandments of Nollop leaves no room for fear of punishment or forfeiture. (He who walks in the light has no reason to fear the darkness.)

  2. There is no such thing as accident or misspeak, only grossly underapplied discoursal perspicacity, with unguarded exposure to distractional digression. (A lighted path is clear. There is no reason, save mischief or inattention, to stray into the darkness.)

  3. The severity of punishment is an irrelevant issue, given the opportunity to avoid punishment altogether. (Keep to the path to avoid what is promised to be a broken and jagged shoulder.)

Returning to the saucy secretary: she was given fair warning by Nollop that her insubordinate speech would not be tolerated. That one of such intellectual inferiority could ever in a lifetime duplicate the work of Nollop was unfathomable, her claim hypercomical. Nollop said as much, even challenged the pert stenographer to come up with a sentence of her own measuring thirty-five letters or less and containing all of the letters of the alphabet. She tried. She failed.

In fact, the best that she could muster was a short anecdote about an imaginary animal park in which the occupants revolted by exchanging their stripes and spots. It ran precisely 289 letters. She used the word yak three times.

The secretary, we might further add, was never able to come up with a sentence matching Nollop's because it simply cannot be done. This is what has given Nollop his preeminence. Omnipotent. Omniscient. Omniglorious. Praise Nollop. And honor his wishes by removing "J" with jubilation.
Sincerely,

Your High Council

Gordon Willingham

La Greer Houston

Harton Mangrove

Rederick Lyttle

A. Plastman

ABCDEFGHI*KLMNOP*RSTUVWXY*

The *uick brown fox *umps over the la*y dog

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

U.S.A.

Monday, September 11
Dear Mr. Minnow Pea,

I am in receipt of your letter regarding my order of miniature moonshine vessels. (Note that I have no interest in violating your Island Council's three recent statutes regarding alphabetical elision, and so we will continue to refer to the vessels as, simply, vessels.)

Given the marketability of your previous consignments, the 50 figure is much too low. Please deliver to my warehouse double that amount by December 1—in time for the Christmas market—and I will pay you an additional $5.00 per vessel, with a bonus of $550.00 for the effort. (Please note: all payment will be in American dollars and not in Nollopian Nevins. Given the instability of your national currency, I see no reason for you to oppose this arrangement.)

I look forward to hearing if you will be able to meet the order, and look forward, as well, to many years of doing business with such a talented artisan.


With all best wishes,

Charles Ray McHenry

[Upon the Purcy refrigerator]

NOLLOPVILLE

Monday, September 11
Dear Mother,

I have finished the wash, hung all the clothes out to dry, and gone down to the shore to find starfish for my collection. Abby says the tide brought in a number of small ones this morning. You were so sweet to make crab cakes last night. Perhaps you will make them again next week for Mr. Warren. No one can resist your scrump­tious crab cakes.

Come down later and spend some time with me. I miss the old you. Can I say that? You've changed so much over the last few weeks. I do worry about you.

We can make do without this new letter, as we have without the other two. It should not be so hard. You will see.


Love,

Tassie

NOLLOPVILLE



Tuesday, September 12
My dear friend Agnes,

Thank you so much for the cookies. You sent far too many, regardless of the state of my emotional health. I will share them with Tassie and with some of the neighborhood children, but even then, I shall still have cookies to spare!

You are a good and kind friend. I have treasured your friendship as far back as I can remember, and will always do so.
Love,

Mittie

NOLLOPVILLE



Wednesday, September 13
Dear Mittie,

I am recalling the day we met. We were all of four! How is it pos­sible to remember so far back? Perhaps because I counted you as special friend from the very moment our mothers plopped us down on the seesaw together.

I bake my raisin-pecan cookies, darling Mittie, because there is little else I can do. What is happening here to you and me, to our families and friends—it frightens me so that I sometimes find myself standing for long periods of time in the middle of my kitchen— much like a statue—much like that infernal statue of Mr. Nollop— immobile, unable to do anything except return by cursed rote to the baking of my cookies. And this I do, often late into the night.

Do you think I am losing my mind?

When I bake, I do not have to speak. When I bake, I do not have to make sense of anything except the ingredients summoned by memory that I have laid out in front of me. Sometimes the children offer to help, but I do not accept. This is something best done alone. Something I do well. One of the few things I can actually do.

So eat them. Eat them all. I will bake more.

It is what I do. All I can do.
Love,

Your friend,

Agnes

FROM THE DESK OF RORY CUMMELS

NOLLOPVILLE

Wednesday, September 13
Dear Mrs. Purcy,

I feel that I owe you and your daughter Tassie further explanation for my rather odd behavior when you came into my market yester­day. In a nutshell: my wife has left me. Donna has taken our two girls and is moving to the States. I could not convince her to stay.

I have, obviously, been a little distracted lately and simply wasn't paying attention. I should never have rung up your baisley cheddar three times. You have shopped at my market for years, and surely must remember nothing like this having happened before.

Perhaps I am wrestling needlessly with a decision that has already been made; it would be impossible for me to move to the States with Donna. My livelihood—what there is left of it—is here in Nollop. My home is here. (In addition to which I own about fifty acres north of the Village in the glades, currently undeveloped, on which I have hopes of someday building a small retirement com­munity for myself and others.) I am angry that all we have come to value, perhaps even take for granted, is being ripped from us—one tile at a time.

And I will not stand for it.

My brother Clay, whom you may know—I believe you trade at his confectionery—believes that the falling tiles do not in any sense indicate a desire on the part of the very late Mr. Nollop to remove these letters from our language. He believes, in fact, the exact oppo­site. That this is Nollop's way of encouraging us to use these special letters more than ever before. They are being singled out for this purpose and this purpose alone.

He is founding a movement.

