MailSpin

This is sort of like those 'letters to the editor' you find at the back of comic books.

Got a question to ask me, or any characters (TS and the Gidget characters)? Each will answer the mail in their own inimitable fashion. It can be anything from fic writing to something Wildcat or whoever might answer. This idea was inspired by a TS comic, where the TS characters took turns answering fan mail.

1. Be sure to specify who you want to reply, like Dear Wildcat, etc. And sign it (with an alias if you want, like people who wrote to Ann Landers)

2. Send to shellb@telus.net and make the subject line MailSpin, so I'll be able to sort the mail, so to speak.

3. Only questions that inspire an interesting answer will be posted. I want this page to be entertaining! ;)

4. Characters can be:
-anyone in TaleSpin (one-shot characters too)
-my AFTR characters (Joanna, Big Al, Violet, Pearl, Strummer, Helen, Handy, Bonnie or Det. Archer)
-Cody (the devious southern vixen in the fic Mercenary's Honor)
-me

I can pretty much figure out how these people would reply, especially that last one. ;)   Any other fanfic characters will have to be answered by the authors, as I can’t presume to know what they’d say.

Special thanks to Staci “Cody” Faulkenberry  and Joe "Cloudheart Greenlee for helping to ‘sort the mail’.  ;)

Editorial Staff and number of letters received:

Baloo (8) 
Rebecca Cunningham (19)
Molly Cunningham (3)
Don Karnage (3)
 
Kit Cloudkicker (5)
 
Ernie (1) 
Myra Foxworthy (1)
Katie Dodd (2)
 

Kitten Kaboodle (2)
Princess Lotta Lamour (1) 
Shere Khan
(1)
Colonel Spigot (1)
Wildcat (5)
Dr. Zibaldo (1)

 


Gidget's Characters
Big Al (2)
Strummer (1)

BALOO

Dear Baloo:
 

What's been more thrilling in your life?  

a. Being a test pilot?

b. Flying for Rebecca?

c. Dealing with Hogzilla?

d. Dealing with Air Pirates?

e. Getting kissed by Rebecca?

f. All of the above?

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash
 

Dear Prop-Wash:

You forgot Louie’s Krackatoa Specials.   And what makes you think anything having to do with ol' Becky is 'thrilling'?  That dame’s one big headache. 

Baloo



Dear Baloo:

Why in the world did you spend all that saved up cash on a whale?

PB28

Dear PB28:

Well, it was kinda our fault that Moby Dimple was stuck with that lousy Seymour.  I wanted ta buy the Sea Duck back, but Kit laid one of them guilt trips on me and that’s what we ended up doing.  Last time I go fishin’ near a Seaquarium…

Baloo



Dear Baloo:
 

A bunch of my friends would like to learn the "The Baloo Belly Flop."  Any training suggestions? We've got the hammocks, but we're not sure if we need to apply any special diet.  

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash  

Dear Prop-Wash:  

Well, hammocks always come in handy, for floppin’, nappin’ and… other stuff.  The Baloo Belly Flop takes special skills, you see.  You've gotta practice every day, but, heh, heh, don't expect to be as good as me.  That takes talent and not many people have it.   Anyway, ya gotta think like a bear.  Diet?  That’s ‘Die’ with a ‘T’, that’s what!   Ha-Ha!  Man, I kill myself…  

Your belly-floppin’ pal,

Baloo


Dear Baloo:
 

In regard to Rebecca, Kitten, Myra, Katie, Lotta, Plane Jane, Broadcast Sally and others, I've just got one question:

Who's been your favorite date?

Bearcat

Dear Bearcat:  

Heh-heh!  That’s a funny name.  Plane Jane and Broadcast Sally… great gals, both of ‘em, but I ain’t crazy about fat chicks. My date with Sally just about put me in traction!  Lessee… Becky?  Are ya outta your mind?  She’s my boss.  Besides, she’s just too… bossy.  I would say Katie, but we never actually went anywhere.  I was gonna take her dancin’ and then dinner at the Kitkat Club, but she had a change of plans and had ta give a lecture on Tenabula on our last night in Gaphia.  She sounded real happy about it, but you could tell she was just bein’ brave.  It was a real shame.  I guess I’ll hafta go with Myra.  Too serious and not my type, but at least she took me and Wildcat out for dinner and we got a nice red carpet and got ta see some dancin’ girls.  They were lots prettier than the ones in Thembria.

Anyway, ol’ Baloo’s gotta be free.  Plenty of him ta go around.

A Real He-Bear,
Baloo

Dear Baloo:

In your opinion what is the stupidest thing Becky ever had you do?


Over and Out... PB28

Hiya, PB28:

Well, accordin’ ta ol’ Beckers, practically everything I do is stupid.  Wait… ya asked what stupid things Becky had me do, right?  Weeeelll, that’s another can of worms, altogether!  Man, where do I begin?  See, she thinks she knows business, but she's done some pretty stupid things that ain’t got her any richer.  There was this one time she bought this hog-wild pig --- Hogzilla --- and thought she'd use him to search for truffles and sell ‘em at fifty bucks a pop.  Well  *cracks knuckles*, Ol' Baloo had ta step in and save her bacon --- again. 

Then there was the time she painted my baby and made me and Kit wear them monkey suits… she opened a mid-air refuelin’ service, flew the Duck with a manual, made me fly this nutty mailman ta Thembria, put me on a diet… it never ends!  She's always doin' stuff like that.  *sigh*  Becky and her money-makin’ schemes…

Man, I feel sorry for the poor sap who marries her.

Clear Skies,

Your pal, Baloo


Dear Baloo,
 
We've heard the story about your graduation from grammar school (or grade school) and we know you went onto high school. It just doesn't answer the one burning question: When did you learn how to fly?
 
Sincerely,
 
Prop-Wash
 
Dear Propwash:
 
You know I went to high school?  Gee, how'd I miss that?  I don't remember any high school.  'Course, I did get a lot of higher education.  Ha, ha!  Get it?  'Higher' education? 
 
