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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ransom Letters and Scandinavian Pygmy Hippos


 
 

Ransom letters are the one segment of literature that I sincerely believe do not get the attention they deserve.

"Literature?" you scoff. "C'mon. Give me a break."

Ahem, according to Wikipedia—which as we all know is the gold standard for providing unbiased and completely accurate information to the masses—the definition of LITERATURE is “Acquaintance with Letters.”   Can you think of something that better fits that description than a ransom letter? Or someone more acquainted with letters than a guy who cuts them out one at a time? I think not!


“Is this post supposed to be funny, Steve? Or did something happen that made you think of this topic for your blog?”

Oh, I’m glad you asked, strange voice in the back of my head for which my medication is failing to silence. The answer is that it started out as something I thought might be good for a chuckle. But then something did indeed happen. My wife. My dear, sweet, beautifully pregnant wife left this RANSOM NOTE on my desk.

You might think this is just a simple reminder to buy some milk. Maybe milk is on sale at Safeway and "319" is the price. Well, you'd be WRONG! That’s just what she wants you to think. It’s a ransom, plain as day! You know what’s especially chilling about this Ransom Letter? There’s no explicit threat. I don’t know what she has of mine, or what she’s going to do with it if I don’t comply. There’s just a demand for which a consequence is implied.

You see it right? The heavy pen strokes. The utter lack of punctuation. The underlined “TODAY” and then "Safeway 319," which clearly means that the "Safe way" is to comply to her demands by 3:19. That, or 3:19 is a cryptic reference to some obscure bible passage that metaphors my death in some way (ransom-note writers are always referencing the bible).

As you can imagine, I got the milk. I got two jugs of it. Because let’s face it, pregnant women are lovely but aren’t exactly known for having predictable moods, and often they’re only one more "random stranger-touching-their-stomach" away from murdering someone. 

I started thinking about ransom notes and decided to don my magic goggles and see what I could discover on the internet.

EXHIBIT A and EXHIBIT B:  Kids and ransom letters.

I'm going to pretend these are real and say that clearly the kids who wrote them are independent, free-thinking, and resourceful youngsters.  I applaud the parenting. Well done! 

EXHIBIT C: Ransom demand for inanimate objects (Sunglasses)

This one is a bit long winded, but I do like the threats at the end!

EXHIBIT D: Ransom for animal


This is actually the query letter that landed me my agent. FYI: Literary agents are notorious owners of zebra’s and other exotic pets - mine owns a Scandinavian Pygmy Hippo ;). If used right this one can be highly effective.


Any thoughts on ransom letters? Do you have something of mine for which you'd like to demand a ransom? Do you have a link to some other good ones (by good I mean fake. Most real ones aren't very funny)?  Feel fee to comment.

20 comments:

Naoko Haga said...

Hahaha. Congrts on the new baby steve. Very funny post. my sides is hurt.

Jen said...

Love the Santa ones. Thanks for the laugh!

annie said...

Dude, that's awesome. I'd like to spend a few minutes in your head. Your posts are hallarious.

Laura Josephsen said...

Hahahaha. Having had kids myself, I sympathize with your milk ransom note plight. Or the plight that led your wife to write it. ;)

The expression on Santa's face in that pic is priceless. :D

Paul Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Joseph said...

Well, if you add the 319 together, the sum of the digits is 13. And we all know that 13 is percieved to be unlucky. I, of course, do not beleive that superstition. That's why I would never notice the sum of 319 is 13. Or 346. Or 1237. Or 7213, which also ends in 13.

Okay, my OCD is revealed. Just get the milk, buddy :)

That Santa one is PRICELESS!

(And yes, I just corrected my typos from the previous post!)

Donna K. Weaver said...

ROFL - you absolutely made my day! Those were fabulous (but to be honest, your struck through comment about your wife was the best).

Thanks!

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

This just got funnier the further I scrolled down the page. Thanks for the laugh!

Nina Powers said...

Happy Father's Day Steve! It's my guess that this won't be the last ransom note left for you.

Nina

Rachel Hansen said...

So funny! I need to find a magazine and make a ransom note now. By the way where did you get your magic goggles cause I think I got mine at Safeway on sale and I want to upgrade.
Love your site and how did you luck out to get such a cool name?

linda said...

LOL this is so cute! Thanks for sharing :)

Steven Whibley said...

Thanks for all the comments, guys :) Much appreciated.

@Rachel, Thanks I can't remember what names I had wanted for the blog but T.T.P. was down the list a ways. Glad you like it. Oh, and my magic goggles, were won in Cambodia during an underground game of Mahjong. That was before I realized you could just buy them at Safeway!

@Paul, LOL I think you figured out not only what my wife was thinking with the 319, but perhaps also the secret location of the holy grail! Well done, sir! ;)

@Donna, That comment was struck through as a means of self-preservation, I'm horrified that it's still readable! ;P

Steven Whibley said...

@Alisha, have you had Safeway milk? it's far superior to, say, milk from superstore or costco. A little known fact for you: Safeway doesn't sell milk produced by cows. Cow milk is so passé. At Safeway the milk is from Scandinavian Pygmy Hippos.

Honey said...

LOL Steve---this was great! My girls have left Santa a death threat once. In return on Christmas morning Santa responded with a threat of his (my) own. "Santa travels the world and picks up things along the way," he said. "Santa collects strange pets sometimes. Snakes, scorpions and an occasional deadly spider. Be careful opening your gifts."

I call that catch-back! Take it from me... if you ever get another ransom letter from your wife, heed it's warning! I've been there and the end result is nothing nice for you! LOL

Stephen L. Duncan said...

Brilliant. I actually laughed out loud!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha ha ha! Hilarious! Loved the animal one. Thanks for putting me in a great mood and I hope you had a wonderful Fathers Day!! ;)

Melanie said...

hahaha...this is very funny. you are a VERY smart man. get the milk, no questions asked. :D

~Charity~ said...

Very nice! Gave me a good laugh. Thanks for checking out my blog, btw.

L.J. said...

Hilarious!! Thanks for the laugh!!

Jeff King said...

It was a great post... thx.
Congrats on the new baby BTW. Kids change us forever, and I am thankful for it.

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