😀 Welcome, Dear Reader…
…We have a very special treat in store for you this evening…
… From the (literally) glowing pages of ‘Six in Five in Four‘, a short story from the Okie Devil from Text US, Mr Mars himself…
*Okay Clicky, enough of the organ music already…*
…’Hee Haw Hockey’ by Cade F.O.N. Apollyon. Enjoy! 😀
Monday 29 May 2017
Dear Mr. Coburn,
In response to your repeated inquires as to my interest in writing my memoirs in conjunction with your co-authorship, I would first like to say that I appreciate your interest in my story. I really do appreciate your interest by the way, as well as your offers of assistance. As to my own personal intentions, over the years, I have had many offers to write my memoirs or an autobiography of some kind. But none of these outside interests have even remotely come close to showing the level of persistence and determination that you have shown in attempting to coax me into telling some of my personal tales. Most suitors simply talk numbers or money, and almost all suitors seem to have come with checkbook in hand, figures in mind, and little else.
I’ve never really had an interest in, nor any experience with writing, except for the occasional poem that I jot down on paper. I’m not very good at typing, although I do own a computer. That said, two nights ago I began to give serious consideration to your proposal. I opened a bottle of Scotch that I’ve been saving for the past four years, and I began to pour through some memories while simultaneously pouring through the bottle. When I had reached the halfway point, and the amount of Scotch remaining was equal to the amount consumed, I garnered the courage to sit down and start typing a bit. I’ve enclosed the first sample chapter that resulted from this writing, and it is included along with this correspondence for your perusal and consideration.
Feel free to let me know what you think, and if you like what you read, perhaps in the future we can work together further.
Daniel “Danno Kerblammo” Kerkhoff
Maybe it’s time we discussed my missing tooth.
I had been a professional hockey player for most my career until I retired at the end of it. I was the top scoring goalie of all time, averaging an average of 16 touchdowns per game…on average. Our team was on its way to our third consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup Championship, and if we could win this final game, we’d achieve it. However, we were playing our old nemeses on their own turf, which was actually ice and not turf, but whatever.
Their lead-defenseman was somehow this old goalie’s personal nemesis, but only because I played more offense than defense, and it pissed this guy off no end that a goalie was scoring all the goals and setting all the records. As a matter of fact, the only scoring record that I didn’t hold, was scoring against myself, which they don’t have a record for. Interesting footnote here – the League considered creating such a category to make things a little more fair for anyone playing us, but the League never did create this rule. Even if they had, I don’t know that I would have started attempting scoring goals against myself out of boredom, nor how that would have helped the other teams if I had.
Anyway, match day finally arrived. It was raining heavily just prior to the game start, and there was concern as to how it would affect our performance as a team. There was even discussion amongst the League officials as to whether the game should be played at all, or postponed until later when the weather cleared. But once we got indoors and inside the enclosed and climate-controlled arena, those fears faded. The game…was on.
The game had been going on since the starter shot a hole in the green flag with a flare gun. It was a massacre. We had scored so many touchdowns in the first 3 first-halves of play, that the officials stopped keeping score. This angered our nemeses who, having not scored a point all night, felt like they were being taunted by the “999” that reflected our score on the three-numbered scoreboard. But that’s as high as it went…so if you’ve got a complaint, contact the manufacturer’s customer service in the off-season.
There were only seven more quarters or so left to play and we were winning. Seeing as to how the score was no longer being kept, I just hovered by the beer cart near the net at my end, where my nemesis couldn’t get at me. Besides I was getting pretty fucking drunk by that point anyway, and the last thing we need in a hockey game is a rugby scrum. Little did I know that’s exactly what we were about to get. I had been averaging over 17 minutes of play-time per quarter during the game, which is weird because there are only 15 minutes in a quarter of play. And now that the game was all but wrapped up, I was averaging 18 beers per quarter, which is pretty cheap for beer.
