(Al Cartwright is my mentor, the fella who gave me a chance in the newspaper world a few decades ago, a move that paved the way for me to land with the Phillies. Al was the Wilmington News-Journal Sports Editor who later served as a Publicity Consultant for the Phillies in 1970-71. He’s been retired for some time but I’d like to continue one of his traditional “Ala Carte” columns, a take-off on the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”)
Legendary letters written by Agnes Hollister to her beau:
When I answered the doorbell today, the postman delivered a partridge in a pear tree! What a thoroughly delightful gift! I couldn’t have been more surprised.
With deepest love, Your Aggie.
JOHN, YOU DARLING MAN!
Today, the postman brought your very sweet gift–two turtle doves!. I’m delighted at your thoughtfulness. They are just adorable. The partridge likes them, too.
All my love, Aggie.
Oh! Aren’t you the extravagant one! I really must protest, though, John. I really don’t deserve such generosity–three French hens! They are just darling, but I must insist: you’ve been TOO kind.
Today, the postman delivered four calling birds. Now really. They are beautiful birds, but don’t you think enough is enough? You’re being too romantic. Besides, the partridge, the turtle doves and the French hens have eaten all the pears. You dear silly boy, you!
What a surprise! Today, five golden rings–one for each finger! You’re impossible, but I love it. Frankly, all the birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.
All my love, Your Aggie.
When I opened the door this morning, there were six geese a-laying on my front steps. So you’re back to the birds again, eh? These geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are already complaining and I hate to think what will happen when the goose eggs hatch. I can’t sleep through the racket now. Please stop, John.
What’s with you and the birds? Seven swans-a-swimming!!! What kind of joke is this, you sickie! The while house is full of feathers and broken goose eggs and this zoo is so noisy I couldn’t sleep even if my bed wasn’t full of you-know-what. It’s not funny, so if you’ve got any more birds up your sleeves, you know what you can do with them.
I mean it, A. H.
I think I prefer the birds. What in God’s name am I going to do with all these eight maids a-milking? It’s not enough with all those birds messing, but eight maids had to bring their eight cows! I’m trapped and I can hardly breathe. Lay off, wise guy!
YOU ROTTEN MONSTER!
Nine ladies dancing, eh? How dare you call them ladies? The Health Department has subpoenaed me to show cause why the whole building shouldn’t be condemned. The Vice Squad is staking out the place. If I ever catch you around here again–well, have you ever been skulled by a pear tree?
One Who Means It.
The cops are coming for you, as soon as they finished rounding up those 10 lords a-leaping. The place looks like the Gong Show. All 23 of the birds are dead–trampled by the lords. I hope you’re satisfied, you low-life.
You Know Who
What are you–some kind of sadist? Now there’s 11 pipers piping! And geez, do they play–even without the pipes. They’ve never stopped chasing the milkmaids since they got here yesterday morning. Some of them even chased the cows, so the cows got panicky and stepped all over the deceased birds. There’s feathers and milk flying all over the house and the aroma has killed the pear tree. The neighbors have entered a petition to evict me.
You’ll get yours! A. Hollister.
DEAR MR CID:
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of 12 drummers drumming which you saw fit to inflict upon our client, Ms. Agnes Hollister.
Any further correspondence with Ms. Hollister should be addressed in care of this law firm, inasmuch as the destruction of her residence was, of course, total.
Please do not attempt to make personal contact with our client, as Ms. Hollister has given explicit instructions to her attendants at Happy Dale Sanitarium to shoot you on sight. Fatally.
Naturally, a suite is being prepared against you, entered jointly by Ms. Hollister, the Postal Service, the Department of Health, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Immigration Office, United Parcel Service and the Humane Society. The State Department of Mental Health is instituting a separate action with a different objective in mind.
Very truly yours,
Badger, Bender, Loophole & Mulford.
(Phillies Insider will take a holiday break. Be back after the New Year).
Peace to all!