I’m breaking the rules today. I’m sending you a letter I know to be fake—a letter which has taken various forms over the decades, but always with punchline intact. The version below is the most common, and I’m sharing it simply because it’s very funny, and sometimes, particularly in the year 2023, very funny is enough. Also, we once had it delivered by Miriam Margolyes at Letters Live and this is the perfect excuse to share that expertly-pitched reading with you. All you need to know/imagine is that in 1982, an elderly resident of a County Down care home received an unexpected birthday gift from a local business, and she responded with a letter of thanks. Enjoy.
6th August 1982
Dear Mr. Walker,
I want to thank you for the lovely transistor radio you and your district so kindly sent me for my birthday. It is all the more wonderful that an absolute stranger like yourself remembers old people like me. I am 97 years of age and have been at the Home for the last 26 years. We are treated very kindly but the lonely hours are very hard to bear.
My room mate, Maggie Cook, has had her own radio for as long as I've known her. She listens to it all the time, though usually with an earplug or with the volume so low, I can't hear it. For some reason, she has never wanted to share it.
Last Sunday morning, while listening to her morning gospel programs, she accidentally knocked her radio off its shelf. It smashed into many pieces, and caused her to cry. It was so sad.
Fortunately, I had my new radio. Knowing this, Maggie asked if she could listen to mine. I told her to f@!k off.
God bless you.
I do always appreciate how as people get older they tend to speak their minds more freely (whether real or fake) 🤣