Anyway…their main forward spun out in turn two, hit the retaining wall at full-speed, but was able to hit the eject button on his roller skates just in time. He was now dangling from his parachute in the rafters, rendering him out for the remainder of the game when they could safely drag the ladders out onto the ice so as to retrieve him without anyone being in danger of getting hurt.
As a result, their team called for “the double-substitution”, which allowed them to switch a defenseman for offense. They were doing so badly by this stage that this was really the only option they had. But since they called the double-sub, this also meant that the player’s stick has also suddenly somehow become defective and/or unusable, and had to be replaced. If no suitable replacement equipment is available, the player in question can use whatever is handy in which to replace the defective hockey stick. Had I known that a rugby tournament had been held in the arena the night before, well, then perhaps what happened next probably wouldn’t have been so confusing to me.
Apparently the night before, one of the rugby players had accidentally left some of their equipment in our nemeses’ pit stall area when their tournament was over. My nemesis hastily grabbed whatever was available from the pile of rugby equipment, and so as you likely have already guessed by now……he came at me with a cricket bat.
I mean, the guy didn’t even have the puck. He just came at me, full speed, with that big ass cricket bat’s business end pointed right at me. I was already so drunk that I assumed it was some sort of trick play. Plus, I had almost half a beer left, so it took me a moment to decide whether to set the cup down and finish it later, or if I had time to slam it back and throw the cup at him before he got to me.
I opted for the latter, and don’t remember much after that. I hear there’s a video of it on YouTube tho. I dunno. I haven’t re-watched it in a long time.
Anyway, I lost a tooth in the process.
Monday June 5th, 2017
Dear Messrs Vosler and Planck,
Please find the enclosed copy of a response received from Mr. Kerkhoff dated May 29, 2017, along with a copy of a sample chapter that Mr. Kerkhoff himself wrote and further included in the correspondence.
I urge your careful consideration in the following:
1. The sample chapter took me aback upon first reading. It appears to be the drunken rambling of an angry person who is potentially bitter about being retired and no longer in the limelight, and constantly harangued about recounting tales of “the good ol’ days”. Admittedly, the more I read, the more my heart sank as I read the sample chapter, figuring it nothing more than a clever exclamation point on an otherwise innocuous rejection letter.
2. I received the letter on Friday (June 2, 2017 – now 4 days ago) and over the weekend, I put my despair aside and I read the “sample chapter” several more times. Admittedly, mostly in disbelief, but I must also admit that I found the writing hysterically funny…like a talltale; nestled in truth, but laced with embellishments to better relate to a particular audience.
It occurred to me,
3. As human beings, we’ve more than “just and only” going on in our lives at any given time. No matter how singular and poignant a particular event may be, much has transpired up to, much transpires during, and much will transpire after. As such, it further occurred to me to consider the difference(s) in…
A) telling a story that had not been told,
B) telling a story that has been told,
C) telling a story that has been told, but has not been told from a certain perspective.
4. I was there.
As such, I am now quite encouraged by the response, and think that Mr. Kerkhoff is decidedly on-board with further exploring the idea of writing his biography.
I look forward to hearing from you, and will make no further contact with Mr. Kerkhoff until I hear from your office as to your intentions and/or how I should proceed.
June 13, 2017
Dear Mr. Coburn,
My services have been retained to represent the firm of Volser & Planck publishing, et. al., regarding the pending matters at hand.
I have been instructed to inform you that:
a. the contract between yourself and Vosler & Planck Publishing has been terminated effective immediately;
b. the terms of the non-disclosure agreement are still in effect and legally binding;
c. you are to surrender all source materials effective immediately;
d. you are to have no direct contact with any employee of Vosler & Planck Publishing, and any/all future correspondence should be directed to my offices.
Please enclose and return original copies of any/all correspondence between yourself and Daniel Kerkhoff, as well as any/all source materials and correspondences between yourself and my clients, and return them to my offices at your earliest convenience.
