More Letters From a Nut
Ted L. Nancy
Bantam Books, 208 pp.
I heard great reviews of Ted Nancy’s ﬁrst Letters From a Nut, so when the second volume came out, I had to make up for missing the ﬁrst. This man is either completely insane or an absolute genius. I can never tell.
The entire book is composed of nothing but Nancy’s letters to various organizations across the globe, and their responses. The letters range from slightly weird to utterly bizarre. Some examples: Telling a restaurant that he needs to make reservations and that he brings his own waiter with him, warning a cruise line that he may annoy people because he squeaks when he walks, and asking the mayor of Jackson, Ohio for permission to stage an all otter production of Romeo and Juliet. The responses are equally amusing; ranging from mild annoyance to those that actually get the joke (a rare few). Most people simply included a nice note and a brochure or business form, some tried to bury him in red tape in the hopes that he would go away. The ﬁctional Ted Nancy is as odd as his letters; he describes himself as: “I weigh quite a bit,” “I have an aversion to all germs,” “I am a kleptomaniac,” “I look just like Chester A. Arthur,” and “I am completely painted orange.” Nancy’s constant insanity is so amusing that Jerry Seinfeld’s introduction seems dry in comparison. My personal favorite, though, is the letter to the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico, outlining his plans to open 1,032 Hungry Mosquito restaurants (specializing in fried chum), all on the same day. The plan includes having 52,000 people in mosquito costumes “walking the streets, riding the buses,” and “dating your women.” Las Cruces sent back a four-page response saying why he couldn’t do it (they said his idea sucked, get it?). I’m afraid that this book will go right over most people’s heads, but the few that do get it will laugh themselves silly.