Mail Bag from 1996

And now from the ol’ mail bag… (Piranhaclb@AOL.com. I’m sorry, but it’s impossible to answer all the mail personally. I read them all. I swear)
• Mr. Grace: I’d like to tell you that I stopped reading your strip because my company moved me from Denver to Charlotte, where they don’t have the cultural appreciation of such fine works of art as Ernie. The awful truth is that I stopped reading it because it has too many words. Can’t you be more like the guy who draws “Where’s Waldo,” or, better yet, the person who draws “Harold?” These guys communicate so much with just pictures, they hardly ever need words. People nowadays don’t have time to read. Gary Trudeau still hasn’t learned. As a result, nobody under the age of thirty reads Doonesbury. I’d hate to see such a fine, upstanding cartoonist as you suffer the same fate. Yours, Bill :>)
1. Good suggestion, Bill. As a matter of fact, I think people should stop reading altogether.
• I have not enjoyed a comic strip so much since Our Boarding House went out of circulation in the 1950’s. Ernie is EVERYMAN and we all know uncle Sid from the family tree. I got so damn mad when the Spokane Review dropped your strip, I fired off a nasty letter to the editor and I quit my subscription for 3 weeks. I even went on a hunger strike, but that never panned out because I have a tendency to snack between meals. My wife can’t see any humor in the strip, so keep up the good work!
1. Major Hoople was one of my favorites. By the way, I have a cousin in Spokane- Jeff Smith. Big tall guy. Likes to ski.
• Hi Bud, or whoever reads this message! Why is the piranha club hompage so not good looking? It looks like something up Arnold’s nose! Fix it please! Make a colorful background, change the color of the text and a little more images on the pages. Yours, Swedish member 3035 Theo Hultberg Sen Money
1. Nah. I like it cheesy.
• Bud – Hi!! Re todays (8/12/96) strip – does Effie prepare her Octopus A’La Brutsie with or without the fresh mint. Now I know this may seem frivolus to you, but trust me it is important. Contests, not to say reputations have hung on less. Please let me have the complete recipe as soon as possible – unless, of course it’s a family secret – in which case, please send Uncle Sid’s e-mail address and price. We’ve also been giving serious thought to a charitable purpose to the local club. Perhaps installing stocked fish tanks at hospitials and other institutions with, of course,a tastful brass plaque from the doners. Judy
1. This is from Judy “Fingers” Tuchman, member of the Washington Piranha Club. I think the aquarium idea is about the best idea I’ve heard in years. As soon as we get some money let’s look into it.
• Hi, I like ernie. I want to become a pirahna club member but I don’t want to spend $11.99 ALL I want to spend is $0.00. Is that enought, can you make an exception for me? I read ernie every day in the tribune!
1. No.
• Yes, as unlikely as it might seem, Ernie and friends are alive and well and living on the pages og our local daily rag here in Durban, SA. I thought it might interest you to know that a couple of years ago said rag announced that, after an extensive survey, they had decided to discontinue publishing Ernie, as only a very small amount of their readers read the strip. Hahaha – the survey must have been done on two semi-lobotomised rats. The outraged flood of correspondence forced Ernie’s re-instatement. I think it was because one of the correspondents threatened to force the Editor’s daughter to marry Arnold Arnoldski. Speakking of which, Arnold is without doubt my favourite character and I’d love to get hold of the stories about him and the chicken he had to take to the dance. Also the Shmarmy Mahatmacote (or whatever) stories where Arnold started levitating, not to mention the cylicone head implant stories – and what about the Emu….kick me now before I never stop. I’m seriously looking into a local Piranha Club chapter. If you get any other fan mail from my corner of the world, maybe you could forward it to me? I suppose it would be like a perverse dating service, wouldn’t it? Cheers for now. Marius Nell mnell@nbs.co.za
1. I heard about the newspaper incident when it happened. I understand the paper printed a front page story about it. I suppose this web address has been announced in Durbin. If so and if there’s anybody interested, give Marius an email. (I even gave him a link)
• We discussed Sid’s next door neighbor Henslow in D.C. Since Bayonne’s populace (sid’s mileau) isn’t so big, maybe the Rev. Bob HENSLOW will be in a story with Bayonne’s mayor. New Jersey is in court now trying to get Ellis Island from New York. How about Sid trying to buy back Manhattan using a consortium of investors (a la Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom from The Producers).
1. Michael, Michael, Michael! Rev. Bob is not Henslow. Granted, they do kind of look alike. For those of you who don’t know, Henslow is Sid’s next door neighbor. I ought to bring him back.
• Thanks for Ernie. Since the demise of Calvin and Hobbes it has jumped to number 1 on my Hit Parade (it was never lower than # 2). One thing I’d like to know. I heard your formal training was as a nuclear engineer. Is this true? If so how in the world did you get into Ernie? By the way, after seeing your picture I see where Sid comes from.
1. WHY IN THE WORLD IS EVERYBODY SO CRAZY ABOUT CALVIN AND HOBBES?!! I’M SICK OF IT!! DO YOU HEART ME?!! SICK OF IT!!!
• Dear Mr. Grace, From the strip of Thursday, 8/15: Sid: “I got to admit it…the old guy is svelte.” From the American Heritage Dictionary svelte (svelt) adj. Slender or graceful in figure or outline; slim. Maybe Sid meant to say the old guy is… suave (swŠv) adj. Smoothly agreeable and courteous. Anyway, “Ernie” is still the funniest strip in the paper. Best regards (from a former resident of the “real” Bayonne). Yours Truly , Tom Hackett
1. I feel better now. Tom- Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, def.#2: ” suave, polished, etc” Tom can’t help it folks. He’s from Bayonne. He also wasn’t around in the 50’s when that usage of “svelte” was more or less common.
