Sunday, September 27, 2009

Letter from the pastie. Last week I was working from the Right Angle office, and Penny was going through her mail. She thought it was funny how one of the letters was in some ye olde font, so she tweeted about receiving a letter from the past.

Except when she was either naming the image file or writing the tweet, she almost wrote "letter from the pastie", which led to some humorous banter in the office about what this baked good might say in its correspondence.

Anyway, the next day I was teaching out at Monash Caulfield and I got a pie for lunch. I was looking at the brown paper bag it came in and thinking, "Wouldn't it be humorous if I turned this into an envelope for a letter from the pastie?" So when I got home, that's just what I did.

The letter had authentic pastry crumbs inside, and authentic oil stains on it – although these might not have come out properly in the picture. I basically folded the bag almost in half, leaving a flap at the top, and glued up the sides.

For some reason I decided to run with the ye olde font from her previous letter, except I couldn't be bothered running the bag through the printer so I hand-lettered it, working from my screen. I was annoyed that I didn't have the real ye olde font (I think it might be called London or Old English or something to that effect) and I had to use Blackmoor LET.

Of course I didn't want to put my address on the back, so I made a little decorative sticker of a pastie from a bit of paper that was sitting on my desk. I was so proud of my handiwork!

The actual letter from the pastie was pretty much an afterthought once I had made the envelope. I think it said something like, "Dear Penny, My friend Mel said I should write to you to complain that pies get all the attention when they are full of hooves giblets and such, whereas I am full of healthsome farm fresh vegetables…" I signed the letter, "Filo Z Pastie".

I agonised over how to spell 'pastie'. I decided on the 'ie' spelling because I didn't want it to look like "he had a pasty complexion".

Anyway, once I had posted the letter I walked home with such a feeling of triumph that I felt as though my feet were several centimetres off the ground. Now I played the waiting game…

I didn't want to give myself away like that other prank I played on Penny where I set up a fake email account pretending to be Anton Enus's brother Peter, or his friend Barbara Igtitz (there was a third name that was funnier still, but I can't remember it now), and emailed her complaining that rumour had it Penny was mocking these innocent people and that names were no laughing matter.

This was on Tuesday. It got to Thursday and I couldn't resist asking Penny if she'd checked the mail yet. She hadn't, and by coincidence I was actually asking her this in person, so she said, "Let's go up and check it now." So I was actually present for the unveiling of the Letter From The Pastie!

"Hey, it's another letter from the past," said Penny.
"Aren't you going to open it?" I said nonchalantly.

As soon as she saw the sticker she knew it was a Letter From The Pastie, but I had actually glued the envelope up a lot more securely than I realised at the time, so it took her a while to find the actual letter. Penny claims that she didn't realise I was behind the letter until she saw my handwriting.

Anyway, I was gratified that my stupid prank worked. Life is no fun unless you get to turn throwaway remarks into amusing episodes such as this.

Mysterious photo shoot. Today I am trying to stop my hatstand from leaning at such an annoying angle that I can't open the door to my room properly, so I am cleaning up some of the stuff around it.

I found this red straw bag that used to be my handbag. It is oddly like proto-Stam. I opened it up and it was like a time capsule – full of bills from when I lived at Donald Street, pay slips from Field Works Market Research, my ancient little black book full of the addresses and phone numbers of people I don't see any more, and an envelope full of the original prints from the Undiez On Tha Head photo shoot, which may have been an early aspect of my rap star alter ego the Incredible Melk or could have been done just for shits and giggles.

There was also an envelope with some notes on it in my handwriting. They look like ideas for a photo shoot, but I have no idea what it might have been about. Here are the perplexing notes:
– on beach – wet white shirt, crouched in sand (on thighs)
– red dress lying in front of someone's front fence (vaseline lens)
– her in studio, really bad 1cm lower lipliner, backwds on chair
– high contrast susp belt/stockings/high heels outside someone's front door
– "street" fashion shots, cut off high waisted shorts, jumper tucked in, thumbs out
It looks vaguely satirical, as if I was trying to take the piss out of something or someone. Perhaps it was for the Incredible Melk, but I don't think that even in my much thinner days of 2002 I would have been prepared to pose outside someone's front door in sexy underwear.

Oh god! I think I have just remembered what this was. The then-girlfriend of an acquaintance of mine was trying to break into modelling and these were descriptions of some of the shots in her portfolio. I believe that we were laughing cruelly over coffee about how shonky they all sounded and I wrote down the descriptions.

Awww. I feel so mean now. I wonder if she ever got into modelling. If nothing else, high-waisted shorts are in fashion now.

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