And ol' Baloo's always known how ta fly.  Uh, since Art Gimpson taught me when I was 17.  My boyhood idol Rick Sky was a real inspiration --- I'd always dreamed of bein' his wing man, but knew I'd have to learn ta fly first. See, after grade school, I got a job cleaning planes and helping out at the local airfield.  While my buddies were gettin' their heads crammed full of all that book learnin', I was gettin' a real education.  Ol' Artie taught me everything I know.  Except for my patented Baloo Barrelhouse Backwards Roll, of course.  And the Pelican Dive.  And...  oops.  Out of room. 

Baloo

 

Dear Baloo,

You and Wildcat seem to be best buds. How or where did you first meet Wildcat, and is he really that smart around an engine, or just gifted?
 
Sincerely,
Prop Wash
 
 
Dear Prop Wash,
 
Man, that's a funny name, if ya don't mind my sayin'.  Are you related to Mouth Wash and Car Wash?  *guffaws*
Wildcat's real gifted around an engine. Kinda an idiot servant.  Brilliant at mechanics an' marbles, though he keeps losin' em, the marbles, I mean.

Wildcat came to work for me about three years ago after Harrison Ravenwood an' his daughter, Lillian, disappeared in their top-secret plane, The Skyraker.  Oops.  Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that since it was top-secret. Forget I said anything.
Anyhoo, Wildcat's a great pal, and yep, one of my best friends.  Louie's my best friend, too, an' so is Kit.  An' even ol' Beckers.  And the Sea Duck. Kinda depends on who I'm with at the time.

Baloo

Dear Baloo:

 

Can you please answer a question that has puzzled many of us, your fans?

 

Where and how did you learn to be such a good dancer?

 

Sincerely,

 

Curious in Caliphonia

 

 

Hiya Curry!

*buffs nails* Well, after gettin' my pilot's license and openin' Baloo's Air Service for business, I had to deliver a few crates of cannin' and picklin' jars to Canniball Island. Still dunno why, 'cause no fruit or veggies ever grew there.

 

Long story short, they wanted to have me for dinner - 'cept I wasn't gettin' any food!  I had to get outta there pronto, and the only way out was on a path of hot coals.  I learned ta dance real fast, I can tell you!

Come ta think of it, I think I delivered baloney to Caliphonia once... 

Baloo 

REBECCA CUNNINGHAM

Dear Rebecca:

Just what do you see in Baloo? My family has a hunch you like him more than you let on, because of that pet name you gave him on that camping trip.  

The fact he also called you "Honey Lips" says volumes. Care to comment?  

Sincerely,  

Prop-Wash   

Dear Prop-Wash:

My, but your family sure has a strange way of spending time together.  Is there money riding on this?

I see a lot of potential in Baloo --- all he has to do is lose some weight, get to work on time, learn some manners, take a bath more than once a month, do laundry more than once a year... oh, lots of things.  But I don't want to dwell on that here.  For one thing, I don't think there's enough space in this column.
 

He may have called me ‘Honey Lips’ once, but it was an emergency.  The army was after us!  Do I look like the sort of woman who would survive life imprisonment?  Where's the money-making potential in that?  And who would take care of Molly?  I would have said I was married to Louie if it would have kept me out of jail.

Disgustedly yours,
Rebecca
 


Dear Miss Cunningham:
 

While we know Baloo is a bit of a slob (okay, maybe more than just a bit) there must be something about him you like, besides his piloting skills with the Sea Duck, that is.

Do you find him:  

a) trustworthy

b) handsome

c) other - (please explain if possible)

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash

Dear Prop-Wash:

Definitely ‘Other’.  Irresponsible, careless, rude, sloppy… oh, you meant good things.  All else aside, Baloo is the best pilot I’ve ever met, but don’t ever tell him I said so.  His head’s almost as big as his stomach.  That man saved my life as many times as he’s put it in danger.  Hmmph. I’m still punishing him for the time he got me arrested and almost executed in Thembria --- I nearly died of embarrassment!

Rebecca


Dear Rebecca:
 

What's been more exciting since you took over Baloo's Air Service to become Hire For Higher?  Has it been the day-to-day dealings with customers, being a single parent or putting up with Baloo?  And the $64 question --- are you going to marry the slob (he needs all the help he can get).

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash

Dear Prop-Wash:

There is definitely nothing exciting about being a single parent.  I love my daughter, but often think it would be nice to have somebody around to help me out.  I hate having to be the bad guy all the time and it would be nice to have somebody else for her to exhaust.

I don't know if you would call day-to-day dealings with customers exciting, either.  Sometimes, my face feels stiff from all the smiling I have to do to get people to part with their money.  It's exhausting! You wouldn't believe how stingy some people are!


As for Baloo's hijinks, I suppose some people would call them exciting.  I call them a nuisance.  After one of his so-called adventures, the Sea Duck needs so many repairs that I can barely keep Higher for Hire in business!  But out of the three choices you gave, I guess putting up with Baloo is the most exciting.  At least it gets me out of the office every once in a while.

And as for marrying him --- are you coco-nuts!  It’ll cost much more than a lousy $64 for me to do that!

Horrified,
Rebecca



Dear Rebecca:


What is your idea of the perfect date?

Sincerely,

Prop Wash

Dear Mr. Wash:

Call me old-fashioned, but I would like something really special. A candlelit dinner in a nice restaurant would be nice, or a night at the opera… you know, a place where I can make some really great business contacts!

A Closet Romantic,
Rebecca


Dear Rebecca:

I notice we never see your husband in the series. What in particular happened to him?

Signed,
Bonkers For Beckers

Dear Bonkers:

He died of pneumonia when Molly was two.   Of course, some people prefer to make his demise more interesting by spreading rumors that he was killed in a train wreck during a business trip.  Or saying he was murdered by Don Karnage, who, coincidentally, also killed Kit’s parents.

It’s a very sad chapter of my life that I prefer to keep closed.

And my name is Rebecca, young man.  R-E-B-E-C-C-A.  Get it right!

Rebecca Cunningham

P.S.:  I had almost succeeded in forgetting I even had a husband.  Thanks for ruining my day.