• Bo, My daughter and I are faithful readers, nobody else here understands you. She just graduated from Ithaca College in Ithaca NY. They let the graduating seniors select the commencement speaker. She voted for you and Elie Weisel. He was the speaker. I guess you were busy that weekend, huh? The next time you deliver a commencement address why not either make a cryptic mention of it in the strip, or say something on your home page? Even if I didn’t have a kid graduating from the offending institution, I would come to hear what you had to say on the subject. Some times it is tough getting tickets into these deals. You could provide a valuable service to your community of readers by covering some of the ways of crashing college graduations which have worked best for you. On a completely unrelated subject. Re: The fuzzy line between whats real and what people have floating around in their brains. Some guy yesterday told me as the honest truth that prarie dogs are worth $700.00 in Japan, and people use big shop vacs, & septic tank suction trucks to scarf prarie dogs out of their holes. I know for a fact that this guy is not smart enough to be an Ernie reader, so he sure didn’t learn about it from the strip. Somebody else told him about the prarie dog deal, and he bought it as fact. a faithful reader who doesn’t have much of a life otherwise Stan Barkdoll (not only don’t I have much of a life, I don’t have an email address, I have to use my wifes when she isn’t looking) P.S. I’m going to join the Pirhana Club just as soon as I finish cleaning out my one checking account, and can write a rubber check for the initiation fee.
1. First let me say that you and your daughter have good taste. I would make an excellent Commencement speaker. . .Sending enthusiastic young minds out into the world! Does it pay good? And the prairie dog stuff is true.
• South African Health – Pelonomi Hospital Date: 26 July 1996 10:08 “For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a dead patient in the same bed every Friday morning”…
1. This story is so good I’m putting it into a word from Bud
• > >Tjena Hakon jag hoppas du får detta mail. >Jag hoppas Du, Icka och Cristina har det bra. >Här i Sverige är det mest regn men det börjar bli bättre. >Jag har en vecka kvar i skolan och betygen är satta så vi tar >det enbart lugnt och väntar på studenten. På lördag ska vi på >bal och på torsdagen går vi ut. Jag skall försöka komma att hälsa >på er men jag rycker in i lumpen den 10 juni. Så jag kommer när >jag får ledigt. > >Hälsningar FREDRIK SVENSSON
1. Hey folks, this is the kind of stuff I get all the time. Can anybody out there read it?
• >…on monday she made baked octopus, tuesday octopus soup, wednesday >octopus gumbo, thursday blackened octopus… Are you (or is your caption guy) a fan of the Detroit Red Wings or something?
1. For those of you not in the States or Canada, hockey fans take great delight around her in throwing octopusses on the ice. It’s beyond me.
• Hi! I am a frequent reader of Ernie (yes, I can read, but I like to just look at the pretty pictures) and even own a signed copy of an Ernie-compilation. I’m pretty sure it is you, mr. Grace, that have signed it, although I was a bit unsure after receiving the signature from you personally when you (or your stand-in) visited Gothenburg a couple of years ago. “Could that…man really make up brilliant, top-notch jokes abuot squid getting stuck inside late pres. Nixon’s mouth?” However, the book immediately replaced my signed copy of the Holy Bible in my shelf, so I guess you could call me devoted. Now, back to my problem. Being a fan, I often wear various tasteless Ernie T-shirts, which has some scary side-effects. When I meet someone, for the first ten seconds, that person doesn’t talk to me, but to my chest! This has made me feel like a woman, and – being a man, after all – I guess I could sue you for that. But then you would sue me for sueing you, and in the end, the only ones who would end up richer will be our lawyers, our lawyers’ lawyers and Richard Jewell. So I’ll pass. But, you have been warned! 🙂 Forward this letter to ten (do you have that many?) of your best friends (not counting hairy ones!) and you will receive great luck (or a pile of bananas). Cheers! _ _ _ / \ David Larsson / \ Engineering Physics & Mathematics / / \__ _ __/ \ Chalmers_University of_Technology / / \_/ \___/ \_______/ \_ ___ / \__ Sweden / / mailto:f92dala@dd.chalmers.se \_/ \__/ \__ / _/ http://www.dd.chalmers.se/~f92dala/ \__/
• Yo Bud! You are the KING. Me and my cousin are having a few beers, reading ERNIE strips and laughing our butts off. We just HAD to go online and send you our thanks for the best comic strip ever created. We are not ernie fans, we are ERNIE FANATIIIIICS (Allah akbar, salam eleikum) bomb is in the mail (unless of course you hand over one of those wonderful estates in Florida (you know, the ones Sid is selling), and a signed toaster. Keep up the good work! And please come to Norway again soon. We want you to sign our Ernie books (8 of them, stolen from the “why do you think they call it a” public library). By the way, have you recieved my application for membership of the PIRANHA-club? Best regards from NORWAY (land of the moose-milking contests) — – Geir Fjoerstad & Paal Instebo
1. I’ll be in Goteborg Oct 25, 26, 27, and Oslo Nov 2 and 3. If we can stretch it I may make it to Bergen as well. When my plans are finalized I’ll announce them in a word from Bud .
• 
Advance token to “GO”