Volume 34, Number 7, July 1999



Some Questions ... Some Answers

I read the letter carefully ... twice in fact ... before I set out to answer the probing and perhaps even troubling questions that it contained:

Dear Lyle,

I tried reaching you by phone a couple of times, but I wasn’t successful. So I decided to write to you instead. And with long distance rates being what they are, this is probably a whole lot cheaper, and as you know, my middle name is Cheap. I want to begin by saying that I truly enjoy your articles and look forward to them every month. But I am a bit puzzled and maybe even a bit perplexed and I am hoping that you can help. Therefore, at your convenience, would you please answer the following four questions for me?

First, is every story that you tell based on an actual occurrence? In other words, are they true? Secondly, why do your articles have so many "... s" in them? Thirdly, I’d like to know if your stories and articles are supposed to have some kind of point or purpose to them. I’m not always sure. And last but not least, I’d like to know the first name of the character you refer to as "Koziac the Polish Accountant." I know that Johnny "The Mooch" Rago and "Jungle Jim" Bruney are two guys you grew up with on the west side of Chicago, but I’m not sure about this Koziac character. I think I might know who you’re referring to if you would be kind enough to give me his first name. Thanks ever so much.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Yours truly,
Al Minasian
Peninsula Glass
San Mateo, CA

Dear Al,

It was great hearing from you and before I forget, please give my best regards to your wonderful wife Millie and to the Connolleys, Milberts and the rest of the Peninsula/National Glass crew. You’ve got a great team and I’ve always said that when they run me out of Chicago, I’m going to work for you ... if you’ll have me of course. Also, thank you for straightening out your middle name for me. I actually thought "Cheap" was your first name, but we can discuss this at a later time. As for your questions, I’ll try to answer them as best I can in my typical straight-forward manner. Here goes ...

First, your question of whether or not my stories are true ... I’m deeply hurt by this, Al. And at this point in time I want to make it totally clear to you that every single word written ... every single character portrayed ... every situation mentioned ... and every conversation repeated ... is totally, absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent true and accurate ... except for the parts I make up.

Secondly, you asked why I use so many "... s" in my writing. I can’t explain this ... they just seem to come to me very naturally. It’s almost as if I can’t control myself. You’re not the first to point this out and probably won’t be the last. If I could change ... I would, but apparently ... it’s just out of my control.

Thirdly, you asked if my articles and stories are supposed to have a point. Well of course they do, Al! You must realize, however, that often the point being made is so deep, so wrapped in hyperbole and witty rhetoric that the dull-minded, slow thinker may miss it completely.

Lastly, you asked for Koziac the Polish Accountant’s first name because you think you might actually know him personally. Well Al, I would have liked to have given that to you but as you can see, I’m running out of space and in order to make my deadline on this, I’ve really got to wrap it up. Maybe some other time I can provide this to you.

In sugar-coated sincerity,
Lyle R. Hill


Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.