Dear Becky:

When you and Wildcat stayed overnight at Baloo’s castle that time, what did you do with Kit and Molly?  And did Wildcat ever find that bathroom?

Dying to Know


Dear Dying to Know:

It’s Rebecca.  Kit was off with his friends on a camping trip and I left Molly with the babysitter… like I always do when I have to bail Baloo out of whatever jam he gets himself in.   I write these little trips off as business expenses.  You know, I was so busy being cooked over a fiery pit that I really didn’t have time to think about it afterward.  You’d think there would be more than just two murderous servants to run things… I mean, that housekeeper had a wooden leg!  It couldn’t have been easy for her to run around the castle feeding Baloo’s face.  And you’d think a castle with six hundred rooms would have more than one bathroom, wouldn’t you?  Goodness knows Higher for Hire could use another one.  One of the boys keeps forgetting to… well, never mind about that.   I just keep a can of Cleanser’s Comet handy and hope for the best.

Rebecca



Dear Rebecca,

How long did it take to turn the Spruce Moose into a balloon, and what happened to Molly and H4H while you were gone?  

John

P.S.:  Who took off their clothes first?  

Dear John:

We're not magicians.  We didn't turn the Spruce Moose into a balloon.  We built a balloon over it, though how we got enough material to make a balloon that big may be considered a magic act in itself.  It's hard to say.  Four or five hours?  Then we danced afterward, which amazes me even more.  Molly was with a sitter.  As for Hire for Higher, nothing happened to it.  It was Saturday night and closed for the weekend.  I don't live there, you know!

P.S.:  Naturally, it was Baloo who disrobed first!  Just what are you implying, young man? 

Huffily yours,

Rebecca Cunningham


Dear Rebecca:

What's it like working with a bunch of guys?  How come you never hire girls?  Why not get a receptionist instead of answering the phones yourself?

Dodie Coyote

Dodie, Dodie, Dodie, I am so glad you came to me for advice when you did!  The reason I don't hire some floozy --- I mean, nice young woman to handle my phones is that it is quite unnecessary.  There are smaller operations which use secretaries, but mostly that is to attract more male clientele and... wait, why don't I have a secretary??  Kit, put that on my list of things to do.  We'll show that darn cargo business down the street who can get dumb rich males with lots of cargo that they need to... uh, haul.  Anyway, in addition, there's also the added expense.  I'm not really willing to put out the income unless I get into a more comfortable financial acclimation.  Hmmm.  Hey, Wildcat, do you still have that outfit you used when you guys attempted to teach Baloo manners?  Hey, where are you going?  Wildcat!  Get back here!


Dear Rebecca:

Why do you always wear such ugly dresses?  Even Baloo in drag looks better.  Also, I think Molly is outgrowing her clothes.  Her panties keep showing.  Are you too cheap to buy her new duds?

Love,

Maisie

 

Dear Maisie:

Maisie...why does that name make me think of rotten mayonnaise?  But to answer your question, I think you have perhaps an eye disorder and would recommend you to a good doctor somewhere in the vicinity of Myopia.  Now, if you could just send me your full name, telephone number, and address, but particularly the telephone number you can be reached, I would be more than happy to answer your pathetic outcry for attention.  Oh, and my sweet Molly has plenty of clothing...she often wears the same outfit to Higher for Hire because those are play clothes and I wouldn't want her to ruin the nice ones when there's so much oil lying around Wildcat's shed.  Oh and I imagine you'd know something about panties showing.  But I can limit the details of that to our upcoming phone conversation.   (coughs the word "floozy" as she daintily dabs mouth with a handkerchief)

Rebecca


Dear Becky,

I mean, Rebecca---er Ms. Cunningham, I'd like to know something that's been bugging me about the time you ran the mid-air refueling business in competition with Louie. I'm sure you know by now that taking Louie's customers really irked him and generated quite a bit of friction between him and Baloo in the process.

Was this an unintended side effect of an otherwise good idea for making money? Or were you secretly hoping to drive a wedge between them so that Baloo wouldn't waste time goofing-off at Louie's place anymore? Just curious.

Regards,

Gabe Bennett



Dear Mr. Bennett:

I am a businesswoman and it was one of my better ideas (until the gas station blew up, that is).  It operated like clockwork… it was beautiful.  Baloo and Kit got to keep the tips, so I think I was more than generous.  Besides, Baloo was always complaining that I don’t let him have enough time in the sky --- this way, he’s airborne, I make money and everybody wins!

 

I’m surprised that you think I would deliberately drive a wedge between Baloo and that walking carpet/pile of matted fur.  I might not approve of him spending time at Louie’s on company time, but I’m not a monster.  Everyone should have friends --- even those two.

 

Indignantly yours,

Rebecca Cunningham

 

Dear Rebecca,

What, in your honest opinion has been the greatest achievement in your life?  Specificially with Higher for Hire and Molly?  I've always been a big fan of yours!

Sincerely,
Sierra

 

 

Dear Sierra, 

 

My biggest achievement?  That's a tough one.  As far as business goes, getting Baloo to actually deliver cargo when he's supposed to is a big achievement.  I don't know if you realize it, but he has no concept of time.  Or business.  Or personal hygiene.  Or...  well, that's neither here nor there. 

 

As for my daughter, I'm grateful that she took after me in the brains department, but that's not really an achievement, is it?  My greatest achievement with her is that she's whole, healthy, and happy, which is amazing considering what she's been through since we moved back to Cape Suzette.  Therapy would cost a fortune

Thriftily yours,
Rebecca Cunningham


Dear Rebecca:

 

Why did you purchase Baloo's Air Service, did you have an interest in aviation already or was it the only business currently for sale? Also is it true your father gave you the money, was it a gift or is he a silent partner?

 

Signed,
John

 

 

Dear John:

 

I must admit that my initial interest stemmed from finding a failing business and nursing it back to health.  The old courier business I inherited from my father didn't work out as well as I'd hoped.  Employees need their sleep, and slavery is frowned upon.  I could hardly afford a thriving company, so I kept my eyes peeled for a bargain.  When hunting for wildebeast, it's a good idea to pick off the little sick ones first --- it's cheaper and they put up less of a struggle. 

