06 Dec 97

Merry Christmas (Running From Paramilitary Fundamentalists)

This is my Christmas Letter for 1997. If you'd like to receive a copy on paper, send me email.

Dear Holiday Friend,

Since you last heard from the Ford family, we entered the Federal Witness Protection Program and began new lives as cranberry farmers. We miss you all very much!

One night in March, 1997, Eloise discovered a half-shredded document that made shocking allegations about a high ranking Republican Senator. As a condition of our release, we can't say his name, but it rhymes with "Messy Elms," and he has some surprising sexual peccadilloes when it comes to olives. From this disturbing document, we learned that he has been working to turn the Christian Right into a private army.

It was like our very own Grassy Knoll. After presenting our findings to Food Workers and Straphangers 897, brown helicopters landed in the parking lot. (They reserve black helicopters for serious criminals.) We tried to run, but Eloise has high blood pressure, so we more or less just collapsed. We were immediately taken to a high security facility and debriefed.

Afer being released by the goverment, we thought we could return to a normal life, but it was not to be. In April, the paramilitary wing of Focus on the Family abducted Saber Tooth and Pisspot, our cats, leaving a note that read: "If you ever want to see them again, you will not speak to the press." It turned out that the our pastor at First Presbyterian was an undercover operative and informed on us. For the next six months we metamorphosed from pimento specialists to pawns in an international game of intrigue, traveling via boat, plane, and bicycle to places as far away as Ontario and Minneapolis. Exhausting!

Enough about us! As for the kids, Edgar does well for himself at Mt. Alyon Center for the Lamb of God. He recently made Underfriar of Herbs, with specialties in bloodwort, wolfsbane, and jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). We communicate with him through a drop point.

As for Willy, all charges were dismissed (we knew they would be) and he's been living in Dover, Delaware, working as a veterinarian's assistant. He's also in a "techno" band called "Cat Parts." Look for his album on Oily Snail Records.

Well, all for now. If you'd like to communicate with us, place a classified ad in any Buenos Aires newspaper that begins with the words "El Gato Malo," and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Seasonal Cheer and Feliz Navidad,

Paul and Eloise Ford




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

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Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

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