Monday, November 30, 2009

The Case of the Hidden Letter or Holy Shit This Is Fucking Awesome

Alright, before I start, I should make it very clear to any and all readers: I'm a terrible liar. Seriously, I can't lie worth a goddamn. I can spin a tale - make it absurd and ridiculous and abso-fucking-lutely unbelievable in every imaginable way - and you might be entertained. But if it came down to me simply speaking fiction and passing it off as truth, no one of sound mind and faculties would ever remotely believe me.

That being said, the following is absurd, ridiculous, and abso-fucking-lutely unbelievable in every imaginable way. And no, I'm not lying.

I had just arrived at my apartment Saturday night from the usual two hour drive from Lakeland to Gainesville, returning from another average Thanksgiving/birthday with family. I unpacked my things and replaced my newly washed bedsheets since I neither have a washer and drier here nor money to afford such luxuries. Before doing so, I had to turn my bed over; a simple task that has become habitual since I bought the mattress and box spring from a rather homely and unspectacular family when I moved for the second time in town. When involved in such simple chores like the turning of mattresses and related activities, I usually shut off most functions of my brain and revert into some sort of dusty single-task computer circa 1968. This is important to note and its relevance will be clarified shortly.

A few hours later, I was back at my apartment again, this time from a brief night out with friends. As I bent down next to my bed to plug my phone into its wall charger, I noticed a folded piece of paper. It was brown with age, slightly worn, and with writing on it. I opened it up and saw this:

It's a letter dated August 20th, 1849. My initial reaction was, "there's no way my roommate would go this far to fuck with me."

I still have no real idea where the hell it came from. The only possible explanation is that it fell from the box spring or mattress while I was turning it over, but that's barely plausible. The other possibility that's a little less plausible is that my bed is really a sentient time machine named Benton the Bed and this is our first official adventure. Yeah, that sounds better.

After reading the parts I could make out, I deduced that the writer is one John E. Holmes, former Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. The letter was for a James H. Dunbar, although I couldn't find any information on him. The letter itself is pretty congenial and dry, asking if Mr. Dunbar will be visiting Wisconsin and discussing topical events like the State Agricultural Fair in Syracuse where Mr. Holmes wishes he could see the "live President of the United States" that will be attending the event, even though he doesn't have the nicest things to say about President Taylor, "whom I consider a little the most contemptible of any who have occupied the station."


Anyway, the discussion moves towards things like his sick kid, reports of cholera, and yearly harvests. And he really milks his sentences for all they're worth, with concise zingers like "I must tell you by way of recording events."

I plan on taking it to someone a little more knowledgeable about these sorts of things tomorrow. For now, I'm going to pretend I'm Nicholas Cage and I'm about to knock National Treasure 3 out of the fucking park.

Hopefully by the time I post an update about this, I will either be rich or being chased by Confederates and then rich.

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