Greetings and salutations from across the pond.
Thank you so much for the food parcel you sent last month. The liver and bacon tasted absolutely scrumptious. The tripe clung to my tastebuds in the way that only tripe can, and your jam roly-poly with custard was to die for. Please send more when convenient – though if at all possible, in separate containers next time.
In your letter, you said old Mrs. Finnegan, the upstairs maid, wanted to know if that nice Kennedy fellow was still president over here. Bless her heart. I’m afraid he’s long since gone. Please tell her there’s a chap named Obama in charge these days. I know she’ll be pleased to hear they’ve got another Irishman running the show.
How’s grandma doing with her dancing? I imagine the wooden leg raised a few eyebrows when she first started. Still, from the photo you sent, she seems to be enjoying her new job. I laughed when I read your note about the nightclub owner’s safety concerns. He just doesn’t know Gran like we do. The old dear’s got a grip like a drowning kitten. She won’t fall, no matter how much they grease that pole.
Life is good here in the US of A, but even after seven years, the natives still surprise me. Did you know they have a God of Winter? It’s true. Every February 2nd, they worship at the altar of some oversized gerbil by the name of Phil, asking for news on when they can expect to see the Spring. Haven’t these people heard of calendars? Mind you, I don’t suppose you can blame them. We’ve had more than our usual share of the wet and white stuff over the last few weeks. Your devoted grandchildren have never done so much shoveling. It’s exhausting work, believe me. I get tired just watching the poor little tykes. Still, it’s doing them good. Their teacher, Miss Kinsett, tells me they’re the strongest kids in pre-school.
In an effort to learn a bit more about American customs and history, I’ve started chatting with some of the locals. One fellow told me an interesting story about his great-great-great-grandfather. Apparently, the man was some kind of outlaw who robbed trains and rustled cattle down in Georgia somewhere. That is, until the day he was captured and hung by the Cherokees. You can bet that brought tears to his eyes. Boy, these Americans are strict. Back home, we’d have just sent him to prison.
Another neighbor, Mrs. Saskalitakoolapop (the one who keeps asking me what it’s like in Australia) wasn’t so helpful. She tried to send me on some wild goose-chase, telling me to check out President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. As if I’d fall for that old chestnut. I may be unversed in American history, but I know for a fact Lincoln never lived anywhere near the place.
Anyhoo, I’d better get a wiggle on. It’s almost time for my art lesson. We’re doing ‘nude painting’ again. It’s quite fun. Mind you, I’m taking my coat this time, the rest of the class kept staring at me last week, so did the model, and I got some very odd looks on the bus ride home.
Hugs and kissy-poos to all the family,
Your devoted offspring,
PS: I hope Uncle Walter’s rash has cleared up.
Other letters from America: