OUR GRATITUDE IS BOUNDLESS by Michael Pearce

May 9, 2017

Dear Lawrence Solomon,

Thank you so very much for your generous gift of $25 to EquaGreen. It is compassionate, environmentally responsible citizens like you who have made EquaGreen an important and effective force for social justice and a cleaner, cooler Earth. The enclosed brochure summarizes our many efforts to feed and shelter the homeless, advocate for the oppressed, and clean up the mess we’ve made of our precious planet. We have also included a list of several ways you can further contribute to EquaGreen, though our primary message today is a simple thanks for your helpful contribution.

Gratefully yours,

Chadsworth Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

You may not have noticed, but in our earlier letter of thanks we enclosed a list describing some ways in which you can—beyond your initial, appreciated donation—continue to help EquaGreen achieve its Earth-enhancing goals. Enclosed you will find an expanded version of that list. A unique feature of EquaGreen is that we can allocate your tax-deductible gift to the specific projects that are closest to your heart. Some of our contributors may consider climate change to be a hoax, for instance, but wish to improve the lot of residents of the Tichilesti leper colony in Romania; others are passionate about R&D on a new process of decontaminating road kill and converting it into tasty protein bars for export to who knows where. We can structure a donation schedule to match your finances, your charitable interests, and your deeply held beliefs. A slick, brightly colored map showing EquaGreen’s efforts around the world is also enclosed.

Yours,

Chad Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

Perhaps you have not replied to our previous solicitation out of concern for the environment. We’d like to point out that participating in our charity by mail actually LOWERS YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. To cite only one example: the envelopes we use are not only manufactured from recycled paper, they are imbued with a hyper-ionic resin that actually sucks carbon out of the atmosphere and converts it into microfibers that are in turn spun into thread for stitching together the cleft palates of indigent children in Somalia and British Columbia.

But if giving by mail is not for you, we encourage you to forward your email address and a valid credit card number, and we’ll be happy to set up a monthly or quarterly donation schedule. We are nothing if not flexible, and will figure out a way to work with you.

Best regards,

Chad Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

In spite of our many efforts to reach out to you over the past year, we have not heard back. We hope we have your correct address. Perhaps you could simply let us know that our letters are reaching you—no monetary commitment necessary!

If your inaction regarding our requests is due to old-fashioned forgetfulness, we understand—who can keep track of all those opportunities and obligations piling up in one’s in-box? And now we read that your fabulously successful plastic explosives startup, FocalBoom, has just gone public. Congratulations! No doubt you are crazy busy these days, and our little charity has gotten buried in the pile. That’s okay—we can wait….

Yours truly,

Chad Delaquaw, EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

For what it’s worth, Rivka—the assistant manager of the mailroom here at EquaGreen—points out that there are still some misinformed, even bigoted people in this country who cling to long disproved stereotypes about the supposed tendencies of certain ethnic groups. Rivka says that her strategy for dealing with such ignoramuses is to show through her actions that she is not the stingy, acquisitive “Shylock” that they take her for; consequently, she does not shop for bargains, never asks for a raise, and always gives generously to deserving charities. It is “a mitzvah offered to my people” (her words) to be proactive in this manner. We pass this along at Rivka’s suggestion.

All best,

Chad at EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

It was with some dismay, even sadness, that we at EquaGreen began receiving the returned, unopened letters we have been sending you these past months. They were marked ‘No longer at this address,’ but this must be a postal formality since we have recently confirmed that you still reside in that lovely Tudor mansion in the exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air Estates.

We have taken the liberty of writing you care of your ProtonMail address to let you know about some of our newest contribution opportunities (see the attached document). It surprised us (but surely won’t surprise you) to learn that WikiLeaks has devoted some forty thousand words to you and other arms manufacturers, revealing trading partners, some details of contracts with various governments (recognized or otherwise), and contact information. Since your private, encrypted email (along with some proprietary information about FocalBoom) has been made public, we figured it was okay to get in touch in this manner. No endorsement of WikiLeaks’s credo or actions is implied.

