Letter to a Dickhead

Scan 55

Sarah’s first impressions of the previous owner of a book she bought from a pretty brilliant sale: the biggest preloved book sale in existence. 

Dear Previous Owner of My Newly Bought Second Hand Copy of Catch-22,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you. That doesn’t change the fact that somehow, you have haunted me like that particular episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog with the siren. Somehow, through your old book, your ghostly aura has anally fucked my innocent self over. I despise you. Whoever you are, that is.

Let me tell something though, I have a dream. In this particular fantasy, I will hunt you down and hold my freshly sharpened ice cream scoop to your bulging adam’s apple. If you don’t have one now, do not fret. When I find you, you will basically be shitting yourself shitless and you honestly will not be able to summon the power of speed necessary to swallow. You’ll just have a frozen adam’s spitsicle protruding from your neck instead. And when I am threatening you with my gorging weapon of choice, I will whisper into your trembling ear, “whose signature is it?”

You may be perplexed at my agitation. Catch-22 is a classic piece of literature, a good investment for a reader, a wonderfully pleasing installment onto anyone’s bookcase. Especially considering that this particular copy is a tastefully discolored and weathered edition with all pages intact. To my eyes, there is only one maddening flaw.

Turn to the inside cover. The very first page. Care to tell me what that is? That audacious scribble in blue biro. Don’t you dare give me any steaming bullshit about Heller signing it himself. I have googled his squiggle sir/madam and it is a finely executed ‘Joseph Heller’. It is nothing like this incoherent mess. Oh what, he was busy that day with all his groupies and had to shorten it for convenience and signed messily as he was in a hurry. A LIKELY STORY. But for your sake, I sure hope so.

To be perfectly honest, I hope you are not a sick monster that finds joy in fucking with future owners of your books by signing them yourself, as if you wrote it yourself. As if you have a right to. I hope that this signature is a direct link to one of the greatest writers of the past century. I also hope that Heller never discovers that one of his readers would shit their fellows of the clan like this. Because if it is true, that you did do it; where does that leave the rest of us readers? If it is true, I urge you to prepare yourself. Shit just got real.

I look forward to our encounter.


Sarah Simpkins


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