Four years of writing Godfrey’s story, I was beginning to consider myself, if not glib, at least rarely at a loss for words. This is one story, that has taken me ages to articulate, how utterly stupid it feels, to want to crawl under an old turquoise chair, and hope never to be found…
Without Godfrey, I had no one to face the many spiders that lurked in the mailbox, located in the lobby of our apartment building, “Tara”, under the bug chandelier. I had our post delivered to the luggage shop, but now and again, it would be stuffed under our door by the ever so nosy landlady, MrsFeerce, thus the first letter came, addressed- W Thumper Odd…
The first one came, in lady like handwriting, stamp placed neatly, not stuck on askew. Sent from an address back east, I reckoned from my brother Cudberth, a joker about-er, or someone equally imaginative, but who?. Perhaps a convoluted prank from Godfrey’s sister Alice, when I opened the letter, and read of the sender’s spleen, the vile of cold weather, gruesome surgical procedures, described in details, it just did not ring of Alice, hopefully far away in Wales.
I thought of Alice’s friend, Nudge Giggleswick, using terms like “Green Pain”, and write soon, for I am sick, love Mother Mcrea. I binned the prank letter, and carried on with my day.
Soon another Thumper Letter came, within in it two holy cards, more woes and ill humor, rumors of a tumor, and a photo of an elderly lady smiling in a door. Addressed to W Thumper Odd, I did not think it was a good prank anymore.
So I wrote in reply, Dear Mother Mcrea, whomever you may be, writing me of rashes, dry funeral sandwiches, your every malady, how proud you were last Sunday to see me smiling on T.V. I do not have a clue who you are, and why you call me Thumper when you write, but this is indeed very funny, so Alice, Cudberth, Nudge, whomever you are, well played, and good night.
My dear, have you been bonked on the head? Mother Mcrea in her next letter said. Dutifully she wrote her Thumper, boils, in grown toe, I would reply in my letter, describe the nasty parts that pained me so. She never questioned my descriptions of crepuscular afflictions when I wrote a completely awful letter, only sent her love, and hope I would “soon feel better” , my son.
Came the day…my husband Garnet reported, “I just met the very large chap from 301, moved in recently, name of Mr Waldick Odd”. “Football Player, size of a Clydesdale, seemed quite jovial-said just call me Thumper.” Garnet stood laughing on our landing, imagine that, another person name of Odd in our old building”
Mortified, lower than the effluvium neath pond spawn. I said nothing, lower than beet root grows, I did nothing. I learned to listen for Thumper’s heavy boot trod in the halls, for he took the stairs, skipping every other. And neatly, and quietly, under his door, went the Thumper letters, whenever one came from his dear, bewildered mother.
It was Godfrey, all his brief life sought the wisdom, by his own definition. I oft summoned his memory, when in times of joy, or rare days at their worst, and with “The Thumper Letters”, I have added this wisdom, his 51st.
The 51st Wisdom Of Godfrey states- “When you have made an utter twit of things, apologize once if you were silly, rude, or not nice. Apologize once, dance the hurt away twice, offer the hot, roasted Haggis thrice, offer the Haggis thrice”