I was sitting here in front of the keyboard for I don’t know how long wondering which of my email buddies I would write to first. Then in a true eureka moment I thought I would reply to my emails, this one time, through The Nation. It’ll save time and money for everybody and at the same time you, the lonely reader, can have, if you wish, a glimpse into a little thing I like to to call my life.

Dear soandso@hotmail.com.
Thanks for your kind email of tonight. I’m glad to hear things are well for you in both your family and sex lives. That’s always the type of news I like to hear from people in my travels. I have to keep this short so I’ll end by saying, keep up your good works and don’t worry about that one dollar you mentioned. I will ask for it first thing tomorrow evening when I get up. Cheers and write back.

Dear mmmuhnhmm@sympatico.ca,
Always good to hear from you even though you always say the same thing. I know Jesus is the Lord and the end is near – you don’t have to keep saying it. They were saying that long before we had email, buddy, so let’s not loose hair over it. We are good people, most of the time, and good people go to Heaven to be with Jesus. We have nothing to fear. Thanks for all the laughs and your thoughtful prayers.

Dear mumble@sprint.ca,
I told you I would make it to the North. Here I am up North and I still haven’t tasted goose yet. You were partly right though I did have a hard time. It took me two days to get here. I am only now, three days later, recovering from the ordeal. It was awful my trip, and I take full responsibility for it. I should have called the airline and confirmed everything. Because I didn’t I passed through almost every Cree village except my final destination, Nemaska. I ended up instead in Val d’Or on a Friday night. I know that sounds very exciting to you as you haven’t yet had the pleasure. You really should go one time and visit its number-one Cree attraction, the legendary bar Chateau Louis. Anybody who’s anybody ends up there even if they don’t drink or have money. The best time to go is any Friday night if you want to… well… do as the Romans do. If you’re interested in only its sociological significance then go on an off night. But that’s never fun. Just depressing. Take for instance what took place the night previous. A group of women started to fight violently. I don’t know for what good reason. It could have been men, money. Erica Kane finally winning her daytime Emmy or they were just bored because it wasn’t Friday. Probably all of the above. No fights, thank heaven, broke out while I was there. Just the normal Friday night atmosphere. Everyone drinking nicely, laughing, talking, dancing and sneaking off to the toilet for God knows what.

I made it out late the next day in reasonably good shape and arrived in Chibougamau late. From there my friend Roger and I drove to Nemaska. It took us an impossibly long five hours for what’s usually a three-hour trip. Maybe it’s because I was doing the driving. Oh yes, I lost a bottle of cheap wine and a bottle of beer at the police station when someone opened my “suspicious looking” duffel bag. Suspicious I suppose because it was heavy and full of fragile stickers from the plane trip. The police deny any knowledge as to the whereabouts of my belongings. But they did, when I went to retrieve my bag, demand to speak to me alone. I asked if I was under arrest. They said no. I asked if they had a warrant. They said no. I told them Roger, who was with me, was my lawyer and I didn’t feel like talking to them. Especially not alone. That’s when I saw my open bag sitting in the station with a few articles of my dirty laundry strewn about. I felt violated. Did you know our cops get trained by the SQ? Scary isn’t it? I mean, isn’t that a bit like the Polish constabulary getting trained by the Gestapo?

Anyway… I’m rambling on a bit too long here so I’ll say heil to you and we’ll see each other soon and talk more about the goose-stepping up here.

Dear ****@aol.com

Thanks for the care you took in crafting your letter of this evening. It’s refreshing to see an email without atrocious spelling, non-existent punctuation and paragraphs. I’ve mentioned this before to you and I’ll say it again; email has the potential to revive the dying art of letter writing which the telephone and Canada Post almost destroyed. But still too many people don’t bother to dot their I’s and cross their T’s when emailing. I know it makes me sound like some tight-ass grammar teacher for saying that but I always find it annoying. So, thank you again and please write back if you get this.