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Happy New Year From Sam Nougat

The bringing of a new year suggests reconciliation, a time for us to forgive our relatives any faults from last year. Or, ask them to forgive us.

Dear Everyone,

Happy New Year! For the first, and last time, I have checked the ‘Everyone’ box in my email address folder. You see, as part of my annual New Year overhaul, I have decided to change my address. I know, I know: many of you have grown lovingly accustomed to getting mail from s-nougat@sodajerk.biz, but as William Burroughs wrote, ‘To everything, turn turn turn, there is a season…’

Anyway, much like last year when I tossed out many favorite yet burdensome objects from the past—that last chunk of lasagna from Aunt Mildred’s Bicentennial picnic, the Penthouse featuring Aunt Mildred’s Bicentennial centerfold, my five-toed cat named Papa Doc—this year and the changing of the address is no easy task. That’s why I have decided as part of my final s-nougat mail to send a group letter to everyone in my address book. I’ll add something personal, something true, something each one of us can cherish.

Aunt Sadie: I’m sorry I spilled that whole mug of coffee in your underwear drawer during Jarrett’s b’day party. I had no idea the drawer was open. Please forgive me, and say hi to Jarrett for me – is he still volunteering for migraine studies down at the clinic?

Shelly Ambergris: What can I say? We were like two zombies passing in the night. I know we only went out on four dates, but still, on nights when rain patters against the windows, when the fire is lit in the grate, when I am lit on the floor with an empty bottle of Wild Irish Rose next to my head, I remember us and the good times we had together. You, charmed as I ran down the street at 3 AM screaming, ‘I have a broken face.’ Me, charmed at your claims of clairvoyance and your beautiful, beautiful solitary breast. Let me know if you get this email. Adieu…

Katie Holmes: I love you, you little tart. Let me know if you get this.

Jarrett: Happy New Year! Hope you’re not in the middle of one of your attacks. Like I told your mom, I just don’t know what to say about that incident in the bedroom. I was having a bad day. We should get together sometime – let me know when you can stand the light of day again.

Julio: Leave me alone, man, I’m begging you to just leave me alone! You know I’m clean now, and I should have deleted your address weeks ago. I stay at home, read a lot, write in my journal, go to movies, squish roaches with my journal. Life is good. That thing you heard about over at Chastity’s Roadhouse was just a mess up. I was having a bad night.

Cindy K.: Who are you? Are you that girl I met on the bus to Provo last summer? If so, thanks for sharing your Hot Fries, and don’t worry, I still have your thermos. I need to wash it though. Call first if you’re going to come over for it.

Lorraine (from the office): I know we’ve had our differences, and I know it was you that kicked my cube down during the Xmas party, but let’s just let bygones be bygones. I’ll stop dumping ink cartridges into your goldfish bowl if you stop writing ‘bitch’ in red lipstick on my computer monitor. It’ll be for our own benefit, and best for the company as well; the ink cartridges alone must be a terrible expense. And I’ll have that memo on synthetic fish-stick flavors done by Wednesday, promise.

Mom: No, I didn’t get any of your calls during the last 11 months. I think the machine has been broken. Do you still have my old baseball cards down in the basement somewhere? Don’t throw them out! They may be worth a lot of money! And don’t tell Dad about them either, you know how he is with family heirlooms. Uncle Rick still thinks it was me that stole his toaster oven!

Nate Nougat (‘Dad’): Thanks for the Christmas socks – you never know when you’ll need purple hosiery with little yellow bees on them. One question: aren’t these Aunt Sadie’s socks? I seem to remember seeing them someplace or another. Anyway, thanks again.

Ned: Dude, I hate to bring this up, but you owe me money! When you needed $10 to bet on Golden Slumbers down at Belmont last summer, who staked you? Huh? Give me my money, you piece of shit, give me my money!!!! Give Trish a kiss for me (When is she due? Have they done the DNA testing on the baby yet? Let me know as soon as you get the results.) and happy New Year.

Petey: I know you’re a dog, that there’s no such thing as doggy Hotmail, and that you’re dead, but happy New Year, boy, happy New Year.

Plaque Rinse Review: Happy New Year, and when you wrote, ‘Eat dung and expire’ in response to my most recent poetry submission, that wasn’t very nice. Attached is a new batch of work that I think will change your tune. The submission is a cycle of poems based on conversations I had with a certain Sister Grimcraw during my one year on the junior-varsity fencing team at The Ragwood School. The overall cycle is entitled ‘Death Wears White.’

Philomena: Hey baby, how are you? The last time we saw each other, I know you were just kidding when you said, ‘If I had a gun, I’d shoot you.’ Still, that wasn’t very nice. I wouldn’t shoot you, and I do own a gun! I still have your Clash CD, but Ned was the one who scratched it. I told him not to clean his stash with it, but you know Ned (lol). I miss you dearly, so please let me know if you get this.

Syntech Global Hegemony (HR department: I don’t know how you got in my address book, but since you are, I’ve included my résumé as an attachment in case you are currently ensconced in a hiring period. My skills include proficiency at MiSt Forecast, Locust SpreadWorks, and Laxtime 9.0. I believe my years devoted to beverage research-and-development would make me a boon asset for Syntech Hegemony. I can be reached night or day, at home or at work, or if unable to contact me at either of those places, try at Lefty’s Bar and Grill on 14th and 7th. The payphone number there is 555-FUNK.

Steve: You lied to me, man, you lied to me. That’s all I’m going to say. Oh yeah, did you get the bag of oranges I left on your stoop last week? I figured the snow would keep them fresh. Some creep was eyeing me when I dropped them off, but that may have just been you. The raincoat looked familiar.

Theresa (Krumplebuntz?): Wow, long time, huh? Bet you’ve been wondering how I am? What good time we had in Czech! Remember that night at the hostel with the Bulgarian hash – I think it was actually lint, but still, what a buzz! I’m doing great, am a racecar driver on the Syntech Hegemony team, am thinking of moving to Monaco, the taxes here in the States are killing me (lol). Will give a call when I get to Monaco, send me some photos of yourself, would love to see how you’re looking, and let me know if you get this.

Uncle Rick: Happy New Year! Sorry, it’s been awhile, but have been busy with work/my poetry/rehab. Give Aunt Mildred a kiss for me, and I swear I had nothing to do with your missing toaster oven. I don’t even believe in toast! All I can say is go to Dad’s house and look under the tarp in the garage, right next to the stack of broken lawnmowers. If you see a shoebox filled with baseball cards, let me know right away. Or just have Aunt Mildred drop them off at my apartment. I’ll be home all this afternoon, took a ‘personal day’ off from work.

Vince: I’ll have your money for you soon, I promise. A big deal about to happen this afternoon, will be rolling in it. Will call when everything finished going down. And sorry I wasn’t home when you dropped by at 11:18 last night. I think the doorbell is broken. BTW, is that a new Lexus you’re driving? Looked like a new gun as well. Glad to see business is brisk.

Yahweh: Let me know if you get this.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sam Nougat


Tobias Seamon recently published the novella The Fair Grounds. More can be found here. More by Tobias Seamon