Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Pulitzer Committee,

(The short list will be fine for now. See the P.S. below.)

I'm sure you get a lot of these letters, so I'm going to be brief.

After all, brevity is, what? The heart of something, the path to getting one's point across succinctly and in a compressed period or space?

Are those two things the same thing? I'm going to have to look that up.

Anyway, that's why I'm going to be brief. To make my point, or my pitch, as it were, and be done with it. Because I'm sure you get a lot of these letters (see above).

But let me first clear up a likely misunderstanding. I am not writing you some where's-my-prize letter, which I'm sure you thought this was. But, please, just hear me out without jumping to conclusions here, though I do also wonder about when I will hear from you about my prize (you can respond to that whole question some other time).

But, what? Maybe it's just a problem with the Postal Service? If so, then, maybe it would be better to be sending a different letter. When you think about it, how would one ever know which it is? I mean, one would be sitting there, about to write a letter, and wondering which letter to write or type or use the internet. Because we are all more than one thing to more than one person (persons?). And, besides, we don't always know exactly what we're doing.

I must say, I'm actually beginning to lose my focus here. Communicating is an exacting discipline, really. It's not like anybody's always in the zone when they're trying to get their point across. I mean think about it. How many letters have you gotten from people like me (or almost like me) that set you to wondering what point it was that they were trying to make. A lot, right?

But the point is, if it's because the Postal Service (I always use upper-case for the first letter of each word in "Postal Service" when I write about the Postal Service. I don't know, a sign of genuine respect for the Post Office (see what I did differently there?), so the point is that nobody should turn anything in this letter into some anti-government screed--which we all know that there are people out there who would do that. So the point is that you guys have a security obligation here, also, to keep this letter secret and secure after you read it and do as it asks. Maybe you should burn the letter, then I'll have the only copy and you can be damn sure that I won't share it around.) has been the reason for the delay in hearing from you, well, then, that fact does get us, finally, to the point, or near the point.

If the problem is that there has just been a delay of some kind in notifying me about the prize, then the point of this letter changes slightly because I was writing you to ask for a small loan, which I'm sure we could just reduce my prize award by that amount, if that in fact is the actual reason why we are having this discussion now.

If not, then I'll just promise to pay the loan back at a future date, which none of us, probably, knows right now. And, of course, maybe you've awarded the prize to someone who you consider equally worthy. That could certainly happen. I mean, everyone makes mistakes, right? Though life always gives us another chance to correct our mistakes.

The loan itself will be spent on paying someone for some help getting the non-writing aspects of my life in order. As you can see, the writing takes care of itself.

It's the other stuff, the parenting and the partnering and the viable friending and the staying calm in traffic and the bill paying and the effective political action stuff that I really need help with. And when I use your loan to help me get all those other ducks in a row, I'll have more time to be an even better, more prolific writer, which I'm betting you didn't think was really doable. Am I right?

Anyway, you can send the check to:

Jeff Epton
3735 17th Place NE
Washington, DC 20018

Jeff Epton

P.S. The short list will be fine for now.

P.P.S. I love the brevity challenge. Don't you?

P.P.S.S. Daniel Garedow made me write this letter. Well, not made me do it. Facilitated the letter. Daniel's my insurance agent, He e-mailed me the other day about getting something done in a timely way. If it doesn't happen I probably crack up my car and then where would we be? Not writing this letter, that's for sure.

P.P.P.S.S. Ha!

1 comment:

  1. P.P.P.P.S.S.S Ha! Ha! ...a most enjoyable read, Jeff!!!