Dear Mr. M. Horowitz,
My name is Mary Daisy Dinkle and I am 8 years old, 3 months and 9 days. My favorite color is brown and my favorite food is sweet condensed milk followed closely by chocolate. I have a rooster called Ethel that looks like this. He doesn’t lay eggs but will one day. My mother likes smoking, cricket and sherry and my father likes playing in his shed with dead birds.
Where do babies come from in America? Do they come from cola cans? In Australia they are found in beer glasses. Here is a drawing of me. I can’t draw ears proper but I’m good at teeth.
It would be great if you could write back and be my friend.
Sincerely, Mary Daisy Dinkle
PS. I hope you like the chocolate bar. I’m also sending. It’s called a Cherry Ripe.
Dear Mary Daisy Dinkle,
Thank you for the letter, which I opened and read at 9:17 p.m. after my Overeaters Anonymous class. I am trying to lose weight because my psychiatrist, Dr Bernard Hazelhof says a healthy body equals a healthy mind. He says my mind is not that healthy. Your drawing is an interesting visual portrayal of yourself. I have never met anyone from Australia.
Firstly, I will answer your question. Unfortunately, in America, babies are not found in cola cans. I asked my mother when I was four and she said they came from eggs laid by rabbis. If you aren’t Jewish, they’re laid by Catholic nuns. If you’re an atheist, they’re laid by dirty, lonely prostitutes. So this is where babies come from in America.
I share my home with a fish, some snails, whom I have named after famous scientists…a parakeet called Mr. Biscuit and, finally, a cat called Hal. ‘Hal’ is an abbreviation for halitosis, from which he suffers. He followed me home after a gang of children shot his eye out with a beebee gun. Do you have a pet kangaroo?
When I was born, my father left my mother and me on a kibbutz. She shot herself with my uncle’s gun when I was six.
Do you like chocolate hotdogs? I invented the recipe for them and can send it to you. When I was young, I invented an invisible friend called Mr. Ravioli. My psychiatrist says I don’t need him anymore so he just sits in the corner and reads.
Last week I picked up 128 cigarette butts. People are always littering in New York. I do not understand why people break laws. Butts are bad because they wash out to sea and fish smoke them and become nicotine dependent. I am just joking because, of course, it is impossible for a cigarette to remain lit underwater. Also, fish do not have pockets to keep cigarette lighters in.
I am 44 years old and have 8 tracksuits the same color and size. I weigh 352 pounds…and am as tall as a 6-foot tree. I enjoy entering the lottery and have chosen the same numbers for 9 years. Those numbers are 3…5…6…9…11…and 12. I have had many different jobs during my life. My first job was collecting subway tokens in the subway. My second job was at Yiddel’s Gourmet Kosher Supplies where I worked at the machine that made pre-packaged noodle kugels. I was born Jewish and used to believe in God but I’ve since read many books that have proven God is just a figment of my imagination. People like to believe in God because it answers complicated questions like where did the universe come from, do worms go to heaven…and why do old ladies have blue hair? Even though I’m an atheist, I still wear my yarmulke as it keeps my brain warm. My third job was for a company that printed logos on novelty items. I worked at the frisbee printing machine. A frisbee is a circular plastic disc that people throw at each other. It is like a boomerang but it does not come back. My fourth job was when I was called up for jury duty. I didn’t get paid much but got free cookies and coffee. Jurors are outstanding members of the community who haven’t murdered anybody. I made it to the short list for a trial where a man killed all his friends at his own surprise birthday party. Unfortunately, I didn’t get selected because they found out I’d been a mental patient at one point.
Have you ever been hang gliding? My fifth job was as a garbage collector. I got to clean up after litterbugs and didn’t have to talk to anybody. Sometimes I used to pretend I was an intergalactical robot. One time the police took me in for questioning but let me go when they decided I wasn’t a threat to anybody except myself. The sixth job I had was for the United States Army in the stationery supply department. Because I am good with numbers I had to work out how many ballpoint pens the Army needed. One day they did a security check and asked whether I was a member of any radical groups. I told them I was a member of the New York Science Fiction Fan Club. They said this didn’t count but dismissed me anyway.
Fortunately, I did not remember to tell them I was once a communist. Have you ever been a communist?
Have you ever been attacked by a crow or similar large bird? When I was 9, a crow attacked me on my way to school. I had to have three stitches and in spring I now wear a helmet with eyes I have painted on. People laugh at me when I wear my helmet. I’m not sure why. People often confuse me but I try not to let them worry me.
New York is a very busy and noisy place. I would prefer to live somewhere much quieter like the moon. I don’t like crowds, bright lights, sudden noises or strong smells. New York has all these especially the smells. I often wear nose and ear plugs when I go outside. It helps keep me calm. I find humans interesting but I have trouble understanding them.
I think, however, I will understand and trust you. You appear very happy and I think you would smell like a shrimp as I know Australia has a lot of shrimps.
Can you speed-read? I have taught myself to read two pages at once – one eyeball per page.
