Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My 2nd letter to my new cinematic Pen Pal - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

For clarity's sake, you may want to read our first correspondence here.

Dear Mahmoud,

We’re less than a week away from the screening of Shoah at the Gene Siskel Film Center here in Chicago and I wanted to check in and make sure that your travel plans are in order. Are you flying into the O’Hare or Midway airport? I have bought our tickets already. You can pay me back in Iranian money so that I can add it to my foreign currency collection. Is your photo on the currency? It should be $20 total. I went to the actual box office to buy tickets so we could avoid those unjust Ticketmaster fees. Do you have Ticketmaster in Iran? If you do, let me give you some friendly advice for your next election: Get rid of it. The Iranian people would love you for it and probably overlook any prior human rights violations, election tampering or squandering of their country's reputation.

Since there is not assigned seating, I wanted to inquire about where you like to sit when you go to the movies. As a head of state, you’re probably used to a private box in the balcony with a security retinue. Regretfully, they don’t have private boxes or a balcony, but I can assure you that even though I might not be much to look at, I’m a pretty tough cookie and can easily protect you from anyone throwing popcorn. However, if someone tries to stab you, I’ll probably get out of the way. My health insurance deductible is quite high. Don’t get me started on health care!

So, do you like the middle or the back or the aisle? You don’t seem like a front row kind of guy, though for this movie it might be best if you were up close. If for some reason your flight is delayed and you’re running late, I can save you a seat. Normally, I don’t like to do that because of all the dirty looks and questions this generates, but I’ll make an exception in your case. Believe it or not, some people are just as intolerant toward ‘seat-savers’ as they are toward Holocaust deniers. Nevertheless, you’re traveling quite a distance to be here and I want to make sure you get a good seat.

When I told a friend you were joining me for this film, she explained that your presence might cause a disruptive uproar at the theater because of some of your previous statements regarding Israel, the Holocaust, et al. We certainly don’t want the viewing experience of this special screening marred in any way, so I have a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and jersey for you to wear so you won’t be recognized. Do you have baseball in Iran? It’s our national pastime and quite a wonderful game. If it was spring or summer, we could attend a game. They might even let you throw out the game ball since you’re a President. Our Presidents do it all the time. Better warm up that arm just in case there’s a pickup game!

I hope to hear from you soon and I hope you’re as excited as I am about the movie.

Celluloidally yours,


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