Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear Mom,

Just wanted to drop you a line to know that everything is fine here in Somalia. I hope this letter finds you O.K. I gave my Vacheron Constantin watch and a pair of Brioni shoes to the son of my new warlord just to get it in the mail.

Somali Pirates

I have to say, getting to Somalia wasn’t the easiest thing. For one, I burned almost all of my United miles just to get an upgrade to First. Economy Plus was sold out and I just couldn’t make the fifteen-hour journey with two connections without legroom. Plus, I had to fly out of Newark and you know what a drag that can be.

Long story short, my second day as a Somali Pirate was way better than my first. I mean, a first day on a job is always tough, but getting blasted by high-powered water cannons from a Greek cargo ship on the same day? Don’t even get me started. Worst. Day. Ever.

In any case, today started much the same as yesterday. Grains for breakfast again. I’ve already found that if you can add a little water to them, they go down much easier. I’m not sure how many points they represent on my Weight Watchers plan. I’m guessing it’s only two, but I only get two of these a day so far, so that’s only four a day. At this rate, I should be 95 pounds in just two months. It would have taken me at least four years to do that in Manhattan, even doing my spin class twice a day. As an added bonus, I think the guys at work will really respect me if I start looking like them.

Anyway … as I was saying … I was issued my Kalashnikov today. It appears that you don’t need a gun license here. Or even a name. I know, Mom, I know. You worry about me handling a gun, but if I was entrusted to help run a multibillion-dollar hedge fund at Lehman Brothers, I can use this thing. We don’t really speak the same language, but they assure me that it’s just a point-and-shoot kind of thing. Like a digital camera. Kind of.

Somali Pirates

Anyway … you wouldn’t believe who I ran into today! Bobby Fleishman! It turns out that he was with his wife on an anniversary cruise to Turkey. Once we took down the crew and rounded up the guests, he saw me. He recognized me from my Camp Arapahoe shirt. I have to say, he was a little confused, but I just explained to him that I was just trying to make some quick cash just to get out from under my SoHo penthouse mortgage. I mean, really, like you expect to see your summer camp friend on a cruise to Turkey. It was great to see him. If he didn’t get pistol whipped by my cohort, I would have gotten his e-mail. Can you try to get it from his mom for me? Thanks.

The good news is my plan, it seems, is just about to pay off. My warlord assures me that we’ll have at least 20 million by the end of the week to be paid by the cruise line. Even Lehman couldn’t promise me that. If I’m to take him at his word, and why wouldn’t I, I’ll get at least 10 percent of the money and I’m on my way home, 2 mil richer and 45 pounds lighter. Plus, I’m pretty sure I can get some fat Hollywood royalties off the book I’m going to write about this. It’s a win-win.

O.K., so it sounds like they need me to do some translation for the U.N. peacekeepers we have locked up in our “prison.” (It’s really just a hole in the ground with plywood, but it does the trick!) Say hi to Dad and Evie for me. I’ll try to e-mail you when I’m coming back, but my iPhone only gets two bars in the Gulf of Aden. Lame!

Love you!


Matt Rivitz is a writer living in San Francisco. He lives just around the corner from highly decorated novelists Daniel Handler and Armistead Maupin, making him officially the worst writer in the neighborhood, but definitely the best one on his specific block.

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