Rebecca Cunningham

 

 

Dear Beckers,

Do you remember that time you made Baloo fly the load of sight-seers around? I'm curious, how come you didn't "strangle him, fire him, and strangle him again" like you were going to?

Regards,

Gabe Bennett

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Bennett:

 

Believe me, I've tried... but I just can't get my hands around what he has for a neck.  Oh well, I can always fire him... someday.

 

Thank you for reminding me.  *scribbles a note in her "Trespassers Will Be Shot" calendar, puts it in her desk drawer, and locks it*  There.  Hey! Is that a broken hairpin in the keyhole...?

 

Suspiciously yours,

 

Rebecca Cunningham

 

 

 

Dear Ms. Cunningham:

 

I understand you have a beautiful singing voice.  Ever thought of singing professionally?

 

Singing may be a better way to keep Baloo under control.  After all, don't they say that music soothes the savage beast?

 

After all, sometimes Baloo is a bit of a beast in terms of his social graces.  :D

 

Sincerely,

 

Prop Wash

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Wash:

 

Why, thank you! I used to sing in the school choir until my voice changed *embarrassed giggle* Though I only sing to my daughter at night... wait a minute... are you lurking at windows, you peeping tom?  No cookies for you!

 

As for keeping that fat pilot under control, all I have to do is hold his precious Sea Duck for ransom and he gets back in line, though usually at the last minute and at the worst possible time!

 

Music may soothe the savage beast, but the only thing that soothes that lazy bum is a hammock and an Orange Fizzy.  True, he's a bit of a beast, but he's my beast, young man.  Watch it.

 

 

Defensively yours,

Rebecca Cunningham

 

 

 

Dear Mrs. Cunningham,

 

You seem to be a highly motivated individual, but if your ship... errr... plane came in, would you retire or keep working?

 

Also, Baloo seems set on getting the Sea Duck back.  Do you think a profit-sharing would give him enough motivation to deliver his cargo on time in order to purchase it?

 

Respectfully,

 

Will

 

 

Dear Will:

 

After all I've gone through:  marriage, childbirth, business school, Baloo, air pirates, marauding pigs, ghosts, and certain sneaky blonde movie stars who can't act, I certainly deserve to retire and live on that pink yacht I've had my eye on for some time.  But unfortunately, that isn't an option.  First of all, Higher for Hire needs to turn a steady profit first.  I can't retire on nothing but my good looks.  Second, if I were to stop working, who would keep Higher for Hire from going bankrupt?  I'm the only competent person I know.   *sigh*  If I didn't keep an eye on the place, it would probably fall apart and turn into (shudders)  Baloo's Air Service!

 

As for profit-sharing with that lazy bum, don't make me laugh.  If he becomes a partner, how could I possibly order him around?  You see the bind I'm in, don't you?

 

Wearily yours,

 

Rebecca Cunningham

 

 

 

Dear Rebecca,

Do you hold a grudge against Baloo for keeping you from joining Captain Stansbury?

 

Signed,

A. Purrson

 

 

Dear A. Purrson,

How do you know about Captain Stansbury?  Did Baloo tell you?  That...that...bear!  Discuss my love life with those ill-mannered slobs at Louie's, will he?  He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance to get off for this one.   No trips to Louie's for a month.  Two months. And no vacation.  I don't care how many 'sick aunts' he has.  He's got to learn that some things are meant to be a secret, like where I hide his body after I kill him!

Yours seethingly,

Rebecca Cunningham

 

 

 

Dear Rebecca,

The midair refueling idea was a good one, and would have worked without Baloo and Louie fighting. Have you thought about trying again, but maybe cutting him in for some of the profits?

Signed,
A. Purrson 



Dear A. Purrson:

Yes, the mid-air refueling station was a huge success, as I knew it would be.  However, following the unfortunate and mysterious explosion of Baloo's Lube and Lunch, the aviation inspector banned mid-air refueling entirely.  I am currently looking for loopholes in that ludicrous law, because, except for that one little mishap, I know for a fact that mid-air refueling is not dangerous in any way, shape, or form.

Oh, stop complaining, Baloo!  I'll change your bandages after I finish this letter.

As for cutting Baloo in on the profits, he already got to keep all the tips, which I think is more than fair.  It's not my fault that he had to use his tips to pay his hospital bills.

All right, Baloo!  From the way he's been carrying on, you'd think he was the only one in the world with third-degree burns.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Cunningham
Owner - Higher for Hire, Cape Suzette
Phone:  Dockside 2-9236
Near or far, by plane or car, Higher for Hire can handle all your delivery needs.

 

 

Dear Miz Cunningham:

 

In responding to other people who have written in, you have repeatedly denied having any romantic feelings for Baloo. And yet, I have heard from a reliable source that during the Panda-La invasion you cried out "I love you, Baloo!" when you found out that he hadn't been blown up.

 

Care to comment?

 

Sincerely,

 

Curious in Caliphonia

 

 

Dear Curious:

 

Well, Curious, you certainly come by your name honestly. That explosion during the Panda-La invasion made so much noise that nobody could be heard clearly, understand? Naturally, I'm glad he didn't blow up.  We had a lot of shipments to deliver that week! 

 

*hides a lock of grey fur in The Very-Private-Trespassers-Will-Be-Shot desk drawer*

 

Rebecca Cunningham

Tenacious and Clear-Headed Entrepreneur

 

 

 

Dear Miss Cunningham:

What is your favorite musical instrument to play for your daughter Molly? And what can Molly play?

Thanks for your time

Greg Busby



Dear Mr. Busby:

I have a business to run. I certainly don't have time to play instruments for anyone. Though I did play a mean tambourine for the Thembrian High Marshall once.

As for Molly, she did take piano lessons for a few days, but I'm afraid she didn't have an aptitude for it. I had to pull her out. I wanted her to learn classical music, but all she ever played was "do-re-mi" and scales. I just couldn't concentrate on my work with all that racket.

Young man, apparently you have never been a mother!

