You are bidding on a rare chance to traumatize a treasured friend or relative with baffling, mind-numbing, mystery correspondence from abroad. Here is the arrangement:
I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Poland in a tiny village that has one church with no bell because angry Germans stole it. Aside from vodka, there is not a lot for me to do.
During the course of my holiday I will send three postcards to one person of your choosing.
These postcards will be rant-ravingly insane, yet they will be peppered with unmistakable personal details about the addressee. Details you will provide me.
The postcards will not be coherently signed, leaving your mark confused, guessing wildly, crying out in anguish.
“How do I know this person? And how does he know I had a ferret named Goliath?”
Your beloved friend or relative will try in vain to figure out who it is. Best of all, it can’t possibly be you because you’ll have the perfect alibi: you’re not in Poland. You’re home, wherever that is, doing whatever it is you do when not driving your friends loopy with international prankery.
Your target will rack their brains in the shower. At dinner. During long drives. At work. On the golf course.
“Who did I tell about the time I got fired by a note on my chair?” they’ll ponder, “And where the hell is Szczeczinek?”
But wait, there’s more.
To add to the sheer confusion and genuine discomfort, one missive will be on an original promotional postcard announcing the 1995 television premiere of Central Park West on CBS.
Another will be a postcard celebrating Atlanta’s disastrous hosting of the 1996 summer Olympic games.
Your mark will be at a complete loss, desperate for answers, debating contacting people he or she hasn’t talked to in years.
“I know this will sound weird,” they’ll say, “but by any chance were you in Eastern Europe ranting about cantaloupe… twelve years ago… right before some show with Mariel Hemingway debuted?”
When you decide to end the torment is completely up to you. If you can, I recommend owning up on 1 April 2008 – giving you nearly half a year of joy and a George Clooney-esque level of prankage. If you can’t hold it in that long, I totally understand.