Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Donald In Love

Bruce McCall and Steve Martin are the two funniest writers contributing to The New Yorker. McCall's vision of the Romantic Period of the young Don "Juan" Rumsfeld (pictured left, with smoldering passion in his eyes) in this week's issue was so hilarious, I had to reprint it here:

from The New Yorker (Issue of 2006-05-08)

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss X [EYES ONLY]

In reference to last night’s date following the Freshman Mixer: It is my determination that you have advanced to the fourth quartile of personal value to this writer at the present time. I attach a voucher entitling you to (temporary) custody of one (1) ring, worth $1 million. Caution: Do not have the ring appraised by a jeweller. I happen to be a better judge of its value, which must be kept top secret and withheld from your girlfriends.
From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss X [SECRET]

My files reveal no record of my having made the long-term commitments alleged in your memo just received. You clearly confuse me with some other person with the initials D.R. with whom you showered. Please desist from pursuing this matter and further upsetting my fiancée.

P.S.: Per my previous document, the ring was a loan. Please return.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.


You force me to observe, anent your hysteria re lost virginity (see pp. 1-36 of the letter left on my doorstep last night), that not once has the slightest interest been evinced or mention made in reference to my lost virginity. Such lopsided reasoning exemplifies what is wrong with our country today.

EMERGENCY NOTICE. Re Operation Frosh Follies: You have been reassigned to babysit my nephew Ricky tonight beginning at 1600 hrs. The corsage should be turned over to Miss Y no later than 1800 hrs.

P.S.: A secretary (since outplaced) inadvertently omitted in my Final Damage Survey of this relationship the paragraph referring to your mother’s inedible cooking. You may obtain a copy by writing to this address and marking the envelope “Cooking, Inedible, Mother’s.”

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Y

In response to your query as to why a certain Miss X has mailed you a parcel containing my underwear, pajamas, toiletries, and prophylactics: You should not need to be reminded at this point that “stuff happens.” This matter is now closed.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Y

Prior commitments have prevented me from reading all of your last eighteen letters, but I advise that the effort expended therein might have been better utilized in working out with weights to reduce the flab in the area of your upper arms.

In re the quoted passages in Letter 12 of the abovementioned series: You are hereby reminded that Rilke was German and Rimbaud French, i.e., Old Europeans, i.e., unreliable. Expunge them from your thoughts A.S.A.P.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Y

In reference to our meeting in the bushes last evening:

(1) The name Rummy is reserved exclusively for individuals on the list. You are not on the list.

(2) My comments on the movie “Pillow Talk” were not opinion but fact. Openly oppositional stances such as yours publicly insult my veracity and jeopardize your current status as a contender for Most Favored Female Companion.

(3) The section in the note submitted to me under my front door this morning at approximately 0500 hrs, titled “My Thoughts on Love,” is sloppily reasoned and contains 43 unacceptable conclusions—none, I am saddened to say, in the prescribed bullet-point format.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.


Your notice of resignation as my current primary affection supplier is hereby accepted. Please return all correspondence over my signature A.S.A.P., plus the photos of me in Superman costume. I enclose a bill for expenses incurred in both the initial romantic-mode campaign and the subsequent romance-enhancement mission, now aborted.

As you know, the ring was a loan and should be returned.

P.S.: “Asshole” is one word.

cc: Miss X.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Z

Our joint exercises in my vehicle last night from 0100 to 0645 hrs have been graded Satisfactory. You therefore merit transition to Phase II and the (temporary) rank of Steady Date.

Indicated actions: (a) breath mints, (b) a more powerful deodorant, (c) termination of your verbal contract with “Hal” in time for our next appointment. Call my assistant for time and place.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.


I am returning your most recent letter, in which you extensively quote from Mr. Walter Whitman. As D.R.’s directory makes explicit, Mr. Whitman, a known homosexual, is not on the list of acceptable poets.

P.S.: Budget revisions necessitate that henceforth you cannot order an appetizer or dessert while dining with D.R. Unspent funds are being diverted to update equipment for the wrestling team.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Z [EYES ONLY]

I can report that as of this day our alliance has escalated to Stage IV, Physical Relationship Secured.

Action taken this day: Same motel room booked, under name of “Mr. and Mrs. Jane Fonda.”

From: The Dormitory of D.R.


I am in receipt of yrs of late last night. Net takeaway: In 23 pages (26,000 words), pertinent facts and new information affecting D.R.’s personal qualities are 100% absent.

Item A: “I want to wrap my legs around your body like an octopus” contains no useful guidelines for ongoing conduct.

Item B: “Stud in Aviator Glasses” cannot be transferred to my career résumé without copious footnotes.

Before rewriting your thesis, consult the works of Clausewitz and Marshal Blücher, and “The Art of War.”

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Z

It has been clear to this writer for some time that your interpretation of my position vis-à-vis the odds in favor of a voluntary joint marital operation are sufficiently wide of the mark to disqualify you as a romantic associate. Please return the ring, which was of course a loan.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.


Follow-up re Missions Outstanding: Please put down my dog and shave your legs.

From: The Dormitory of D.R.

To: Miss Z

Your note to “Two-Timing Bastard” overlooks these crucial elements:
(1) Identical twin sisters are often mistaken for each other—particularly in the dark.

(2) In re your liberal paraphrasing of the remarks in the note wrapped around the rock hurled through your sister’s bedroom window: In D.R.’s family of origin, “I love you” is a form of greeting, not unlike “Hello” and “Take a pew.” He frequently says “I love you” to his own mother.

(3) Because of what I am informed could be interpreted as illegible handwriting, the phrase “new photos” might admittedly be misread as “nude photos.”

(4) The undersigned was in your twin sister’s bedroom shortly after midnight, only to attempt the recovery of his library card. (The “endless night of ecstasy” mentioned in the intercepted note obviously refers to ongoing delighted feelings at the prospect of retrieving same, thus avoiding fines.) Any other interpretation means you have rocks in your head.

(Originally published in The New Yorker, "Shouts & Murmurs," May 5, 2006)

Bruce McCall Links:

All of the Bruce McCall's books listed below are worth picking up. Besides his daft sense of humor, the guy's also an amazing artist, especially when it come to drawing cars - no doubt resulting from his days as a Ford Motor Company illustrator.

All Meat Looks Like South America
The Last Dream-o-Rama
Bruce McCall's Zany Afternoons
Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Canada


Blogger Lost in an Era said...

That is a pretty tight article. Impressive.

10:40 AM  

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