Sincerely,

Rebecca Cunningham

 

MOLLY CUNNINGHAM

Dear Molly:

When you first laid eyes on Kit did you think you had a new brother? And by the way, is blue the only ribbon color you mom gave you?

 

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash

Dear Prop-Wash:

I know where new brothers come from, and they’re supposed to be younger, not older than me.  Kit’s not new at all.  I like blue, that’s all.  I used to have pink, but I “lost” it.   *giggles*

Molly
   


Dear Molly,

You were very brave fighting Covington in "Mollycoddled". How on earth did you get so much courage?

Signed,
Muchly 'Motional For Molly



Dear MM4M:

Easy!  I eat Danger Woman Ice Cream!

Molly



Dear Molly,

Often you are complaining about Rebecca, since she is working all the time. What would you --- or Danger Woman --- do to have Rebecca working less? Then your mommy might have more time for you.

Wouter
 

Dear Wouter:

*giggles* Sometimes I hide her makeup
so she can’t leave the house.  I keep telling her it was probably the evil Makeup Marauder of Doom, but then she takes one look at my face and tells me to put it back or else.  I have no idea how she knows it’s me.

I have to go wash my face now.

Love,
Molly

 

DON KARNAGE

Dear De Fabulous Don Karnage:  

Have you ever wanted to be a real pirate someday?  I mean, Yo-Ho-Ho And A Bottle Of Rum" and all that?

Signed,  

Jolly Codger

Dear Jolly Codger:

What are you meaning a 'real pirate someday?'  I am a real pirate now!  I cheat!  I pillage!  I plunder!  And all with these dashing good looks and fearsoming sword fighting.  I tell you what --- I am one scary guy!

Dangerously Annoyed,
Don Karnage



Dear Captain Karnage:

How come *you* can understand what Gibber is saying while the rest of the world cannot?

Signed,
Konfuzzled In Kansas

Dear Konfuzzled (that’s a weird name!):

As you doubtless know, I am brilliant in languages.   I am not like the rest of the world.  Since Gibber is the least estupide of my men, I can easily commerce with him.  When it comes to brilliant ideas, we speak the same mother lung.

Arrivederci
Don Karnage




Dear Captain Karnage:  

What would you do to me if I told you that Louie's Aunt Louise was seen headed towards Pirate Island, but then it turned out that I was only pulling your chain? Being a bit of a practical joker, I'm kinda curious.

 Sincerely,

 Gabe Bennett.

 
Dear Senor Bennett:

What?  Aunt Louise?  Where?  *ahem*  Not that I am fearing the lady, but a dashing fellow such as myself has to keep up his reputing.  Wait a minuet.  I do not wear a chain.  How could a very foolish someone pull a chain that I do not wear?  *Gibber whispers to him*  What you are meaning 'a joke'?  A joke?  Why would someone play such a nasty joke?  Who said such a thing?  Why that little!  I will boil him in acid... and maybe some salt!  I will make him very, very sorry for toying with the feared pirate!

Fearsomely yours,
Don Karnage

 

KIT CLOUDKICKER

Dear Kit,

 

Is there any special gal in your life?  And does she have a sister?

 

Sincerely,

 

Prop-Wash

Dear Prop-Wash:

No, I don’t have a special girl in my life --- geez, I’m only twelve!  And if I don’t have a girl, how would I know if she has a sister or not?

Kit

 

Dear Kit,

You mentioned to Baloo in "Plunder & Lightning" that you were an Air Pirate for a year, but got "sick of them".  What exactly sickened you about them?

Signed
Curious In Conestoga


Dear Curious:

Well, the smell of Dumptruck's... well, let's just say he isn't called 'Dumptruck' for nothing.

It's no fun being a pirate when you're the youngest and smallest one there.  Instead of having just an adult or two to tell you what to do, you have a couple dozen bossing you around.  I mean, they never bothered me about eating spinach or going to school or anything, but they never gave me my share of the loot.  I had to wait till they were all asleep to steal it and hide it in a hole above the lava pit.  That's part of the reason why I wanted to go rescue Miz Cunningham and Molly ---I wanted my treasure!  But it was left behind, so...

Kit



Dear Kit:
 

I thought all bears liked fish? You tend to spit it out. Are you allergic?

 

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash

 

Dear Prop-Wash:

I guess you don’t know too many bears, but we’re really as unique as anyone else. I'm sure there are some things that you don't like that other people do and it doesn't have anything to do with allergies.  No, I’m not allergic to fish--- I just hate the stuff.  See, one time when I was pretending to be a seal at a water park, I had to pretend to eat a raw fish. Yuck!  I had blurry vision for a few minutes and it took me days to get rid of the fish taste! Baloo complained because I went through two whole tubes of toothpaste.  Since then, I can't stand fish, cooked or not.

Kit


Dear Kit:

I was wondering, since you never filled out the paperwork to leave are you still in the Thembrian airforce? If they had actually taught flying would you have stayed in Thembria?

Signed,

John


Dear John:

Wow.  Already I'm writing a Dear John letter.  Anyway, to answer your question, I am unable to disclose that first bit of information due to Thembrian law, Charter number 3, section 1080, paragraph 3, which states the nature of my very top secret status with the Thembrian military.  I can tell you that their bunks smell like onions, that Bobbo was most likely going to love the "Don't Ask, Cuz We Don't Care" policy, and that Spigot hides mime memorabilia in his closet.  I got bored one day and did some exploring...it's a long story.  The truth is they did teach flying, just not to the kids.  What a world we live in!  They told me to come back when I was tall enough to reach the brake pedals.  Why did they build planes just our size if they weren't meant to be flown?  I mean, why attach them all together?  I guess my flying abilities just intimidated the other kids...I mean, my exploits *are* kinda legendary. (checks out his reflection in a nearby window and fiddles with his collar, then clicks his tongue and points at himself)  Huh?  What, you're still here?  Uh... I'm done.  That's the end.  I got things to do.  (waits)  What, do you want an autograph or somethin'?  Hey, you wouldn't happen to know any mad scientists that could make me taller, would ya?  Hey, where are ya goin?!  I have...other stories.  Really exciting Thembrian military ones.  Top secret stuff.  Ah nuts, I smell like onions, don't I?  They don't exactly use bathtubs in Thembria, which is amazing given how many they fritter away as ammo.  (goes off to take a shower)

Kit


Dear Kit,

When Baloo kept doubling your money why didn't you stand up for yourself and say stop instead of letting him talk you into trade after trade? Did you ever tell Ms. Cunningham about your trip, some of those cargoes could probable make money by themselves without the chain leading up to them. Like the umbrellas and clam shells?

