photo by ChrisO

Dear Ms Erato
Mt. Olympus, Greece:

My name is Carl and I am writing from Miami, Florida. I would like to be a writer of funny stuff. I had to check out a few things before writing to you because I am a Presbyterian. In the OT there are some rules(The Big Ten) that prohibit me from worshiping other gods and graven images and stuff. But it also says I live by covenant and a covenant is a form of contract and contracts are very explicit with application of language. The OT says I cannot worship you(although you look quite foxy in that picture),but it does not say I can’t “write” you a letter. I think the Supreme Count decisions of Fletcher vs Peck and Woodward vs Dartmouth College re contract understanding would substantiate this claim.
In addition the protagonist in the NT says “I am the alpha and the omega.” and that is certainly Greekie so to speak. And a fellow named Paul wrote a ton of letters in Greek to Greeks, so I believe I have established that writing you is not a conflict of interest as far as the religion stuff goes.
I would deeply appreciate a reply advising me of your willingness to mentor me in writing funny things to post on a thing called a blog.

Sincerely,
Carl D’Agostino

Dear Carl:

Received your recent inquiry. Was delighted to hear from a mortal in that no one down there has written to me for several thousand years. I will share writing techniques, assessment, and suggestions but will not engage with the particulars of publishing, editing, and marketing. Get an agent for those “olives” sonny.

Yours truly,
Erato

Dear Erato:

I want to write funny like Dave Barry. Also, I have learned the Greek alphabet. Zeta is my favorite letter with sigma a close second.

Carl

Dear Carl:

To write like my boy, Dave, you have to know about boogers and farts. You need to be able to master the use of metaphor, simile, and modest self- deprecation. You must blend humility with humor and expose hypocrisy with comic perspective, be syndicated and have a lot of “hungry for your stuff” publishers. Please say “Hi” to my friends Theo and Helen in Coral Gables.

Erato

Dear Erato:

Good Lord! I mean Holy Zeus! I just want to write funny stuff. How about Garrison Keillor ? Theo and Helen are in the Bahamas, but I left a voice mail. I am taking lessons at dancing on top of a table .

Carl

Dear Carl:

Postage rates are going up here in Greece, so future communication will require an SASE. Yes. GK’s good. Do you know anything about life in the sub arctic latitudes? Scandinavian culture and farming? Can you embrace and interpret life from a wholesome, small town and comparatively ignorant frame of mind? Can you write from the perspective of being very silly and naive without appearing silly and naive in a condescending manner?

Erato

Dear Erato:

Holy Zeus! I just want to write funny stuff. How about Mark Twain? I want to write like him. I went to the new Greek restaurant in Aventura. It’s called The Greek Beet. The baklava was splendid.

Carl

Dear Carl:

Never try to ingratiate a publisher to you by mentioning nonsense like the Greek dancing, the Greek alphabet or the Greek restaurant stuff as you have to me in your recent letters. They see right through this amateurishness. It disqualifies you from even getting a form letter rejection notice. Mark Twain? Don’t even dream of it. Sometimes art imitates life and vice versa, but Twain IS art and life. New writers , Carl, start with a pencil, not a pedestal. I still love you son, so wipe that tear away.

Dear Erato:

By Hades! So now what do I do?

Carl

Dear Carl:

I deeply regret that I won’t be able to continue this exchange, which I assure you has been a delightful and memorable experience. I am taking a thousand year vacation. And you can’t expect a godess to be your pen-pal. Perhaps you would consider, in light of wanting to be a humor writer, writing a very funny grocery list for yourself every week. Maybe a “letter to the editor” now and then. You did make me smile though. Best of luck.

Erato