I have to go now even though I have not told you about my 7th job, in a condom factory.
Write back soon. Your American friend,
Max Jerry Horowitz
PS. Please find enclosed a photo from one of those booths.
PPS. Thank you for the Cherry Ripe and I am glad you like chocolate as much as I do. I have never eaten sweetened condensed milk but I will try some this week.
PPPS. I have never used a condom.
I’m so excited you’ve wroted back. I don’t think my parents like you so from now on send stuff to my neighbor Len Hislop at 26 Lamington Drive, Mt Waverley. He’s old with no legs. They got chewed off in World War Ⅱ when some Japanese peoples kept him in a cage above piranhas. Piranhas are goldfish that have teeth. He’s scared of outside, which is a disease called homophobia. He’s started giving me 50 cents a week to get his mail. I’m saving to buy a castle in Scotland and marry a man called Earl Grey.
Do you get’s the Noblets’ in America? Well, my favorite Noblet is Vanity Noblet. He wants to be everyone’s friend, even the boys’! In your letter, you said you had no friends. Well, neither do I. yesterday at school, Bernie Clifford weed on my spam sandwich and called me poo face cause of my birthmark. I wish I could peel it off like a bandaid. He also laughed cause I had no buttons. Ethel pecked them off and mum couldn’t thread a needle cause she’d been testing the sherry, so she used pegs instead. When I got home, I climbed into my secret place till dinner time.
The other kids also laugh at my haircut. Dad has to cut my hair because mum says real hairdressers sell your hair to Chinamen who stuff mattresses. My teacher, Mrs. Pendergast, says I should smile more. I told my mum and so she drawed a big smile on me. I don’t think Mrs. Pendergast likes me anymore.
I better go now. My tears are smudgling my words.
Your friend in Australia,
Mary Daisy Dinkle.
PS. Have you ever been teased? Can you help me?
PSS. I’ve never been hang gliding before or been a communist but would love a frisbee and your recipe for chocolate hotdogs.
PSSS. I’m sending you some Australian chocolate, a pompom I made and a cake called a lamington, which I was meant to eat for lunch.
Dear Mary Daisy Dinkle,
Thank you for your letter, chocolate bar, lamington and pompom. The chocolate got crushed, so I blended the bits with milk and ice-cream and now I am drinking it right now.
After much thought, I think I have a solution to your teasing. Tell Bernie Clifford your birthmark is made of chocolate, which means when you get to the heaven you will be in charge of all the chocolate. This of course is a lie. I do not like lies but in this case I think it will be of benefit. I wish I could be in charge of all the chocolate, but, of course, I cannot because of my atheism.
My neighbor Ivy is also an atheist. She doesn’t talk much but makes me very good soup on Sunday nights. She is partly blind and sometimes I find her hair in my soup. I do not tell her as Dr. Bernard Hazelhof says this would be impolite.
Here is a list of what I eat on the other nights. Mondays- Glicks Potato Knish, Tuesdays- Yiddels Noodle Kugel, Wednesdays- Captain Salty’s Fishstix, Thursdays- Yentls Cheezy Blintz and Fridays- chicken nuggets. On Saturday nights I create my own recipes. Last week I invented canned spaghetti hamburgers. Recipes are like mathematical equations. Dr. Bernard Hazelhof told me you should never weigh more than your refrigerator and to never eat anything bigger than your head. I once ate a watermelon bigger than my head but not all at once. Do you have any weight loss suggestions? My Overeaters Anonymous meetings don’t seem to be working and just make me tense.
It would be good if there was a Fat Fairy. She would be a bit like the Tooth Fairy but would suck out your fat.
Ivy says she is only a ‘little bit’ blind but I think she is very blind. She should get a cane like other vision-impaired people. She could make the end pointy and collect rubbish at the same time. I think I will write a letter to the Mayor and suggest this. He will be very impressed. Ivy says she doesn’t need a cane because she has a good sense of smell. She says she could find me with her eyes stapled shut. She says I smell like liquorice and old books. I think she smells like cough medicine and urine. I have never told her this as Dr. Bernard Hazelhof said this would also be impolite.
People often think I am tactless and rude. I cannot understand how being honest can be… improper. Maybe this is why I don’t have any friends of course except for you. A real friend has been one of my three goals in life. The other two are to own every Noblet and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Dr. Bernard Hazelhof says it is good to have goals but not stupid ones like mine.
I have now run out of things to tell you.
Please, write soon.
Your friend in America,
Max Jerry Horowitz.
PS. Do not worry about not smiling. My mouth hardly ever smiles but it does not mean I am not smiling inside my brain.
PPS. Please find enclosed a frisbee, some chocolate pop rocks, which you should eat with cola, and an illustration of a turtle from one of my National Geographics.
PPPS. Did you know that turtles can breathe through their anuses?
When I told Bernie Clifford I’ll be in charge of all the chocolate in heaven and he wouldn’t get any, he cried. I also hided some dog’s poo in his bit of the sandpit.
Your advice was great and I’ve got a job delivering pamphlets so I can save to come and see you.
I am sad to hear you are fat. Mum says I am fat too and I’m growing up to be a heifer, which I think is a type of cow. Maybe you should only eat things beginning with the letter of each day. On Mondays you could only eat milkshakes, marshmallows and…mustard. For my birthday, my mum baked a cake and dad gave me a camera. I hope you like the photos I sent. The first one is of Ethel, who ate some tinsel. The next one is one of myself after ate the Chocolate Pop Rocks with the cola, like you said. Next is Len. He’s still trying hard not to be afraid of outside and conquer his homophobia. The next one is of dad in his shed, and then one of the times I covered mum while she was asleep in her stickers that help her stop smoking. Next, when I got my slinky caught in my hair. Then one of the times Sonny digged up his wife, Cher. And, finally, a photo of my other neighbor Damian Popodopolous. He’s a Greek and smells like lemon dishwashing liquid and his skin is smooth, like the back of a spoon. Mum says he’s a wog and has a stutter and can’t even say his own surname. She says you have to hit him on the back of the head to get his words out.
I wish he was my boyfriend and we can be in love and do sexing like Katherine Ramsay told me behind the bike shed. She said it’s when two people go nuddy and rub on each other to make babies. I told her she’s a liar and would go to hell and burn like toast cause babies really come from beer glasses and eggs laid by rabbits and nuns and prosti-tubes. She said ladies get knocked up and bake babies in their stomachs for 2 years till they spurt out their vag-eye-ners with blood and tinned spaghetti.
Have you got a girlfriend, Max, or some wives? Have you done sexing? Valentine’s Day is soon and I want to give Damian a present so he can love me. Can you explain love and how I can be loved?
Dear Mary Daisy Dinkle,
There is something I have to tell you which will explain why I have not written. Each time I received one of your letters, I had a serve anxiety attack. This is because recently, while I was in a mental institution, they diagnosed that I have a new thing called Asperger’s syndrome, which is a neurobiological, pervasive, developmental disability. I prefer ‘Aspie’ for short. I will now list some of the traits of an Aspie. No.1- I find the world very confusing and chaotic because my mind is very literal and logical. 2- I have trouble understanding the expressions on people’s faces. When I was younger, I made a book to help me when I was confused. I still have trouble with some people. Ivy was hard to understand because of her wrinkles and because her eyebrows weren’t real. 3- I have bad handwriting, and hypersensitive…clumsy and can get very concerned. 4- I like solving problems. Ivy said this is a good thing. And finally No. 5- I have trouble expressing my emotions.
Dr. Bernard Hazelhof says my brain is defective but one day there will be a cure for my disability. I do not like it when he says this. I do not feel disabled, defective or I need to be cured. I like being an Aspie. It would be like trying to change the color of my eyes. There is one thing I wish I could change, however. I wish I could cry properly. I squeeze and squeeze but nothing…comes out. I cry when I cut onions but this does not count.
Anyway, do you like the word ‘cumquat’? it is a type of fruit. Do you have a favorite sounding word? My top 5 are ointment, bumblebee, Vladivostok, banana and testicle. I have also invented some new words- ‘confuzzled’, which is being confused and puzzled at the same time, ‘snirt’, which is a cross between snow and dirt and ‘smushables’… which are squashed groceries you find at the bottom of the bag. I have sent a letter to the Oxford Dictionary people asking them to in clued my words but I have not heard back.
It is now time for me to go to my Overeaters Anonymous meeting. There is a woman there called Marjorie Buttersworth who confuzzled me. She kisses me without my permission so tonight I have decided to rub onions under my armpits to repel her.
Your friend in America,
Max Jerry Horowitz.
PS. Please find enclosed some chocolate-covered ants I found at the deli.
PPS. Not much has happened since I last wrote except for my manslaughter charges, lotto win and Ivy’s death.
I have been such a idiot. I’ve wasted all my money on something pointless when I should have been saving to see you. I know love upsets you so I won’t go on about it. All I want to say is that love is obviously not for me. I hope you are well and enjoy the chocolate cigarettes I’ve enclosed.
Our wedding day was everything I have ever dreamt, making up for the terrible year I’ve had. Although all the guests were Damian’s family and friends, I felt very welcome.
Damian is so perfect. He even made my wedding dress. And for our honeymoon he took me to Mykonos his favorite island in Greece. I got to ride a donkey and found the perfect gift for Len. Poor Len, he’s still struggling with his agoraphobia. Damian and I are so similar. He even has his own pen-friend, who lives on a sheep farm in New Zealand.
I am very proud to give you the very first copy of my book about your disability and the hopes that we have to one day cure it. Even more exciting is that I am finally coming to meet and celebrate with you in one week’s time. I’m also going to give you half the royalties.
Your loving friend,
PS. Please find enclosed some chocolate-coated Swiss almonds. you say you realy love this movie.
you are not mary,i am not max.
you are my W.