Sincerely,

Chad Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

Dear Mr. Solomon,

As you know, environmental conservation is a key value at EquaGreen. To that end, eighty-three per cent of all our office products are constructed from recycled materials. Imagine our surprise to learn that a significant portion of our recycled paper is collected from your Bel Air Estates neighborhood! Through a comedy of errors too ridiculous to relay, the forensic team at RejennaRate (our supplier) reassembled your shredded bank statements and provided us with some exclusive information that we neither requested nor desired. We immediately destroyed the documents and cancelled our contract with RejennaRate.

However, we couldn’t help noting that the net returns from your daughter Chloe’s trust fund alone were in the high eight figures. That, of course, is no concern of ours (nor are your investments in North Korean military infrastructure—none of our darn business!). Nonetheless, we have assembled a conservative estimate of your total annual proceeds, and from that we have crafted an equally modest suggested sum that someone in your income category might wish to contribute to a not-for-profit charity such as ours. Please peruse the enclosed invoice.

Fond regards,

Chad Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

Dear Lawrence,

It was with great concern that I heard about your serious illness—what a terrible misfortune. I hope and pray you are feeling as comfortable as one can with stage IV melanoma compounded by kidney failure. This is, of course, no time for solicitation; I simply want to wish you a speedy and painless recovery. In this spirit I’ve had my staff assemble a short collection of inspirational poems and humorous vignettes for you to enjoy at your leisure (see the attached document).

Also, it would be derelict on my part not to point you toward a recent study from the Mayo Clinic. This research suggests that actively preparing a will that bequeaths substantial funding to life-affirming charities can reduce the suffering and even improve the prognosis of those with fatal afflictions. Just some food for thought…

Be well,

Chad at EquaGreen

Dear Larry,

I was thrilled to learn of your miraculous recovery. It must feel like a new lease on life to return to your most passionate concerns. In that vein, I couldn’t help but notice a short piece in Forbes that listed you as the CEO and major funder of SpacEnterPrizes, a bold new effort to establish a commercial space travel service. My wife’s cousin’s husband, Jeff, a technician at the Jet Propulsion Lab, tells me that it is well known in certain circles that your fortune has recently expanded exponentially, and you are now roughly in the same ballpark as Buffet (and I don’t mean Jimmy!) and Gates (and I don’t mean Henry Louis!). Jeff says your space exploration effort is, financially speaking, a minor tax write-off. Wow! With this in mind, my numbers people have revised upward your suggested donation schedule. To expedite your payments, we have communicated with two of your banks in the Cayman Islands (thanks again to WikiLeaks—it turns out Jeff went to soccer camp with Ed Snowden in the nineties!); once they receive the proper authentication, they will initiate a monthly or annual electronic deposit to EquaGreen.

L’chaim!

Chad

Hello Larry!

Congratulations on your success in completing the first privately funded, commercial flight to the moon. Woohoo! To bring together scientific brilliance, engineering know-how, data-crunching wizardry, and unparalleled financial resources so seamlessly is a unique achievement, one that other capable entrepreneurs have only dicked around with. And what a brave and audacious move to designate yourself as the first passenger on the GoodShip EnterPrize. We at EquaGreen watched the moon landing with awe and no small amount of pride.

We understand that you have a bit of time on your hands while SpacEnterPrizes Central works feverishly to replace the solid rocket booster that failed on your attempted takeoff for the return voyage Wednesday. We’d like to suggest that you use this down-time to consider a substantial donation to EquaGreen. Meanwhile, we will do all we can on our end to expedite your speedy and safe return. If this sounds like an empty gesture, don’t forget my cousin-in-law Jeff, who is one of the operations engineers at SpacEnterPrizes. Jeff is an idealist, and when he heard that you had not given a nickel to EquaGreen since your first modest donation of $25, he said he would, and I quote, “maroon that tightwad’s ass on the f***ing moon until he coughs up some serious scratch.” We of course are doing all that we can to bring Jeff back to his senses and bring you home. In the meantime, enjoy the freedom from gravity and that exotic space food during your stay. And when you have a moment, please sign, scan, and send the attached contract allocating 1.5% of FocalBoom pretax proceeds to EquaGreen. We would be so grateful!

With deepest admiration,

Chadsworth Delaquaw, CEO, EquaGreen

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Michael Pearce’s fiction has appeared in several publications, including Epoch, Shenandoah, Witness, The Gettysburg Review, Conjunctions, and Folio.

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