Modern Humorist - Lake Wobegon Daze
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Ron Popeil
Ronco Corporation

Dear Mr. Popeil:

Greetings from Lake Wobegon, my hometown, on the edge of the prairie where the leaves are darkening towards autumn, Mrs. Nubersborgen’s lumbago has thankfully taken a much-welcomed turn for the better, and my godforsaken Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler doesn’t work for shit!

In your televised information commercial, you have made promises, Mr. Popeil. You promised me perfect French toast, flawless omelettes, and hard-boiled eggs with no center yolk. Upon using your product, splattering the eggy mess across my kitchen walls in a manner that Jackson Pollock would have appreciated, these promises were broken, and in Lake Wobegon, broken promises are like our women after a ten-month winter: hairy, horny, and nothing to be trifled with.

You see, Mr. Popeil, I am a homely man. Oh, I have my blessings to be sure: a fine wit; a speaking voice pitched in soothing dulcet tones; warm, hazel-tinted eyes; a listener-supported public radio show; the ability to spin humorous monologues out of the most mundane existence of simple Midwesterners — I could go on if pressed — but by far my greatest blessing is my wife, who is of Nordic extraction, and a beautiful, downy-thighed marvel in our marital bed and, to be sure, a lover of well-scrambled eggs.

If I was a handsome man, or buff as our simpleton Governor Ventura, I would not have such concern over making sure that yolk and white are blended into a seamless batter, dusted with pepper and paprika, and stirred across a hot skillet until cooked just past runny to firm and fluffy, and finally plated next to two, golden Powdermilk Biscuits to be served in bed in conjunction with a blend of freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, just as my love likes it.

But I am not handsome. I often wear suspenders and a bowtie. Have you seen my glasses? I have breasts. Do I look like I can afford to bring my wife shell-sharded eggs? Let me ask you this: Do you anticipate a time when lutefisk is a staple of the menu at Le Cirque?

I trust that my point is clear.

That’s the news from Lake Wobegon where all the women are strong, all the men (excepting me, of course) are good looking, all the children are above average, and you owe me $19.95 plus shipping and handling.


Garrison Keillor

More by John Warner:
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Part-Way Pilot

by John Warner with Kevin Guilfoile:
Bombing with Jai al-Leno
My First Presidentiary

More literary correspondence:
The Britney Papers
Tom Wolfe: Mauve Gloves and Manual Typewriters
Joan Didion vs. Spambot

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