First Ladies' Forum
(Site manager's note: the following January 1999 Discussion Web thread began when "Brooklyn" responded to a question from "Sally a.k.a Sugar" about how to have fun. After a few grotesque proposals, "Brooklyn" suggested "two very funny books. 1. Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy (you can read this during one standing at the bookstore); 2. Flashman by George M. Fraser, somewhat apropos to the recent bombing on Bin-Laden in Afghanistan." He added, apropos of Amis:
This posting inspired a veritable flood of posting from First Ladies (and one unwise intervention by Eva Peron), of which the following are offered as samples):
MEMO TO: Brooklyn
From: Mamie Eisenhower
Ya want fun, schnoodles? I got yer fun. Right here: Fun With Your New Head by Thomas Disch. He's got another story collection called Getting Into Death.....I can recommend a comic book called Warts & All by Drew & Josh Friedman. (They're the illustrious sons of Bruce Jay.) It's a borderline-mystical experience, I can promise you. My fave piece is "Entertainment Freak." I wish to heck they'd collaborate again....
Re: MEMO TO: Brooklyn
From: Hillary Clinton
Mamie! Where in the afterlife have you been? I've missed our little chats. We have so much to catch up on. You would not believe what else Bill has put me through since we last talked. Get that Ramtha or somebody to put you through to me. Just don't let the freaks in the media find out: they don't understand our special rapport, you know, and not only will they call me nuts again, but Ken Starr is also liable to subpoena you for the impeachment hearings (Starr chats with Roy Bean regularly, and they are both terrible gossips; there'd be no keeping it out of the New Etherik Times).
You also didn't tell me you were reading the living again. Then again, both of those books by Disch are out of print, so I suppose in a way they're dead too, although their author isn't yet. Since we're on the subject, maybe you can do a little research for me. Some critics think Disch's protagonist in Descending has already slipped into the afterlife when he rouses from his book to find himself on that endless escalator. Some (mainly dead ones, I admit; I think I read this in the New Etherik Times Book Section) contend that there are no such places in the afterlife - who needs escalators when you're bodiless? - and that Disch's description only reveals his laughable ignorance of postphysical reality and his viacentrism. Have you ever seen such a thing as that escalator? hoping I don't find the answer out in person any time soon - yours sincerely - Hill
Re: MEMO TO: Brooklyn
From: E. Peron
Hillary, my poor deluded love, you're such an American!
Re: MEMO TO: Eva
From: A ticked H. Rodham Clinton (via Brooklyn)
Don't cry for me you stuffed bitch or I'll come after you (ever hear of Vince Foster) and rip out the voice box and whatever contraption that allows you to type. I'll drop you in a pond and logroll your torso. When I'm through no taxidermist either side of the equator will even think of taking you on.
Oh yeah, sorry about your neighbor, Brazil. We tried to help, sorta. Maybe when I'm the VP things will be different.
MEMO TO: Hillary
From: Pat Nixon
Dear Hillary: What can I say? I feel your pain. Gosh darn these fiendish hubbies. I gotta hand it to ya, Hillzy. You're a ballzy gal. Your heroic stoicism is unequaled on Planet Earth. But lemme tell ya something. If that hubby of yours pulls a Dick Nixon and throws a press conference and starts gibbering away about how his mother was a saint---just turn around and kick him in the nuts and fly off to Bermuda with Lee Trevino. (By the way, does Al Gore come with an extention cord or do you just recharge his power-pack at night?)
Listen hon---Mamie just succumbed to another fit of catatonic despair over the fact that Borges went blind and Beethoven went deaf and The Big Bopper died so tragically young in that fiery plane crash on The Day The Music Died. So she asked me to ghost-write for her, ha ha.
Tom Disch knows the Ethereal Realm like my butt chews gum. Do we have an escalator here? Of course not. Well, actually we used to. But The Big G got rid of it because Truman Capote kept getting his toes caught in the crack down at the bottom. I know what you're thinking. What the hell is Truman Capote doing in First Lady Limbo? How the hell should I know. All I know is that he likes to strut around here with nothing on but a leather thong and one of Jackie O's pillbox hats. And by the way, the latest gossip up here has it that Truman has been sending email bombs to all those "stinking heteros" who were rude enough to rebuff Truman's drunken romantic flirtations back during the glory days of Studio 54. So if you happen to get "bearded"---by God, it's what you damn well deserve for breaking Truman's heart.
Tom Disch wrote a preface to a Philip Dick novel that's better than the actual novel. Here's Disch on the Cuban missile crisis:
Here's Disch on a ludicrous poet named Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Here's Disch on John Updike:
Here's an Updike poem entitled "The Beautiful Bowel Movement":
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