Signed,
A. Purrson


Dear A. Purrson:

Stand up to Baloo and tell him to stop in the middle of a screwball scheme? Ha!  It would be as impossible as stopping an avalanche! 

Did I tell Miz Cunningham about the trip?  Yeah, right.  Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have gotten the chance, because as soon as we got home, she started yelling at Baloo, as usual.

I'm gonna go put my earmuffs on now.  Miz Cunningham keeps shouting at Baloo to stop playing that Sticky Banana song, and every time she shouts, Baloo turns up the volume.  I'm sorry I bought that record. Oh, my aching ears!

Sincerely,

Kit

 


KATIE DODD


Dear Katie:

Why didn't you just go back and dig up Tinabula instead of moaning that it's a lost city?  Also, if you didn’t have to give a lecture on Tinabula on the last night Baloo and Louie were in town, which one would you have gone out with?

Will you marry me?

Smitten
 

Dear Smitten:  

Well, with a question like that, I can't help but say absolutely not!

As for digging up Tinabula, you think you're smart, don't you?  But since you're so interested, I'm pleased to say that we have a newly formed team that is going back to Gaphnia and begin a dig of Tinabula.  Unfortunately, this will involve many years worth of effort and a lot of glue to put everything back together.

As for the Baloo-Louie question, do you think the Gaphnia museum really wanted me to do a lecture on Tinabula that night?

Dr. Katie Dodd, Archaeologist

P.S.:  Stop staring at my chest.


Dear Miss Dodd,

I've always noticed how long that chain is when Klang had you shackled. Did you consider strangling a guard with it?

Signed,

Choked up



Dear Choked Up,

Strangle someone?!  What kind of a person do you think I am?  I'm an archeologist, not a murderer! And that's Doctor Dodd, not Miss. And if that's too hard for your tiny brain to handle, Professor will do. I don't care if you're choking --  get this straight: I will not be patronized, do you hear me, buster?

And thank you so much for bringing up that horrible incident. Klang stole my bells and destroyed Tinabula.  An entire civilization -- all that history -- GONE.  If it hadn't been for that lousy snake, the fame of my wonderful discovery of an entire city built on harmonics would have rung throughout the world.  Instead, I'm stuck on this lecture circuit until I hear about another lost city that needs discovering.  

Here, have a cough drop and go away.  I don't want to catch whatever it is you've got. 

Dr. Katie Dodd, archeologist 


ERNIE

Dear Ernie, President of the Jungle Aces, 
 

What's it like having Oscar Vandersnoot in the club now?  Is he getting used to all that adventuring?

Not great.  We’ve had to change our meeting places so many times because his mom keeps butting in.  She didn’t want him climbing to the tree house, so she said we could hold our meetings in his room instead.  When we got there, the furniture was covered in plastic.  Instead of real food, like sandwiches or something, this guy in a penguin suit kept giving us these things with the crust cut off.   I took a bite of one and spat it out.  It was disgusting.  I asked Oscar what the heck kind of sandwich was this?  He said it was liver Patty.  Yuck!  We couldn’t play with his trains either.  His mom said they were just for display.  What a joke.   

We might have to dismember him, or whatever it is you do to kick somebody out of the club.  

Ernie

MYRA FOXWORTHY

Dear Miss Foxworthy:

I was wondering what your country is like now that you have such a major tourist attraction as the formerly lost pyramid. Have things improved any?  Also how did you get the Minister of Culture job, are you part of the royal family? What are your other interests besides archeology?

Signed,
Foxy gent seeking foxy lady


Dear Foxy Gent:

Aridia was rich in history, but poor in riches. I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am that the lost pyramid was recovered.  Now that it’s safely in the museum, business has been booming.  Not that history should ever be a business, mind you, but I have to admit that tourism has done miracles for our economy.  I can afford to buy another khaki outfit, for one thing.  We’ve added another wing to the building and it will showcase Son of the Mummy when it opens.

I am forever indebted to my dear friends Baloo and Wildcat for their heroics, as well as their friendship.  Most people would have asked for a reward.  All Baloo wanted was a fancy feast, a nice red carpet and some dancing girls. Of course, with Baloo's appetite, the 'feast' nearly depleted Aridia's funds.  As for Wildcat, all he asked for was a piece of string because his yo-yo broke.  He’s such a sweet guy.

No, I’m not a member of the royal family.  I earned my position as Minister of Culture with two things --- hard work and being the only person in Aridia who could read and write.  For whatever reason, I am very grateful for this opportunity.  It's wonderful to be able to bring a little literacy and historical knowledge to this country!

My other interests?  Gosh, nobody has ever asked me that before.  Hmmm… well, nobody would believe this, but I do have a wild side.  I just love staying in the tombs until very late at night.  It’s not something I advertise, though.  

Miss Myra Foxworthy
Minister of Culture
Aridia


KITTEN KABOODLE


Dear Kitten Kaboodle, Inmate #3349-RE-5 3/8:

If you were given another chance, would you still do the same destructive things you did to jump-start your movie career?

Signed,
Moosed In Fifty Paces


Dear Moosed:

In a Starrywood minute, darling.  That’s showbiz.

Kiki


Dear Miss Kaboodle:

What did you do before you went to Starrywood?  How do you like your jail cell?

A Fan

 

Dear Fan:

Darling, Kiki has had a very hard life.  Alas, my parents made me do chores, like wash the dishes and dust furniture.
  And then there was this time when these dreadful people who smelled like hamburger grease made me serve food to small groups of screaming ogres and their offspring --- I believe you non-Starringwood types call them 'families'.  To add insult to injury, I was forced to wear this hideously ugly orange uniform and smile at them as if they mattered in the grand scheme of things.