Once the materials have been submitted to this office, this matter will be considered closed.
Thank you for your attention to this and these matters.
Rafael de Gunst Esq.
Raleigh & de Gunst LLC, Attorneys at Law
June 20th, 2017
Dear Mr. de Gunst,
If you want them, come and get them.
Tuesday 27 June 2017
Dear Mr. Coburn,
Just checking in to see if you had received/read my earlier correspondence, and if so, what your thoughts were.
Monday July 3, 2017
Dear Mr. Kerkhoff,
I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I admit that I was a bit taken aback to get a reply after my previous unsuccessful attempts at contacting you.
After stifling my joy at originally getting a response from you, and after further attempting to cease both my almost endless howling laughter at your included story, as well as my confusion as to it’s meaning, I quickly repackaged your correspondence and sent the contents along to my publisher, as per their instructions.
I do not know if you are aware I was under contract with Vosler & Planck Publishing with a preliminary agreement to publish your memoirs, should you choose to write them. I can only assume at this point that if you were previously unaware, you have likely been made aware of my association with Vosler & Planck by now. While it is true that I would have potentially co-authored the book with you and the book would have actually been published, in many regards I myself am quite lost as to the particulars of where everything in this endeavor became so shady.
I had been instructed by Vosler & Planck via their representatives to speak to no one of these goings on, as to do so will violate the nondisclosure agreement that I had signed with them. I assume that “not speaking with anyone” also includes you, and that is why I never mentioned my association with them to you in the first place. They were adamant that I tell no one of what I was doing, and since you never responded to any of my queries, it never occurred to me to perhaps mention that there were publishing houses interested in my idea and your story. But as stated, I’m still a shade in the dark as to the particulars of how things became so muddy. Being a novice writer, and also being a hockey fan who has followed your career, I just wanted to write a story that no one else had written, nor did anyone else seem to have any interest in writing.
Several years ago, I simply wrote a proposal along with several sample chapters of my own based on your Hockey career, and shopped that around to several publishing houses. I was undecided at the time as to whether to attempt a biography, and also included within the proposal that perhaps an autobiography co-authored by me might also be a potential option should I be able to court you into writing one. I heard nothing back from any of the publishers to whom I submitted the proposal. But eventually, Vosler & Planck did respond. Within days, several other publishing houses had responded, and I even began receive letters and offers from publishing houses to whom I did not even submit proposals. I went with Vosler & Planck simply because they were the first to respond, as well as their reputation of being a somewhat large but reputable establishment.
I will save your further grief by attempting to explain further at this time. But irrespective of whether or not I wind up in prison for willfully violating my confidentiality agreement, I will attempt to pass along any new information, assuming that it becomes available and appears noteworthy of mention.
I don’t necessarily doubt Vosler & Planck’s integrity at this point; however, I admit to questioning my own, although I am still unsure exactly as to why. I did feel it prudent to warn you in advance that I may have somehow stirred up a hornets nest, for lack of a better term. I am unsure what this means to you, nor could mean to you, but felt that a heads-up might be the right thing to do.
At a minimum, you won’t be getting letters from me every few weeks, and I hope that in itself at least brings you some measure of relief. I apologize for pestering you for these last four years.
Stanley “Won’t Be Writing You Anymore” Coburn
P.S. – I’m sorry about your lost tooth. I was actually in the crowd watching the game the night that happened. I don’t recall most of the events transpiring as you’ve described. But I also admit that, as far as I remember anyway, your “fantastic” description of events is not that far off-base from what actually happened. I was thrilled to see you win The Cup, even though I am actually, at heart, a Red Wings fan.
Friday 21 July 2017
Dear Mr. Coburn,
In a few days, you will be receiving an envelope in the mail. This envelope will contain a round-trip plane ticket from Detroit, where you live, to Toronto, where I live. The ticket is open-ended, and should you consider accepting my proposal, you may travel at any time you so desire, should you decide to entertain my proposal.
