Monday, April 21, 2008

First, Ben wrote to Jessica, and then she answered

Dearest Brother of Mine,
It brings me great pain to hear of your tragic fortune at the craps table. The loss of the helicopter, in particular, brought a tear to my eye. Multiple tears, if I am to be truthful. I can only hope that in the time since you wrote, you have managed to survive without encountering too much hardship.

I must speak frankly: I, too, have come across unexpected challenges. Shortly after arriving in Niger, I was captured by Tuareg nomads and forced to join their caravan across the Sahara. For the first several weeks, I was contained inside a burlap sack and strapped on a camel's back. Certainly it was difficult to maintain a positive attitude, but I endured it by picturing the faces of my loved ones and nibbling on camel fur. Now that I have gained the trust of my captors, I am permitted to walk alongside my camel, provided that I do not attempt escape (which would result in unspeakable consequences).

Needless to say, your letter explained a lot about my circumstances, I am convinced that the Croatian mob that threatens you is also responsible for coordinating my Tuareg cross-cultural experience. Quite possibly, you will hear of my predicament before receiving this letter-and you may be asked for ransom. I understand that since your big losses in craps you will be unable to buy my freedom-- perhaps you could approach our young brother with the Croatian/Tuareg demands. Please make haste, as the hot season is quickly upon us here in the desert and I do not have any rehydration salts. My approximate location is 20 degrees N lat, 10 degrees E long.

With Greatest Affection,


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