A person I sometimes associate with (this person) sent me this amazing excerpt from The Times’ archive.

People talk about how much we’ve advanced and while I’d agree that the human species has made some decent headway (being immunized against polio is OK, I guess), this piece points to one area where we’ve gone backward: language. Everyone should write the way Astikos does. I therefore present to you my Astikos-inspired letter to the editor, pending publication in an actual newspaper.


Dear Sir:

Today I was walking along 53rd Avenue to conduct business of the utmost importance. I was on my way to the vegetable stand at the local Safeway when I traversed [no clue what that means] a street upon which a black demon sat. The demon was in the shape of a cat and cats, we all know, are spawns of the devil himself. The cat belongs to the wretched witch, called by his fellow sorceresses, Mahmud. Obviously, I could not continue my journey as I had been cursed by the black demon. Instead of engaging in the noble activity of vegetable exchange, I traversed [still don’t know], post haste, to the local dispenser of miraculous pills. On my way, I was stopped by a vendor of native oysters and a gaggle of slow-moving dwarves, but that is a letter for another day.

This problem is of absolute importance. Her Majesty’s Government is doing its utmost to facilitate economic exchange but it is being impeded by witches and their cursed felines. Furthermore, the police imprisoned me when, two Sundays past, I took my most noble pet mule out for sunning. They told me that mules have no place in city centres, much less on city busses, but I ask you: what place does a cat, carrier of ill will and plague, have on a street corner? I demand that if I be imprisoned for allowing a mule its exercise in a city park, a person allowing his cat outside must receive the most harshest of penalties! Ship the witch to Australia!

Until justice is served, gracious Editor, I ask that you print this letter in your journal so that the good people of our town may be warned against traversing along 53rd Avenue. I hope that Her Majesty might sail from her throne in England to set straight our city streets so that our economy might flourish once again. If no action is taken, the broccoli of Safeway will sit solemnly in their crispers with not a man or woman around to purchase them. For each man and woman will be impeded by the Sorceress and Cat of 53rd Avenue.

I am, Sir, your obedient serf,