March 26, 2024
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
From: Ab Ennis
As the candidate for president on the ticket of the Dead Rights Party, I will soon compose my best-selling autobiography in anticipation of the bombs that will be lobbed in my direction. This massive volume, to be entitled My Life in a Coconut Shell, will appear sometime between the day after all the votes in Florida and Cook County have been recounted and the day of my inauguration as the president of these United States.
There is good reason for this revolutionary step. I am already dead. The scandals and peccadillos of my past are behind me. I have been cremated and thus purified for more than half a century, though I should note that this act seems to have had no ill effect on my ability to arrange just the right words into something resembling a phrase, a clause, a sentence, and the occasional paragraph.
I have already taken steps toward writing this book. My first step was to choose from among the myriads of agents who have sought to represent me.
My second step was to come up with a book proposal. Publishers are funny about that. They want to know what the book will be about! I have had to tell them that it will be about my life in the pre-ashen state. Thus the title of this piece.
Before signing a contract, the publisher wished to have more information. He wanted to know more about my life.
To this request I could not say No. So I set aside fifteen minutes from my busy poker schedule to outline on a small card what I wanted my editor to say about me. This outline is as follows:
1. Enemies list (someone or something, preferably a vast centrist conspiracy, to blame for any indiscretions uncovered);
2. Brief chapter on religious convictions (e.g., fervent belief in existence of God; sense of being chosen by same);
3. Hardships encountered (e.g., birth in a mud hut to an unwed teenager);
4. Courageous acts performed (e.g., singlehandedly, and under intense stress, rescuing, one by one, a large legion of children, ages two months to twelve years, from an impending earthquake);
5. Courageous acts yet to be performed (rid the world of terrorism without resorting to bloodshed, get all the peoples of the earth to love America, grant suffrage to dead folks and talking parrots over the age of eighteen).
Though the candidates of the two other parties will almost certainly make much of my death, I must point out that I function as well as the majority of living citizens. I do not suffer the pains and pangs that are said to debilitate the frail elderly. I also write fluent English and compose my own speeches. I am so accomplished that I once put in a stint as an award-winning columnist for the Lava Hot Springs Sentinel.