Sedaratives: Jerri Blank - Believer Magazine
×

Sedaratives: Jerri Blank

Sedaratives: Jerri Blank

Jerri Blank
20 Snaps

Dear Sedaratives,

I have this friend; we will just call her “Dani,” for the purpose of this letter. She tends to smell quite awful, and I just can’t stand it any more. How can I ask her to improve her smell without hurting her feelings?

Camille L.
Eureka, Calif.

Dear Camille,

Do you own a hose? The best delousings I’ve ever received were when I was gettin’ hosed down in the joint. You’d be surprised at the places that water can reach, especially if it’s coming at you with the brutal force of a typhoon. Sometimes I’d get in line for second helpings. So I suggest that you hose her down. Or, better yet, plant some screamers on her and then drop a dime. Let the state take care of your stinky problem for you. By the time your friend hits the street, the state will have eliminated your smell-problem. Of course, the down side is she will have permanent physical and emotional scarring. That is a down side, right?

Cheers,

Jerri

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I have an unspecial birthday: New Year’s Day. Because my birthday is so close to this dreadful “official” holiday, I suffer the terrible setback of receiving dual-purpose gifts. What should I do, save finding new friends and family?

Hopefully,

Fred Dobson
Portland, Maine

Dear Fred,

You sound like a real crybaby. You are what we in the slammer call a pussy. You know what, Fred? Even outside the slammer you’re a pussy. “I suffer the terrible setback of receiving dual-purpose gifts.” Boo-hoo. Let me tell you about terrible setbacks, Fred. I like to gamble. I also enjoy bloodshed, which is why more often than not you’ll find me in the front row of a cockfight. So, this one night after a hilariously brutal match, some words were exchanged between me and a wily one-legged Mexican named Vásquez. I don’t want to go into the gruesome details but let’s just say I soon found myself with a corpse. Nobody’s fault; these things happen.

Anywhosil, I was thinkin’ I could just drag the carcass over to that abandoned lot across the alley, dig a shallow grave, cover it with some debris and “hasta mañana.” But get this: before I could get los muertos mexicanos out the door, a sleet storm hit, covering the ground with ice and making it harder than a Chinaman’s skull. Eventually I had to drag him about twelve blocks so I could dump him in an incinerator. So my advice to you, Fred, is to save those tears for a real problem.

Sincerely yours,

Jerri

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I really want a pet. What do you think would be best?  I live in the city, and someone recommended one of those small poodles to me. They’re supposed to be really portable and hypoallergenic. What if I named the poodle something kind of tough, like Frank, or Kevin? Alternately, a betafish could be nice. Or maybe a turtle?

Undecidedly,

Becky Perlman
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Becky,

As you might know, I like snakes. I’m also partial to burros.  I did a donkey show in Tijuana. But here’s the thing: pets weigh you down. They’re like those kids who ride the special bus. They never really grow up and they always depend on you. Do you really want that kind of aggravation? If I were you, I’d get me one of those babies from the black market. Not only will they keep you company, but you know what else you got, Becky? You’ve got an investment. Do you have any idea what young adults bring on the black market, Beck? I’m not sayin’ you have to sell it back, but isn’t it nice to know that’s an option? Even if you’re sure you don’t want to unload the kid, you could still pretend you might. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how far a little black-market threat-talk goes in keeping a kid in line.

Yours,

Jerri

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I graduated from college in 2003, and am now considering whether or not to pursue an M.A. in music com-position. The idea of committing myself to a regimen of concentrated study, as well as gaining access to the vast creative resources a university could offer, is appealing and exciting. But I’m not sure that I’m ready for two more years of academic study. Do you think I should apply? If so, what schools do you think I should con-sider attending?

Cordially,

Liam Singer
San Francisco, Calif.

Dear Liam,

Your letter would make a nice fluffy pillow. How did you manage to string so many boring words in a row without drop-ping your lukewarm skull onto the keyboard? Did you write this in stages? I’m tempted to use your letter on some of that coed jailbait I like to prey upon. It’s gotta be cheaper than roofies, and I bet the results are much quicker.

Here’s how it would work: I’d shamble into one of those high-school parties that the kids pretend not to invite me to. I’d zero in on some lonely Chiquita lookin’ for a little friendly companionship. I’d make my way over and quickly gain her trust. When I was sure she was safely nestled under my spicy chicken wing, I’d spring your little letter on her and bingo, it’s the express bus to siesta-ville. I’d find an empty bedroom and let nature take its course. So I thank you, Liam, for writing your junkie-nod of a letter. Or, more accurately, my loins thank you.

As always,

Jerri

 

Dear Sedaratives,

I’m a nineteen-year-old college sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a native New Yorker, I’m finding the transition between a population obsessed with salads and ephedrine to one that hungers for cheese curds and mayonnaise a bit troubling on my waistline. I was wondering if you had any low-calorie recipes that you could prescribe for college students like myself.

Warm regards,

Eating like a Fatty McFatster
Lawrence, Kan.

 Dear Fatty,

Listen, Tubbo, when I lived in the box at the Florida pen for shiving a Cuban in the shower, I lived on nothing but corn-bread and water. Cornbread in the morning, cornbread in the afternoon, and cornbread again at night. 

Here’s a recipe: have some of your bunkies lock your fat ass in a metal box which is sitting out in the sun. They can think of it as a prank, you can sweat out some of that bloat, and I can stop receiving ridiculous letters like this one. Everybody wins.

Jerri

More Reads
Columns

Side Quest

Bijan Stephen
Columns

Notes in the Margin (Part VI)

Peter Orner
Columns

Stuff I’ve Been Listening To

Nick Hornby
more