August 0003

St. Jake plays cards. Is This Really True? Gunk Again. Ms. Pimbleman Requests. The Kleinmann Files.


A reader has been kind enough to send us a cache of original documents written by St. Jake of Pasadena himself, and we’ll be dipping into it from time to time.

One time, I was feelin’ pretty flush, as I’d just robbed the Deadville Stage. More’n that, me an the boys’d had a little fallin out, so they was all six feet under, and I’d got a hold of all the loot. I sure had to do some fast ridin to get away from the marshall an his posse, but by the time I got to Carson City, I reckoned I was safe. Figurin that if you ain’t never been in a place before, no-one knows you, I went straight to the saloon to fix myself a game of cards. Sure nough there was a bunch of cowpokes a-playin poker, so got meself a whiskey, an pulled up a chair. Then I said long and slow “You boys mind if I join you?” An they didn’t seem to make no mind of it, so I dealt myself in. Next thing I knows, there’s one of them cowpokes a-hollerin “What the tarnation!” an I looked down, an saw I’d just played four aces. Trouble was, they was all aces of spades. So this low down varmint was a pointin his gun in my face an yellin “You must think we’re pretty darn stupid in these parts! Well Mister, the way I figure it, you may be right, or you may be wrong, but either way, I’m a goin’ to fill you fuller o lead than that squaw I shot over Reno way!” So I told him that weren’t no card sharpin, but a miracle o the Lord that put them cards in my hands at that moment, but the ornery galoot wasn’t havin none of it, an that’s when the big miracle happened. I swear I didn’t put no derringer in my boot. First I knew of it was when it went off, and this guy fell over dead, an I reckon it was the Lord himself that put that gun by my feet, an I reckon He did it cos he was so enraged at this darn cowpoke a-doubtin of the first miracle. So then I pulled my colt out an covered the other two, an said “Let this be a lesson to you. Doubt not in the miracles of the Lord” while I scooped the pot out inta my hat, an rode off into the sunset.



You can go into any German post office and ask for a 0 Euro stamp. The law requiring these stamps to be available dates from the late Nineteenth Century, when it was customary to put four stamps on each letter, one in each corner. Since one stamp normally covered the full cost of postage, it was necessary for others to be available with no value to put in the three other corners. These 0 value stamps fascinate a small but enthusiastic part of the world of philately. The current series contains five stamps each priced at 0, and showing barges from the Rhine. Other popular series have shown Bavarian sausages and parking tickets from different German Lander.

It is true, and here’s a reply.

Germany isn’t the only place you can get 0 value stamps. You can also do so in South Korea and Brazil.

Mitzi, Port Ellen.


The Gunkster is back!

Like Jonah the Gunkster is being sorely beset by the Lord. But I defy Him in faithful supplication by remaining grateful, for Pastor Wrigley tells me these tribulations are trials of my faith! Praise the Lord!

TRIBULATION 1! I fell of the Dean’s roof when I was changing the tiles on it. When he asked if it hurt, I said no, but it wasn’t true, so the Dean told me to get back on the roof and finish the job! Boy! Was he mad at me when I said I’d have to come back the next day to finish! He said it looked like it might rain.

TRIBULATION 2! Agricultural Mechanics isn’t easy after all! How about Astronomy instead? That can’t be hard. I mean, it’s just looking at stars isn’t it? I’ll change to that, with the Lord’s guidance.


ANOTHER letter from the DEAN! No wows this time:

From: Dean Ira B. Stanton, University of Alabama in Hicksville:

To: Marvin Gunk,

Re: You.

Sir or Madam,

I have concluded that your academic record is unsatisfactory. As noted in my previous communication, you have been a student in good standing throughout this academic year, yet you appear to have done no work at all during what was formerly considered your period of rustication. You have also positively stated to me that your health is good, so there is no excuse for the above mentioned inactivity.

You will attend a review in my office at 7.00 AM on Wednesday. You may not bring a representative with you.

Yours etc. I.B. Stanton

Tribulation 4: Doesn’t Agnes Schwarz know what curtains are for?

But the Lord always provides a silver lining for every cloud, as Pastor Wrigley says. The Dean wants me to dig out a swimming pool for him. If I can do a good job, he’ll let me back into his good books, Lord willing!



Ms. Pimbleman is so pleased with her new career here with the Ropkind Scharf Organization that she’s asked if she can set a competition of her own. Over to her:

Alphonsine here! As Ropkind says, here’s a little competition for you. The prize is a surprise! All you have to do is to solve the little code below. CLUE: “It’s just a step to the left”!

Okdzrd gdko ld rnldancx! H zl sqzoodc hm z sdqqhakd okzbd. Rbgzqe hr vnqrd sgzm Cqzbtkz! Sgd nmkx fnnc sghmf hr gd’r snn zqqnfzms sn cn sghr bnlodshshnm ghlrdkg. Tmrodzjzakd sghmfr zqd gzqqdmhmf! Sgd oqhyd hr ld!

I’d be so happy if you did this!



Dear Dr. Scharf, so sorry I am. My Secretary to dismiss I have had to, as she remiss was with filing and mailing, but not of filing her nails (you will forgive a small joke? It belongs to the category of humour known as puns.) But! Up to date I now am, and sending you the relevant data to date Little Vince concerning.

From the Files of Dr. Anna Kleinmann:


Kleinmann to Little Vince:

Little Vince! So fascinating to me is your case! A diagnosis following the infallible precepts of the great Freud himself already I have made. To hear it, you would like?


Sparrow to Kleinmann:

Sure. Shoot.


Kleinmann to Little Vince:

Impulses of violence such as those reflected in your last letter explore we must, but later. Now, the origins of your psychosis in the erotic we must seek. What, respectively are the states of your libido, your id, your ego and your superego?

Friends we must be! Vince, may I call you? And me, I am Anna.


Vince to Anna:

Go right ahead! I never knew all those pretty names for it! I guess it’s pretty healthy.

Vince Jarrow


Like I so do a strong man! Now, my diagnosis: Your obsession manifests itself in your occupation of records buying and selling. Round and smooth with a hole in the middle are the records you sell. When upon a turntable you place them, that metal spike the records it penetrates. This to mind recalls your unsatisfactory relationship with your mother. Repeat it endlessly, like a rotating record, you do, in a futile effort a satisfactory conclusion to come to. Life a drudgery becomes, so variety you seek in constant inner turmoil and change, but in this too you are frustrated, for your inner substance affect you cannot. This explanation, what inner feelings in you does it evoke?

Your Anna.


Vince to Anna:

Guess you lost me there Anna.

Vince Speedo

Little Vince! Sad, do not be. Normal for many patients it is, a correct diagnosis to resist. A parallel. Many other patients, their therapists they resist, in compensation, in love they fall with them. Again, a failure to confront an inner turmoil manifesting itself in a positive but irrelevant obsession. Taken by one of my former patients, a photograph of me coming out of the shower, to you I shall send? Entirely documentary, it is.

Affectionately, Anna


Vince to Anna:

Gee, that’s interesting Anna. Sure, send me a picture if you like.

Vince Quarto


Dr. Scharf! That is the present state of the correspondence, and how matters lie. More documents in time, I will send you.

Dr. A Kleinmann, Vienna