But then, beams of light penetrated the darkness of my wretched existence.  In 1934, I won the title of Miss October Harvest and was declared the most beautiful girl in Mayberry County, or was it Bayberry?  No matter --- the place isn't important --- all those crummy small towns look alike to me.  Besides, it really wasn’t much of a contest.  The judges and I were very good friends, and the other girls were… you know… brunettes.

As for my… current living arrangements, how sweet of you to be concerned for my welfare.  I assure you that this is only temporary.  I must confess that I was rather disappointed that the good people at Starrywood Penitentiary misinterpreted my request for a private room.  I found myself sharing accommodations with Edwina, a rather heavyset person who calls herself Ed.  Believe me, it suits her.  She isn’t so bad, though.  For example, she has a knack for interior decorating.  Her side of the cell, er, room is practically wallpapered with pictures of moi.  I was a little nervous on my first night, but she made me feel very welcome and wanted.  She told me that she’s my biggest fan and that she’s loved me for years.  How flattering.  She’s been very nice, offering to do my chores and make sure that nobody disturbs me while I run lines for my trial.  And I do wish the commode wasn’t so exposed.  I always have to wait until Ed is asleep before I can use it.

But I do not like to live in the past.  Someday, Kiki will make a comeback.  She will prevail.


I… am a survivor.
  Like a phoenix from the ashes, I will rise again.

All my love,
xoxo

Kiki

PRINCESS LOTTA LAMOUR


Dear Princess Lotta:

We're all wondering just who and what was your mother, and how did she meet Amuck? Did you ever find the treasure or was it just mixed in with the stolen taxes?

Signed,

An interested prince of a guy


Dear Prince:

My mother was a vixen.  People say I look a lot like her.  Father says they met at her coronation ball.  She had been dancing all night and went to get a glass of punch.  She tripped over Father, spilling punch all over them.  You may have noticed that he’s of average height for a rabbit, and she just didn’t see him standing there.  And he didn't see her coming, either.  He has a little trouble seeing because of his lazy eye.

The treasure was mixed in with the stolen tax money, but it was too much bother to try to sort them into piles, so we just threw a party and invited everyone in Macadamia.

Faithfully yours,
Princess Lotta Lamour of Macadamia

SHERE KHAN

Dear Mr. Khan:

I've often wondered where you recruit your pilots, and is being a panther part of the job requirement? What else do you look for in an employee?

Hopeful Employee



June 15, 1937

Dear Hopeful Employee:

I employ only the best, the crème de la crème, if you will, from a little-known port called Pilot Island, not to be mistaken for another, disreputable, island of a similar name.  Only those with ten years minimum experience shall be considered.  Being of panther ancestry is not a requirement, although the feline persuasion is definitely preferred.  Successful evasion of air pirates is desirable.  I should hate to lose any important cargo, like say… nutmeg.   Indeed, your aviation skills should speak for themselves.  

All of my employees must be appropriately attired, well spoken (only when spoken to), serious, and able to take direction.   You will need a name --- or at least a number --- as I obviously cannot hire someone off the street.  Enclosed is an application, which you must fill out in triplicate.  Please send one copy to the police station so they can do a background check.  I have had an unfortunate experience with a criminal employee in the past and do not wish to hire anyone less than trustworthy.  You should bring one copy in with you and file another away for your records. My secretary, Mrs. Snarly, will set up an interview at your earliest convenience.  Please be sure that your earliest convenience is tomorrow at 1:00 pm.

Sincerely,

Shere Khan

Encl.

cc:  Personnel Department

SK/ms

P.S.:  Please remember to wear a tie. A clip-on is not acceptable business attire.  My secretary shall greet you at the door and tug on your tie before you are admitted.  Also, there were a couple of unfortunate incidents with rogue robots, including a kidnapping of an innocent person. Needless to say, I was not amused. Therefore, I have decreed a new policy:  Flesh-and-blood pilots are mandatory.  You will be subjected to a full physical.  All potential employees must be in top condition before an interview is granted, not only to conserve my valuable time, but to ensure that sick days are kept to a minimum --- if not eliminated.

COLONEL SPIGOT

Dear Thembrian Kids,

You told Kit none of you cared about flying, so why did you join the air force?!

Wonderingly,
Inquiring Mind 


Dear Inquirer,

Make sure you censor those boys' letters properly, Sergeant Dunder.  Black out everything.  We can't have classified information falling into Uslandian hands.

*clears throat importantly*  I'm Colonel Spigot.  Perhaps you've heard of me?  I can speak for everyone in the Junior Air Corps when I say that the opportunity to join the Glorious Thembrian Air Corps under my close and personal supervision was one of the highest honors awarded to any Thembrian, even 12-year-olds. 

No, Sergeant Dunder, they didn't join only because I threatened their families with the firing squad.  And where's my official stamp?  What do you mean we're a little short on ink?  Was that a short joke?  Put yourself on report!

Signed,

Colonel Ivanov Spigot, Head of the Glorious Thembrian Air Corps

WILDCAT

Dear Wildcat:  

What's your favorite food or foods? Excluding bubble gum that is.  

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash


Dear Prop-Wash:

Well, I like chicken-and-mayo sandwiches, and peanut butter sandwiches, fish sandwiches, but not peanut sandwiches or butter sandwiches.  They taste good after they’ve been thawed out under my armpit.  Nice and warm.  Sometimes, me and Baloo make salami sandwiches with the Seaduck's propellers.  Those are good, too, but not when Baloo falls in the water and gets it all soggy.  Oh, and birthday cake!  I love birthday cake!  Especially if it’s mine.

But I draw the line at brussels sprouts!

Wildcat


Dear Wildcat:

I really like Clementine and think you two make a great couple.  Are you planning on marrying her and having lots of kids?

Tan Flanders

Dear Tan:

Uh, if you really like Clementine too, does that mean we have to flip a coin for her? I don't have a coin... hey, how about a dollar bill?  Or I could show you how to make a paper airplane out of it and... oh, yeah... I wouldn't mind marrying Clem.  She's reeeeally neat!  As for kids... well, how many box tops do I need to mail in?  That's a lot of cereal, and I'm not that hungry.