If I may be so bold as to call you Stanley, I would like to do so now, as should you agree to entertain my proposal, I would appreciate your calling me Daniel when and if you arrive in Toronto. It’s at this point in this letter that I’m going to take a leap of faith, break some protocol(s), and quasi-start this correspondence over.
Stanley, although my name is not on the door, I am a partner in Vosler & Planck Publishing and have been for some time. I also own interests in several other publishing firms, and even own several small book stores in The USA and Canada. A man has to do something after hockey, right? And I’d already spent plenty of time in that particular circus. A few years before that game we both attended in Detroit, and as retirement approached, I began to weigh and consider my options.
Books and reading are a love of mine. As such, a friend of mine named Clive Vosler suggested that perhaps I get involved with his firm, but suggested that perhaps I first find a small book store in which to invest or purchase. “Help prop up some starving book lover who is teetering on the verge of financial ruin, and you’ll find out whether or not you actually love books or not,” is what I recall Clive saying to me.
I did so, found that my love of books was not diminished and eventually bought-into Vosler & Planck, becoming a partner with the understanding that the name of the firm remained the same. As a professional athlete, and especially as “an athlete of note”, my name and likeness had already been printed, stamped and otherwise splattered all over commercial products of all kinds. I had no desire to see my name on yet another product, even if it was a non-hockey related product or enterprise. Hence, there was no fuss over the name and names nor ordering, nor was there any instability implied due to change, and the firm remained firmly Vosler & Planck Publishing.
As you are likely aware, I’ve been retired from hockey for some time now. When my wife suggested that I write my memoirs, I was suddenly presented with a paradox: can a publisher publish his own story? I said nothing to my business partners, but ironically, just two days after my wife’s suggestion, I got a phone call from Albert Planck stating that something come across his desk that might interest me. I told him to send it to me, and as it turns out, it was your sample chapters and proposal.
I did not know what to think of this coincidence at the time, but I found it quite strange to the point of almost being unnerving. I had only recently watched a documentary on television about the life of U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant, and there were stories about Grant being taken advantage of throughout his life due to his trusting nature, and perhaps some naivete on his part. Needless to say, the road has been a strange one these past four years that you’ve been corresponding with me. I’ve stayed pretty much to myself and my home contemplating and writing. And yes, unbeknownst to you, I’ve been writing my memoirs these past four years. I would very much like for you to begin reading them and let me know what you think.
Hence, I would appreciate your coming to Toronto to meet with me personally and perhaps we can figure out if we can actually do this and how.
I also feel it necessary for me to mention that there has indeed been some shady goings on, but none of those affect you and I know that you were not involved in any way. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly clear that, even though you most assuredly did not know it, you are one of the few friends that I’ve actually had over the past few years. I grew to know that I could count on your letters, and have looked forward to each and every one. Even though I never sent them, I’ve responded to each and every one, and you are free to read those/I will make them available to you if you so choose. They may not only shed some light on the current goings on, but might make an interesting story in and of themselves.
I again apologize that I cannot go into too much more detail in the space available here. But if you decide to come, I have included a phone number in this correspondence, and ask that you contact my assistant so that she can let me know when and if you are coming. Her name is Rossalyn.
P.S. – If you keep your eye on the news, and certainly if you’re are a member of an online writing community, it’s likely that by now you’ve already seen some of the goings on with not only Vosler & Planck, but also some other related and seemingly unrelated businesses, so hopefully, that will help make some of this rambling of mine make more sense. But there’s much more to tell.
P.S.S. – It’s quite the story you’ve blundered into here Stanley. Me, too.
Many thanks to Cade for allowing the LoL to post ‘Hee Haw Hockey’. We hope you enjoyed it, Dear Reader, and just to let you know that the next Underdog Anthology will be published in time for Halloween…
*That is the goal, Clicky…*