April 1, 2023
Dear Mr. Pinkwater (if that is your real name),
I first read Lizard Music when I was about 6 years old, back when a hot dog and coke cost a quarter, vaseline was still a hair product, and kids were encouraged to play in graveyards. It’s hard to describe the impact that book had and still has on me. It completely opened my eyes to the absurd, to the possible, to the incredible. I was a very sheltered kid in a sheltered community, but I read a lot of books, and of all authors I have ever read, you still stand out as the most unique and impactful I’ve ever read.
I’d just like to let you know that you absolutely changed my life for the better — you expanded my mental threshold of what is possible, you challenged me to think beyond the thin veneer of society that we exist within, and most of all, you still generate chills down my spine when I flick through the channels and see something that is clearly static but *just might* be something more meaningful than that.
My therapist would also like to thank you for generating an intense sense of paranoia that, while I often find comforting, creates a lot of billable hours and is always backed by a sinking feeling that lizard people are controlling all of us. That’s not all on you, but clearly the groundwork was laid by someone going by the alias D. Manus Pinkwater or thereabouts. It’s hard to believe that all the works claimed by you came from one mind, but if that’s the case, just a monumental tip of the hat to who is clearly one of the most creative minds of this eon. (You, not my therapist.)
Thank you for changing my life, for which I’ll be forever in your debt. I greatly appreciate your work and the very subtle hand it had in shaping who I am. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to need to get back to my job of feeding extremely large chickens!
I won't say I get this all the time, but every now and then someone blames or credits me for starting them thinking a certain way. I will cop to having a part in someone's development, but please consider, other kids read the same book or books you found inspiring or affecting, and nothing happened to them. I submit if it hadn't been Lizard Music or some other book, by me or by some other writer, you were already on the way to a life of uncomfortable intellectual activity that you wouldn't have any other way. To put it another way, creative readers will read creatively. To put it yet another way, this is why I chose to write for children and young people--they're just better and more rewarding readers. I am proud of you and impressed that you can afford a therapist.