Subj: WEB BLISS Introductory Membership
Dear Mr. Scaramanga,
Welcome to WEBBLISS, where you will be guided to your perfect relationship. Your introductory level membership entitles you to my personal attention while we evaluate your needs and help you into your ultimate relationship.
I will walk with you through the initial relationship stages, and remain with you in your search for a perfect partner. Incidentally, unlike many other services we welcome same sex and alternative life style inquiries.
Harald (May I call you Harald?) please excuse the delay in this initial note, but we have only just confirmed your introductory payment of $199.99. We appreciate your resolving the issue of an apparently invalid credit card with our credit department. As mentioned when we talked, we will continue to bill your account for $204.50 per month while we help you into your perfect match..
Attached please find our introductory questionnaire. Some persons find our 200 questions a little daunting, but I'm sure you can handle them. Please answer the questions honestly, even the embarrassing ones about your sexual tastes. An inaccurate understanding of your psyche could mean inappropriate contact with another person. Please also include a picture of yourself.
As part of your introductory level membership you are entitled to call me twice per week for the first six months with any questions or comments. Any additional telephone sessions will be billed at a very reasonable $129.99 per session.
I have enclosed my picture and biographical information so that you will be able to better identify me as we carry on this process. I'm sure we will find a match for you that will exactly dovetail with your qualities and life style. I look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire and discussing the results with you.
Bernice Cartright, relationship counselor
Date: 2/25/2008 11:27:54 A.M.
Thank you for your completed questionnaire, lengthy letter and picture. We will process the questionnaire and provide you with the results shortly.
I do have to ask that you resend us a head and shoulders photo, as nude photographs, however tastefully done, are not postable to interested respondents.
I also perhaps need to clear up a misconception about our service. We have no expertise in the three part or four part relationships you describe and would not be able to develop that interest for you. We feel there are still many other interesting individual choices available!
How clever of you, incidentally, to try and find my location and personal telephone number from the data I provided. However, we find it is best to retain a little distance in our relationship, and a few of the facts I provided were masked to achieve this. Please don't take this as any indication of a lack of trust, it's just company policy. Whichever Bernice you called at 2 a.m. must have been quite surprised. We can always talk during business hours by scheduling a time and your calling 1-900-GET-MATE and asking for me. I hope you do call, as I very much want to learn more about you.
I have shared your detailed letter with staff members expert in alternative life styles. They rarely have a chance to experience the kind of frank honesty and graphic detail which you provided, and appreciated your candor. We feel you are a most unusual and complex man.
I hope you'll schedule a call.
Bernice Cartright, Relationship Counselor
Subj:Keeping sane at work
Date: 2/26/2008 9:37p.m.
Another go-round dealing with an abnormal. If the money weren't so good I'd revert to selling love potions. Fortunately I have the gatherings to keep me functioning and well fed. Without you twelve women and our ceremonial dinners my life would be misspent coping with the kinkies..
Thank you incidentally for the update on the next banquet. I'm already prospecting for a suitable entrée.
There's the phone, gotta go and make another quick $75.
Stir the pot
My Dear Harald,
Thank you for your phone call yesterday. Your vivid descriptions were enlightening. I was not aware of several of the practices you elaborated on.
Please accept our sympathies for the prior relationship which you described for me. It must be horrible to have a partner commit suicide. We feel that your immediate effort to find another soul mate is a sign of a robust psyche.
We are also sorry that the initial meeting which we arranged for you turned out so badly. We have explained to the woman that because of the disclaimer she signed she is not able to sue you for psychological trauma as she had threatened.
I do also have to make sure that you understand that I am not a candidate for that partnership. Given the closeness we are developing your graphic fantasies are completely understandable, but cannot happen. I am only your counselor.
Your reaction to the charges for a 900 prefix call are also understandable, but as you in particular can understand, the intimate and graphic nature of our conversations require the privacy and lack of restrictions which are assured by making a 900 prefix call. However, for three or more calls per month we do offer a volume discount, something you want to keep in mind as we go forward.
Harald, I know that as we begin to better understand each other we will focus in on your best relationship. I look forward to your next phone calls, so please schedule more.
All Best Regards
Date:4/06/2008 6:47:45 a.m.
You certainly have our analysts talking to themselves. They've told me informally that they have never encountered as complex, even convoluted a person as you. I've attached their findings, which they admit does not do justice to your persona.
You clearly have special needs that will not be satisfied by a prissy Mary Jane type of woman. To verify this we presented your specifics to an internal panel of three women who serve as our benchmark for offbeat cultural mores. To a woman they felt that they would not be able to relate adequately with you, nor begin to satisfy your needs.
