My Dearest and Much Esteemed Reader,
Following an exhaustive but discrete investigation, I have learned that you are most deserving of my gratitude for your loyal readership these many years.
The creative pursuit is among the loneliest and most exacting of professions, though often one of the least fruitful in material reward. The Forces of Nature demand that our comforts be sparse and accommodations garret-like, and to deprivation I have obediently subscribed, indulging only when necessary in a glass of cheap wine or a crust of day-old bread.
Recently, however, an unnamed benefactor delivered to me an unmarked package containing the sum of $9.8 million dollars U.S. in fresh currency, saying only in a typewritten note that my scribbling had provided her with entertainment and an occasional laugh.
I was instructed to do as I wished with the munificent sum, with but one stipulation, that being that I continue writing as long as I can lift these gnarled and chafed fingers to the keyboard.
There is no manner in which I could fulfill this request were I to spend the money on myself. That is precisely where you my most loyal readers come in. It is my wish to divide the majority of this vast sum five ways, among the most dependable and deserving consumers of my verbal meanderings.
Bentley D. Shuttleforth, Esq., my discrete representative, has determined that you are, indeed, one of the five readers who should share in the bounty. Henceforth, I am offering you the sum of $1.8 million dollars U.S., which would be quietly transferred to you once you set up and furnish account information to Sir Bentley.
Sir Bentley conducts these transactions through the First National Bank of the Cayman Islands LLC, a reputable institution that will shelter your bequeathal from the parasitic intrusions of the various governmental agencies that profit from others’ enterprise and hard work.
Sir Bentley will ask you to provide only the most nonintrusive information — your name, address, personal cell phone number, email address and bank account number. The bank requires that its discrete, tax-free accounts be created with an initial deposit of $50,000 dollars U.S., a sum that will be returned to you many times over once your gift is forwarded.
I should mention that the financial institution pays 7 percent interest, compounded hourly, a figure unheard of in today’s dire climate of paltry returns. You will only be required to keep the gift deposited for six months, after which the generous dividend will have rewarded you many fold for your initial expression of fiduciary good faith.
If all five loyal readers accept my offer, I will have disbursed $9 million dollars U.S. of the initial gift. That will leave me with $800,000, a figure more modest yet still substantial enough to underwrite needed services I have, in creative self-deprivation, neglected these many years.
Henceforth, my faithful canines Shemp and Curly will be placed under the care of a doctor of veterinary medicine for the first time in their lives. I only hope to relieve the discomfort they have endured from the hip dysplasia their magnificent breed routinely suffers.
With what is left, I plan a personal chiropractic visit to remedy the neck, head and lower-back pain I encounter from the hours spent hunched over the keyboard, tapping out these modest scribblings.
It is a small price to pay to reward you, the most deserving reader.
Your Humble Servant — David Bruce Knopf