Dear sir and/or madame,
Salutations, I am GRIMHELM WORMTONGUE, The son of late Counsellor Grima Wormtongue of the Kingdom of Rohan.
My father was Chief Counsellor [equivalent to Prime Minister] to late lamented king Theoden of Rohan. In his position my father altogether legally and correctly acquired significant assets throughout Rohan in order to protect the Kingdom from enemy forces within and without.
In the course of lamentable events succeeding, my father was illegally deprived of office and expelled from the Kingdom. Before this he had with foresight already entirely legally deposited the sum of M.500,000,000,000 in gold with the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith). While in exile in the north he was assaulted and murdered by a band of northern pigmies. His family was obliged to seek refuge in northern Dunland among some of our sympathisers.
My father left to me all documents necessary to retrieve the sum of gold aforesaid from the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith). However, in the current political circumstances my solicitor believes it unwise for me to attempt to make the trip from Dunland to Minas Tirith, and has recommended that I seek a trustworthy foreign business partner into whose account this money could be tranferred. This appears to be the best option as we are unable to open an account in Dunland. Therefore we are seeking your trustworthy assistance and cooperation.
You will provide information about your account that will enable a deposit to be made in your name. I will contact the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith) and inform them that the money is to be placed into your account. Upon completion of the transaction your share of the proceeds will be 15% net following deduction of all transfer fees, that is M. 75,000,000,000. If the transaction goes well we also look forward to maintaining you as a profitable business partner for future ventures.
It goes without saying that I can expect your complete confidence and secrecy in keeping this matter under wraps prefatory to completion.
Please reach me at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and ERU bless.
MR. GRIMHELM WORMTONGUE.
A MESSAGE FROM HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Britain & Ireland, Queen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and her other realms and territories, Defender of the Faith.
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the reputedly 'United' States of America and thus to govern yourselves in proper and orderly fashion and not cause annoyance to the rest of the world, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Majesty will resume the Crown's duties over all US states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy and has given to her Government of Grenada in compensation for your invasion of 1983, and New Jersey, which we can't give away).
Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor-General of America without the need for further elections.
The House of Representatives and the Senate (aka 'Congress') is immediately disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed or care.
To aid in the transition to a Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
( ... )
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
Please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with due respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or of their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Australia great. Not to imply that Australia is necessarily greater than any other country. And without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.
By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
Or if that's too much reading, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
The Middle Wife (By an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher)
I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcomed to.
Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.
She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday. First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."
She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.
"Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, oh, oh, oh!' " Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.
"She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!'" Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.
"My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.
"And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" This kid has her legs spread and with her little hands are miming water flowing away. It was too much!
"Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe…' They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff, they all said it was from Mom's play-centre, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there."
Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.
I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, if it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another Erica comes along.
I am well. Hope you are. Tell me big brothers Doug and Phil the Army is better than working on the farm - tell them to get into the Army quick before the jobs are all gone.
I was a bit slow in settling down at first, because you don't get outta bed until 6am. I like sleeping in now, but.
All you do before brekky is make ya bed and shine your boots and clean your uniform. No cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack - nothing.
Men must shave, but its not so bad, coz there's hot water and a light to see what ya doing.
Breakfast has cereal, fruit and eggs but there's no kangaroo steaks or possum stew. You don't get fed again until noon, and by that time all the city boys are buggered because we've been on a 'route march' - just like walking to the windmill in the back paddock.
This will kill Doug and Phil with laughter. I keep getting medals for shooting - dunno why. The bullseye is as big as a bloody possum's head and it doesn't move and its not firing back at ya like the Johnsons did when our bull got their cow pregnant before the Ekka. Alls ya gotta do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target - piece of piss. You don't even load your own cartridges - they comes in boxes and ya don't have to steady yourself against the rollbar of the roo-shooting truck when you reload.
Then ya gotta wrestle with the city boys and I gotta be real careful coz they break easy - its not like fighting with Doug and Phil and Jack and Boori and Steve all at once like we do.
Turns out I'm not a bad boxer either and it looks like I'm the best the platoon's got, and I've only been beaten by this guy from 5RAR - he's 6 foot 8 and 13 stone and I'm 5 foot 6 and 7 stone, but I fought to the end.
I can't complain about the Army - tell the boys to get in quick before word gets around how good it is.
Your loving daughter,