In Which I Write Southwest Airlines

I wrote this letter to Southwest Airlines one afternoon while nursing a bad leg injury. I had been marinating on the couch for an unsavory number of days and my mind was beginning to fester. Usually, that sort of thing leads to incapacitating mental stupor, but in this case the fermentation process achieved a lucky success and the following letter was crafted and shortly thereafter sent.

Before I post the response, some entertaining backstory: Since the letter was written from the perspective of a female, I needed a lady-name to sign with. I was worried that if I made one up then the reply, if I even got one, might get filtered from the mailbox. So, I used my girlfriend's name, who I live with (I used my elite photoshop skills to remove her name from the above image — in the actual letter, I wrote "Empanada" in quotes as her middle name).

Several weeks went by, and no response. I assumed that the attempt had failed and more or less forgot about it. Then, a couple weeks later, my girlfriend came home and said, "I got the weirdest voicemail from Southwest Airlines." My sphincter immediately tightened. I never told her I sent a letter to Southwest in her name. I thought if anything they would just send a response back to our mailing address, so no big deal. But no. They went full CSI and cross-referenced the name and address with a telephone number and freaking called her (okay, someone probably just typed the name into a search field, but I prefer to imagine a team of cyber-sleuths toiling for untold man-hours in attempt to exhume the cellular code). Anyway, the voicemail went something like this:

Hi [girlfriend's name], this is So-and-So from Southwest Airlines. I just wanted to call and let you know that we received your letter and would very much like to talk with you about it. Please call back at...

I was freaking out. I thought that I had created some calamitous PR liability, and that they were calling to relieve themselves of any perceived culpability for harassment and/or impregnation. Upon the emergence of the truth, it was not out of the question that one or both of us would be eternally blacklisted. 

I confessed my crime to my girlfriend (now fiancée — she's a forgiving woman), and volunteered to return the call. I dialed up So-and-So several times, but couldn't get a hold of her for days. I grew moist with tension. Finally, she called me back. We had an extremely awkward conversation in which I grew moister yet and explained that I was in fact my girlfriend who had not in fact made a trip through Dallas-Denver-Pittsburg, nor been impregnated along the way. Fortunately, she wasn't angry, and had merely called to say how much she and the rest of the office had enjoyed the letter. Huzzah! She also asked for our address so that they could send us "a little something." We hung up on good terms and in fair spirits. 

For the next couple of weeks, I checked the mail with unabated zeal. Three weeks went by, and nothing. Four weeks, still nothing. We eventually gave up hope and assumed that they had forgotten all about it or that someone higher up got wind of the situation and put a firm nix on any further dealings with such clear and clinical psychos.

But then, one sunny Thursday, I came home and there was a box. From Southwest. Our unit number wasn't written on it, and USPS had jotted down their guess (which was wrong), which explains why it had taken so long. I opened it up, and inside was this.

 

 

That's a glistening Southwest Airlines poster rife with signatures, plus a metric shit-ton of peanuts and pretzels.


Much like the Chipotle response, this tickled my naughty parts. It felt good. Perhaps too good. So, over the next few months—during my free time when I wasn't working, binging Netflix, teetering on the brink of complete and total existential collapse, or exercising—I wrote some more. Then I made this website. And so, here we are. Hope you enjoy.