Johnny America


Ne­go­ti­a­tions With My Gen­er­ous Friend Aaron Grill, Who Of­fers a Couch and a Blan­ket to Vis­i­tors, but Not His Sister


Dear Mr. Grill,

I am writ­ing to in­quire whether you would be in­ter­est­ed in em­ploy­ing a but­ler for any of the days of March 19th through March 28th. I will be trav­el­ing to your area and your ac­quain­tance Ms. Emi­ly Law­ton sug­gest­ed you might have need for my ser­vices. For re­mu­ner­a­tion, all I re­quire is lodging.

I look for­ward to your re­ply and earnest­ly hope we can agree to a mu­tu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial arrangement.


Jay Hol­ley


Dear Mr. Holley,

Un­for­tu­nate­ly, Si­monomis Pro­duc­tions is not cur­rent­ly hir­ing for the po­si­tion of But­ler. How­ev­er, I will ap­prove lodg­ing at re­quest­ed Flat­bush Av­enue apart­ment from March 20th through March 28th for one Jay Hol­ley. The re­quest­ed date of March 19th must be ap­proved by Mr. Levi Reznicek and/or Kristi­na Vo­jtek as I, CEO of Si­monomis Pro­duc­tions, will be out of the coun­try dur­ing said date and re­turn­ing on March 20th.

Fur­ther­more, the be­low list­ed con­di­tions must be agreed up­on via elec­tron­ic mail re­sponse, and sign­ing par­ty will be held ac­count­able by the au­thor­i­ty of the Elec­tron­ic Trans­ac­tions Act of 2002:

Ne­go­ti­a­tions and com­ments are welcome.


Mas­ter Aaron R. Grill

CEO, Si­monomis Procutions

Dear Mr. Grill,

I re­gret my ser­vices as but­ler are not re­quired, but I gra­cious­ly ac­cept your of­fer for lodg­ing. I’ve con­tact­ed my for­mer em­ploy­er Emi­ly Law­ton and she has agreed to con­tract me for me­nial la­bor on the 19th — I’m to spend the day scrub­bing and pol­ish­ing her nu­mer­ous sil­ver stat­ues of An­dre 3000 and the evening re-sol­ing a dozen pairs of go-go boots.

Your con­di­tions are fair and rea­son­able and I will glad­ly agree to all of them, pend­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion of point four, which states, “Sign­ing par­ty shall not try to make out with lodg­ing host’s col­lege aged step-sis­ter, al­so vis­it­ing from Kansas, dur­ing the visit.”

“Shall not try to make out,” could be in­ter­pret­ed to mean I, the sign­er, am pro­hib­it­ed from pur­su­ing said step-sis­ter, though not nec­es­sar­i­ly lim­it­ed by con­tract should said step-sis­ter “try to make out” with me, a pas­sive par­ty. Was this your in­ten­tion, sir? My re­quest for clar­i­fi­ca­tion is not meant to im­ply opin­ion one way or an­oth­er to­ward the act of “mak­ing out” with your step sis­ter — rather, I ask be­cause I’ve re­tained le­gal coun­sel and my at­tor­ney, Ms. Emi­ly Law­ton, has ad­vised I clar­i­fy this un­cer­tain clause of the contract.

I look for­ward to com­plet­ing our ne­go­ti­a­tions and pur­chas­ing the first par­ty his re­quired drink, plus up to two in­cen­tive drinks de­pend­ing on the lodg­ing par­ty’s re­quest for clar­i­fi­ca­tion re: the is­sue of “mak­ing out.”


Jay Hol­ley


Mr. Hol­ley:

Thank you for your most gra­cious re­sponse to the terms out­lined. I must say that “make out” claus­es can be pe­cu­liar, and sub­ject to nu­mer­ous con­tin­gen­cies. Your le­gal coun­sel cer­tain­ly has vast ex­pe­ri­ence with such clauses.

The spir­it of point four is to pre­vent any “mak­ing out” be­tween the lodg­ing par­ty and host’s step-sis­ter at said Flat­bush Av­enue Apart­ment in or­der to main­tain san­i­ty and good re­la­tions be­tween lodg­ing host and sign­ing par­ty. To fur­ther clar­i­fy, said step-sis­ter is not Julie, with whom said sign­ing par­ty is al­ready well ac­quaint­ed, but rather, the church-go­ing younger sis­ter Mol­ly. In the event, how­ev­er slight the chance, said church-go­ing step-sis­ter does “try to make out” with sign­ing par­ty, it will be un­der­stood that sign­ing par­ty did not at­tempt the pas­sive lure of said young church-go­ing step-sis­ter. I hope you un­der­stand and take in good faith my rea­sons for in­clud­ing such claus­es (per­haps I can go in­to the ex­tent and his­to­ry of my rea­son­ing over a drink). I sin­cere­ly tried to take in­to con­sid­er­a­tion your needs, which is why I ex­empt­ed said step-sis­ter’s friends. If your needs are great, the Q sub­way train is a short walk away and but three stops away from Chi­na­town, where I’m sure you can find young Asian men to ful­fill these needs.

The pur­chase of one drink for lodg­ing host, as out­lined in the orig­i­nal con­di­tions, is plen­ty. If you wish to pur­chase ad­di­tion­al drinks for lodg­ing host, it will be most wel­come at the time.

Thank you for your un­der­stand­ing, and I hope that we can reach an agree­ment soon and have many drinks to­geth­er along with your le­gal coun­sel and em­ploy­er Ms. Lawton.



Filed under Letters on February 24th, 2004

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Reader Comments

Jude wrote:

Tread light­ly with Emi­ly Lawton.

Jay wrote:

Jude Law: You are as wise as you are handsome.

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