Thomas J. Collins

March 24, 2000

Post #1075 – 20000324

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

When I was in my Freshman year at Cal Berkeley, I frequently was forced to visit my friendly neighborhood book merchant in search of something to keep me sane. On one fateful trip, at a loss for ideas, I asked the cashier for a recommendation. He pressed Young Adults into my hands and gave me his personal guarantee that I would be laughing out loud before the end of the first chapter. He was of course right. I even snorted, I think.

My favorite section of the book was the final story, The Dada Boys in Collitch, the first chapter of a promised future full-length novel. It made me feel better about my own college experience in many ways — like: I wasn’t alone in my confusion and feelings of overwhelming oppression; like: it could be a lot worse.

I was eighteen then. I am now pushing thirty. (Or perhaps I am pulling twenty-nine.) Last night I reread Young Adults. And it struck me: the book which once kept me sane is now driving me insane. Absolutely insane. I do not like not knowing what happens to the Dada Ducks. I do not like it at all. I have been waiting to find out what happens in chapter two for a dozen years. Perhaps you have been waiting to find out what happens, also. Perhaps you haven’t found out yet, and therefore have been unable to write it down.

I believe you need proper incentive. So: if you finish the novel The Dada Boys in Collitch, not only will I be your best friend, a highly valued commodity in and of itself, but I will also pay you ten dollars, PLUS a shiny new quarter featuring the state of Massachusetts (“The Bay State”). This is above and beyond the cover price of the book. Maybe I will sing you a song from the Hoyt Axton catalogue as well.

Seriously: insane.

Sincerely, Thomas Collins

Daniel replies:

Do you ever think about the fact that you were named after a bar drink? You don't understand--I can write the book. I can write any number of books. The question is, ""will anybody publish it?""

I can't afford to write things I can't place with publishers--so they have more influence than dollar-worshippers without souls ought to have over a nice artist like me. I might get around to writing it, or something like it, someday.