It is vanishingly rare that I plod up our steep curvaceous driveway, past our thickly treed woodlot, collect the mail from our rusty misshapen mailbox — and burst out laughing.
Surely the next-door neighbors would have heard me if they had been out and about, which, thankfully, they weren’t.
For you see, these were no garden-variety guffaws. They were deep, convulsive, lock-me-up horselaughs. My neighbors’ cows—which were out and routinely ignore me— rumbled over to the fence line and gaped.
I laughed intermittently walking back down the slippery slope to the house, where my wife, who recently retired, was peacefully reading a book. Soon she joined me in spasms of hee-haws.
We had yet to open the envelope that inspired such side-splitters.
I laugh still at odd moments when ruminating on this preposterous missive. Who knew junk mail could be so funny?
The ludicrous letter was addressed to my wife.
I would not have been more astonished if it had been co-written by Klaatu and his robot, Gort, and mailed from the exoplanet Bollocks, deep in the Pandemonium Galaxy.
The letter was from Melania.
Yes, that Melania, the First Lady of all the land.
But wait, there’s more. In the lower left corner of the unopened envelope, in bold underlined print, was this:
Melania Trump was sending my wife money?
My knees got weak, everything was spinning, my world had gone higgledy-piggledy, like I was twirling in a NASA G-force simulator and had forgotten to buckle my seatbelt.
My wife and I knew we had to open the letter at some point. But we hesitated, savoring the moment. How could the contents possibly live up to the envelope?
But then we remembered the matter of Check Enclosed.
We ripped the envelope open. The letter was dated “Friday Morning.”
The check fluttered to the floor.
It was for $45.
It was signed by Melania Trump. However, her signature more closely resembled the steep scrawls of a seismograph recording a magnitude 8 earthquake. It could easily be mistaken for Klaatu.
Then the bad news hit us, like a tractor-trailer loaded with red MAGA hats doing 75 along the interstate.
The check was not made out to my wife. It was pay to the order of “Republican National Committee.”
Good golly, Miss Molly, we’d been ho-axed.
Worse still, just as we feared, the letter was way less funny than the envelope.
Melania asked my wife to match her $45 check, but things quickly escalated from there.
In the very next paragraph she wrote: “If you could send a contribution of $90 or even $135 — to double or triple the impact of your investment in our efforts — or $250, $500, $1,000, $5,000, or more, I urge you to do so.”
See what I mean? That’s not funny.
It was a long letter. Three pages.
There was one sentence that my wife and I agreed with: “I know you realize how much is at stake in the upcoming Presidential Election.”
Thanks for reminding us, Melania!
David Holahan is a freelance writer living in East Haddam.