I was as of a moment ago interrupted by one of my customers. She reports that the tile containing the letter "D" has fallen. I don't think this is mere rumor.

God save this doomsaken little island!
Sincerely,

Rory Cummels

NOLLOPVILLE



Thursday, September 14
Dear Mr. Cummels,

(May I call you Rory?)

I do not fault you for your behavior on Tuesday. We are all on edge, some of us more so than others. I am so sorry to hear that your wife and daughters have left, and I truly understand how dif­ficult it would be for you to emigrate as well. Your corner market has been a welcome fixture in the Village, and it would be a terrible loss to see it close.

This is not, perhaps, the appropriate time, but I should like to invite you to take coffee with me when an occasion proves conven­ient. I should like to hear more of your brother's movement and your own opinion of it. I should like, as well, to seek your advice on other matters.

The news of "D" is, alas, all too true. I dare not even contem­plate the attendant ramifications.
With all best wishes,

Mittie Purcy

NOLLOPVILLE



Friday, September 15
Dear Mrs. Purcy,

Thank you for your kind invitation. I would be delighted to meet you for any beverage of your choosing. At the risk of being too forthcoming with regard to the details of my present situation I should state that my wife has left me not only in the proximital sense, but in the marital sense as well. Divorce, I'm afraid, is immi­nent.

I look forward to seeing you soon (in some milieu other than my store).
Sincerely,

Rory Cummels

NOLLOPVILLE



Friday, September 15
Hello Neighbor,

You are invited to attend a showing of "Surf of Dreams," a col­lection of seascapes and sky studies by Georgeanne Towgate.

Where: The Towgate front lawn.

When: Sunday, September 17.

Bring your checkbook and a smile.

Please! Silent, pantomimical bids only.

In the land of no "D," silent reverence is king.
Georgeanne Towgate
[scribbled note at the bottom]

Mother, I found this taped to the front door. Does the name sound familiar? It's that awful woman who reported your classroom slip. Know a good rainmaker?


Tassie

NOLLOPTON



Friday, September 15
Dear Cousin Tassie,

Much to tell and little time to tell it as the afternoon post goes out in less than forty-five minutes.

Last evenings meeting was a pyrrhic success. Pyrrhic in that we had to turn more away than we would have liked, lest we betray, by our sheer numbers, the purpose behind our assemblage. And because word seemed to have spread among many whom we did not know, there was no discussion per se—only promises to meet again in smaller numbers, to ensure that knowledge of our secret confabettes would not spread to those with power to see us dis­banded before we have even gotten started.

Funny, isn't it, dear Cousin, to have a meeting, and an enthusi­astically attended one at that—in which nothing gets discussed! Ah, but the things that went unsaid! And the things that shall be said and done when we feel safer and more secure in our gatherings.

You are right that Mr. Lyttle is the likeliest candidate from among the Pentapriests to see the chemists' report, although I don't trust any of the five to open their minds even a scintilla to such a pound-logical explanation for the tumbling of the tiles. And Lyttle has been somewhat the taciturn rubber-stamper of late. But per­haps it is because he has yet to be offered opportunity to stand on his own two callused, septuagenarian feet, thereupon to manipulate agenda for his own purposes—one of those purposes being his very own political survival.

Am I not the cocky one! No, dear Cousin, I don't think the tide is turning. The tide which washes the shores of this beleaguered island can be depended upon to follow the moon's directives from now until the death of the planet, but lovely storm tides—beautiful hurricane-force, beach-battering, dune grass-deracinating gales do strike our beaches now and then, and leave change in their wake. Perhaps we are about to see such a storm. We will proceed on hope, comfixed in one mind and purpose upon these elite, self-deluded flayers of children.

Come down as soon as you like. We miss your smile!

As we will sorely miss the loss of "D" effective as of midnight tonight. (Have you not noticed the product of my decision to drib­ble this dreadful diatribe with as many uses of the doomed fourth letter as possible?) Only idiots, dear Cousin, or certifiable madmen would assign divine purpose to ridding ourselves of the tools not only with which to address Heaven itself (Henceforth "Deity" and "Divinity" and even the word "God" will be outlawed. The Coun­cil makes the following substitutional suggestions: "Omnigreat­ness" and "Serenity.") but also of the ability as of midnight to discuss with anything but great difficulty everything that has occurred in the sanctified past. In taking "ed" away (Goodbye, Ed!), the most useful tool to express the past tense in the English language, we are being robbed of great chunks of our very history. This constitutes, in my opinion, a significant crime, an egregious sin, and one humongolacity of a daunting challenge.

But then, according to Nollop, that which challenges us also makes us stronger—better able to serve his memory, better able to serve one another in service of his memory, better able to serve our­selves in service of one another in service of his memory.

Sometimes I find myself laughing until I begin to choke.

Yipes! The Pony-post cometh!
Love,

Ella
(And gooDbye for the last time!)

OFFICE OF HIGH ISLAND COUNCIL

NOLLOPTON

Friday, September 15
Dear Nollop Dweller:

Many of you have visited the Council office over the last several days, voicing concern over how best to express in the absence of the letter "D"—which leaves us at midnight tonight—each of the seven days of the week. This is a valid concern, but not one that should in any way threaten daily discourse. For instead of the calendrical terms Monday, Tuesday and so forth, we cheerfully offer the fol­lowing surrogates. Use them freely and often, for their use honors us all.

For Sunday, please use Sunshine

For Monday, please use Monty

For Tuesday, please use Toes

For Wednesday, please use Wetty

For Thursday, please use Thurby

For Friday, please use Fribs

For Saturday, please use Satto-gatto

Parents: you may wish to help your children absorb these new words by turning the process into a game of some sort, simple flash cards also constituting a tried and efficient course.


Sincerely,

Hamilton Ferguson

Chief Secretary

High Island Council


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