Are you Tan-Margaret and Ned Flanders's love child?

Wildcat



Dear Wildcat,

It's obvious you're extremely skilled as a mechanic, though a little slow in other areas. How did you discover your talent?
When did you start working for Baloo, and did you do anything before that?

Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Gee, that’s a funny name.  Excuse me, I have to ask Miz Cunningham what those big words mean (like obvious, extremely, discover, and Baloo).   Well, Baloo’s a word, right?  And big.  Um… wait a minute.  I’m confuuuused.  

I was just a little shaver the first time I fixed something.  Like, there was this fan that went from one side of the room to the other reeaally fast!  Well, maybe not exactly, but it made a lot of noise and moved around a lot.  So I took a look at it.  It was really hard to stay away from the blades.  Mom had been meaning to take me to get a haircut anyway.  I always feel bad when I get a haircut. What if it hurts those poor little hairs? *sniffs and blows nose*

I started working for Baloo when he broke his first plane.  He didn't really need me before that.  In fact, ever since we met, he’s always needing help with something.  Like the time he had to be in two places at once and he hung this alarm clock around my neck and I had to dress up like a stewardess.  It’s a long story.  Oh, and I had to pretend to be his date and help teach him manners for his big date with Miz Cunningham.  ‘Course, I had to slap him when he got too fresh…

Did I do anything before that?  Well, I did lots of stuff, like bowling with Kirby and Dutch, but that was too greasy, so I stopped.  Oh!  And I ate a tuna fish sandwich… or was it peanut butter?  Anyway, my score was a perfect zero, man!  I love round numbers.

Um, who are you calling slow? I can run pretty fast.  Especially when I'm being chased by a mummy.  Wanna race?

Wildcat

Dear Wildcat:

You never get mad.  Why is that?  Haven't you ever been so mad at someone that you deliberately sabotaged their engine?  Also, is Clementine the only girlfriend you ever had?

Little Nicky

Wow, like, those are a lot of questions!  One time Baloo asked me a bunch of questions but I kept on trying to fix this gasket, an' oil got smeared all over the floor of the SeaDuck!  (gasps and laughs).  So, like...(continues gazing at his wrench and squinting his eye to get a better view of whatever he's fixing)

Wildcat


Dear Wildcat:

Did you want to be a mechanic when you grew up, or is that the job you got stuck with?  How come you seem to get along with Rebecca but Baloo always gets into trouble?  Have you ever had a serious accident when fixing something?  Why do you have a ponytail?  Wouldn't that get caught in the machinery?

Wondering

No!  My ponytail, I got it by not cutting my hair, and THEN I tie it back to it won't like, get birds caught in it, an' then if I go fer a real long time, I can give it a name!  I like to call it Larry.  But only on Tuesdays.  Cuz, if I called it Larry on Sunday and I saw Larry my friend or his second cousin?  Named Larry it could get confusing!

Wildcat

DR. ZIBALDO (new)

Dear Dr. Zibaldo,

Did you ever get that 'television' thing worked out?

Signed,

Couch Potato 



Dear Couch Potato,

(shaking a toaster upside-down over a trash can) You know, rye bread is tasty and a nice change from wheat or white, but whenever I toast it, it dries out and drops lots of crumbs into the bottom of my toaster, which makes a horrible burning smell the next time I use it.  

Oh.  Um, about television.  Yes, I was successful in producing a television, or 'radio with picture'.  The problem is that there's nothing much to watch.  Just some boring screen that looks like an airplane propeller.  In my opinion, it wasn't one of my better inventions. I don't think it will ever catch on.  Maybe I should have stuck with my shrinking machine.

Dr. Zibaldo

P.S.  Would you like some toast? 

BIG AL McGUIRE

Dear Big Al:

So in a one-on-one fight with Baloo, do you think you'd have a chance?

The Collector


Dear Collector:

Listen, buddy, I let that bozo win.  Just didn’t want to kill him in front of a lady.  Even if she does let that little monster of hers run wild.


Uh… you’re a not from the mob, are you?

Big Al


Dear Big Al:


How would you compare yourself to Baloo, and are you jealous he's dating Joanna?

Sincerely,

Prop-Wash


Dear Prop-Wash:

Are you kidding?  Why would I be jealous?  I’m smarter, work harder and --- most important --- I bet I’ve seen more action than he has, dame-wise.  Anyway, he can have that nasty little witch.  (snorts) Dames should come with an instruction manual….

Big Al


 

STRUMMER

Dear Strummer:

I understand you play the guitar. Did you learn on your own, or take lessons? Did you ever think of playing for a band or orchestra? 

Sincerely,

Gotta-Know
 

Dear Gotta-Know:

Well, we traveled all my life, and I didn’t have anyone to play with when I was a kid, so Ma thought I should learn to play an instrument to keep me out of trouble.  I tried the clarinet, but it kept getting clogged with drool.  I had the same problem with the sax, the French horn and the harmonica (Handy tried to teach me that last one).   

A few years ago, Handy finally bought me a used guitar and I learned to play with this wonderful little booklet.  All the keys are in different colors:  A is blue, B is green, C is yellow, D is orange, E is red, F is pink and G is purple.  After I learned The Alphabet Song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Ba Ba, Black Sheep, I gave a little concert in the Food tent for all the carnies, and Handy made sure that everyone was quiet. I saw my Joanna sittin’ there and she kept starin’ at me without blinkin’ until he gave her a little nudge in the ribs, startling her.  She looked kind of mad because he broke the spell.  It was so wonderful.  I had no idea she was so fascinated by my music that she could go in a trance like that.  It was like being the Pied Piper.  

And I do lead an orchestra --- the Haley Carnival Band, remember?  It’s small, but I like to think of it as a big, happy family.  And it will be, once me an’ Joanna are hitched.  Then we’ll have a little ‘band’ of our own someday…

Ha-ha!  You get it--- ‘band of our own’?

Nicholas “Strummer” Haley

 
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