So this weekend I received an email from a lady named Sandy (whose email address is KKrantz55@aol.com, and who is looking to buy some ExtenZe pills, by the way) regarding her husband, Kenny.
Dear Ms, Simone,
I’m writing to you in regard to my husband Kenny who has gone through surgery. My husband is a very big fan of yours. I would like to ask if you could please send him an autographed photo. If you could I know he would be thrilled and I would be forever grateful to you. Thank You Very Much Sandy
40 Clifford Street
Buffalo New York 14210
My husband was with me when I got the message and after he read it, he exclaimed, “Oh my God, see? You’re famous! All this time you’ve been whining away about how no one loves you and no cares about your music and moaning on and on that you’ll never get anywhere in this life, while secretly there are sad men in hospitals whose whole recovery hinges on just one kind word from you!”
(Ok, he didn’t say exactly that, but something close.)
"Um," I said. "Wow. Well, it would be kind of mean-spirited of me to just send him a photo, right? I mean poor Kenny could be dying over there in Buffalo. I should at least send the guy a copy of my record and maybe my new book too?"
"Totally," Josh said. "Don’t be greedy." (I am paraphrasing here.)
So, like a retard, I write back to “Sandy” :
Of course, Sandy. I’d be happy to. I’ll send it off within the next week and very much wish your husband a speedy recovery.
And then “Sandy” writes back:
Thank you so very much for the response and the kind words.
Peace and Love,
And then I go off and spend the rest of the weekend feeling happy about what an amazing altruist I am, and about all the nice things that I’m going to send to Kenny, whose surgery, I imagine, has left him with no limbs and only one organ. My Dad went to SUNY and we used to live in Buffalo. Perhaps the only thing grimmer than living in Buffalo is living there after surgery has left you limbless and organless and even the awesome power of Nigara Falls is wholly lost to you.
Sunday rolls around and it’s raining. I have an incredibly busy week ahead of me and a two month old baby to take care of. Plus also, I completely lack a photograph of myself to send Poor Kenny, or an envelope of the requisite size, and I realize that getting a photo printed and buying an envelope and taking it to the post office on Monday will kind of be a giant pain in the ass. But for the love of Kenny and the forever gratitude of Sandy, it has to be done. What kind of monster am I to contemplate otherwise?
But dark thoughts start slipping through the chinks in the otherwise impermeable armor of my self-esteem. Who the fuck would want a signed photo of an unknown rock singer? Who the fuck would want an AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO period? Didn’t that go out of fashion in the sixties? So with a trembling finger, I Google-searched “Kenny Thrun” and “Buffalo” only to find this comment pasted twice on a message board on Carol Alt’s website:
Dear Ms. Alt, I’m writing to you in regard to my son who has gone threw surgery. My son is a very big fan of yours. I would like to ask if it would be at all possible for you to please send him an autographed photo. If you could I know my son would be thrilled and his Mom and I would be forever greatful to you. Thank you
40 Clifford Street
Buffalo New York
Kenny’s family certainly is active on his behalf! Also, this message was posted in August of 2008, so clearly Kenny’s surgery was just as grueling as I’d imagined.
It’s not surprising that this turned out to be a scam, and there isn’t some forlorn and hopelessly disfigured indie-rock fan in Buffalo — the Elephant Man of indie-rock fans! — pining in vain for my photograph.
What IS surprising is that Carol Alt and I have anything in common.