Tell Me a Story, part 11: The return of Said

Years ago, I briefly rented a post-office box and took out an ad in the classifieds which, apart from listing the box address, simply read “Tell me a story.” One of the respondents — named Said — had told me in Letter #3 ( that good stories needed to be told in person. I responded by mailing him a minicassette recorder and some blank tapes. This was his response (I’ve removed his address):


Tell Me A Story

Letter #11

Received Jan. 7/02

Hand-written on blank paper.

Ottawa – Ont

Jan. 3, 2002

Dear friend,

I really admire your sense of decency and humour “Tell me a story” in sending a tape recorder. It is wonderful and I wish I were a teenager to take full advantage of it.

I am sincerely a good story teller and the story has reflections of taste, truth, trauma, affection and appeal to a person. I have one serious problem. I am an upper middle person and a very respectable profession. In the world of my profession one little mistake can end my career.

I refused to write and offered to tell personally face to face. I have also to know the person whom I have to tell the story. Telling the story to a person about whom I do not know any thing is not right. Thus I have to disappoint you. I hope you understand it and appreciate my difficulty in telling a story. It is like a blind date and I had blind dates two decades ago but it is too late for me now adventures like blind dates.

I now realise that it was wrong to write even the letter and I wish sincerely to apologise for it.

With all respect, best wishes and love,

Yours Sincerely,



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