Harald, you are one of a rare breed that requires our more special attention. In order to accomplish this we will need to move you to our advanced group. This requires an upgrade in your membership from our Web Bliss category to Web Ecstasy, but I know you will find the additional $200 per month will be worth the expense. We will be able to tap into networks of sophisticated, progressive women who are interested in (and capable of!) interacting with your complex nature. We expect to have you involved with a woman who can satisfy these needs within a month. Because of the more sophisticated and complex nature of this level, the cost of our being together on the telephone must also go up, to $250 per hour.
We also will arrange for you to provide a sample of your blood for screening. This will reassure your prospective partner that she can frolic without fright. Should we find any niggling problems we will also advise you how to remedy them.
We hope this is agreeable to you, as we cannot proceed further at the introductory level, and I would hate to lose contact with you. I've attached a more intimate questionnaire for you to fill out, as well as an invoice for the first month's advanced servicing.
And thank you so much for last week's phone call. Your ability to bundle expletives and scatological comments is remarkable. Thank goodness we are in the privacy of our 900 number context. I do recommend, however, that you shift your focus from what you and I might do physically to your new relationship with the woman we find for you.
Please don't trouble yourself to send me another present. When you told me you were sending me a stuffed toy I had no idea that you had stuffed it yourself. The ferret's menacing teeth and arched back make it quite life like. I'll have to find just the right place for it.
Subj: Banana nut/absinthe bread recipe
Thanks so much for this recipe. You were right, using the real wormwood tinged absinthe was the key. I actually made two loaves, one as indicated and one with a generous leavening of weed. Both were delicious.
Incidentally I think I have zeroed in on an excellent dinner entrée, but will need to prepare it on site. Would you be available a few hours early to help with the usual grunt work?
And yes, the lonely hearts club is still paying the rent for me.
Date:4/30/2008 4:56 p.m.
Welcome to Web Ecstasy! Thank you for continuing and developing our relationship. We've processed your advanced placement questionnaire, and your blood sample. The traces of marijuana and cocaine are of no concern, and attached is a form for you to take to a local medical office for treatment of the venereal disease.
Once you're certified we will arrange for a meeting in a public place so you and your prospective partner can begin to get to know each other.
I've also attached the results of your second questionnaire. I'm sure that the results will be no surprise. You already know how complexly sensual you are, open to practices which the timid would shun and which our antiquated legal system would not approve of.
And thank you so much for your phone calls. I've come to relish these early morning explorations of your sexuality. Please do keep in mind, darling Harald, that these conversations, no matter how intense, are just foreplay for the relationship we will be finding for you. I am constantly amazed at how you can make a normally gross description seem like a term of endearment.
I'm just delighted to hear about your dining and exercise habits. It's unusual to find a hearty recreational drink and drug user who takes such care with his diet and muscle tone. I pride myself on also being a fussy diner. I'm sure the woman we connect you with will find you toothsome.
Speaking of the phone calls. We seem to have maxed out the credit card which you're using for our calls together. Please provide the operator with a new card for your next call, I would hate to not hear from you!
Date: 5/28/2008 9:27a.m.
We know each other so well that I feel that I can be completely honest with you. The two women who you met unfortunately did not share the feelings and impulses which you have so candidly expressed to me .
They both held you in the highest regard, but felt that their idiosyncrasies and kinks did not quite match yours. You probably assumed this about the first woman, with whom I gather you had a bit of a food fight in the restaurant. The second woman I'm sure appreciated your fondling attempts at intimacy, but alas didn't click with you either. She indicated she would resume her relationships in the motorcycle club.
This is not your fault! We often find that intricate personalities such as yours require a special effort to find a unique solution.
Unfortunately also, we seem to have run out of credit resources to continue the search. The cash payment you made last week did not quite cover your costs to date. We appreciate that you have no other resources, and certainly don't want you to again hold up a convenience store.
We do feel we have an obligation to bring this to fruition for you. Despite these setbacks there is one group of women I'm aware of which should be uniquely suited for you. I will telephone shortly with specific instructions on how you should meet with her. Please especially pay attention to the dietary restrictions for 24 hours in advance of meeting, she has allergies that must be accommodated.
We really appreciate your dedicated effort with us, and I am amazed that you have helped illuminate some dark places in my mind. We will arrange this meeting at no cost to you, and hope that it becomes your ultimate experience.
You will be unforgettable
Subj: Edgy Gourmet banquet feedback
Thank you so much for forwarding the positive feedback you received from our recent banquet.. And thanks again for all your help in getting the entrée dressed out and prepared. You were right, the traces of marijuana and cocaine were plusses to the taste experience.
As to leftovers, I really don't need any, so please give them away to our usual charities, perhaps The Little Sisters of the Poor.
Yours in Good Taste
Originally appeared in the anthology Strangely Funny.