Emails from my father-in-law

The background is this: Uncle Paul (Tony’s brother-in-law) has just sent an email attempting to arrange another Sedona hike this winter. Here is Tony’s response, sent eight days after the original email, for what it’s worth:

Hi my BOYS,
I like something with the  with tectonic plates shifting and grinding and twerking below ground SO I'm in
Let's discuss some dates please

Time for the BREAKDOWN.

Hi my BOYS,

The BOYS in all CAPS, to me, represents Tony’s excitement at the all-guys nature of this nature hike. I do not fault him in the least for this. He was similarly excited for our participation in the Tough Mudder when he passionately suggested our team name should be FORCE FLEX.

I like something

I think this is a good start to any email. We all like something. This is relatable. I am hooked.

I like something with the  with tectonic plates

It’s safe to say no one in the history of the world has ever penned these words exactly as such. Listen—typos are typos, and the extra space between the typo is such a minor oopsie. It’s just that … this email, like many of Tony’s emails, appears as if it were written from his phone, with one hand, the left hand, while telling the Home Depot worker whom he had just tracked down to find weather stripping to hold on while he finishes sending this email because, you know, he’s going on a hike with the BOYS. My wife is convinced he sends most of his emails through the voice dictation feature as he's driving, but I disagree. This is too Tony to be a rough translation.

I like something with the  with tectonic plates shifting and grinding and twerking

I don’t even know. I’m as surprised Tony is aware of twerking as I am that he—as far as twerking can, in any possible way, verbally describe the movements of tectonic plates—kind of, sort of used it in proper context? I don’t know, but this is by far the most sexual description of how land masses are created that I have read. I’m imagining Tony as a trying-too-hard-to-be-relatable science teacher, wearing a backwards baseball cap: You kids like to twerk and grind on each other, right? Well guess what? The earth's tectonic plates have the same urges!

Hi my BOYS,
I like something with the  with tectonic plates shifting and grinding and twerking below ground SO I'm in

He is in for the hike. Like the hike itself, the journey here was much greater than the destination.

I made this point to my brother-in-law Anthony, one of the BOYS: Lost in the magnificence of this email is the fact that Tony is either a) welcoming a terrible earthquake that will crush us as we hike, or b) letting us know that HE knows how mountains are formed, which: OK.

Let's discuss some dates please

Here was my reply:

Dad, I need a date just to discuss this email.

Here was his response:

Mike call me today anytime I need to also ask you something

What he needed to ask me was to go to his mailbox in Arizona and see if his home security system company sent a mailer with their new address because he didn’t have time to look it up online.


Having read the book, what I wouldn't give for a direct line of communication with that man.
mkenny59 said…
Ha, thanks, TJJ! No doubt, having access to The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo is one of life's great joys. I wish everyone could experience it directly.
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