Hello from the Tiny Train House. This is Phil Richards taking over the letter-writing duties for John and Elly this month. This is a first for me; I just wish it hadn't been necessary. Trust me, nothing that John and Elly wrote would be suitable for human consumption. Mike and Liz warned me that Elly wasn't right in the head and John was sort of shaky himself. He might be grousing about the ungrateful kids who forgot what they owed their folks and all the work they left him with (which made his letting me write for him easier than I thought it would) but he hasn't lost sight of what year it is. He's just some burnt-old crank making bad wordplay about how the world gave him the shaft; he's not going to be a threat to anyone but the endless succession of cleaning ladies who'll end up fleeing this place fro the real menace: Elly. I know I had difficulty believing it at first but it's true; Elly has lost sight of what year it is. She seems to be living in some odd, distorted version of the early eighties. For instance, she seems to think that I'm freeloading off them because some theatrical production I barely remember fell through. What's more, she thinks I'm about to sweep poor old Connie Poirier off her feet. At the time, I thought that her friend was just another of the charity cases she'd tried to fix me up with all through high school. I had no idea at the time how awful the woman's life was. She was pretty the victim of Elly and that awful Nichols woman; they'd used her desperate need to share the lives those two took for granted as a stick to beat her with. When she came to Montreal looking for me months later, I told her that I didn't want to subject a child to me (because I've always been afraid I'd be as lousy a parent as Elly is) but, sadly, she took it the wrong way. She honestly thought there was something wrong with her. She acted the same way when she realized John's idiot pal, Ted "Mommy-won't-let-out-to-play" MacCauley, was a non-starter too. She had to move to Thunder Bay to find a decent guy. Speaking of Greg, Elly thinks he's the furnace repairman or something. Since to her it's always nineteen-eighty-whatever, any change that occurred since just does not register. Like, for instance, the fact that Connie and I aren't single and haven't been for ages. Or, for that matter, the lessons Georgia gave her in how to clean her house more efficiently; she's backslid to just moving the dirt around. I'm trying my best to help John get Elly functional again but it ain't easy, what with her trying to make the past work out right. I hope that we don't make Liz happy by having to have her committed, I really do. Not because of what some people in Manitoba who don't care think but because it's what decent people do; they help people in trouble. Between this and making sure that Dad and Iris are really taken care off and that April has loving parents that gave birth to her to take care of her instead being Mike and Dee's oldest beloved child, my life is a bit more complicated than it ought to be. I hope that Liz is settling in well and that Mike and the family are having a nice little break. Mike has too much to deal with so he needs the rest; he seems to have stopped hating John and is now exhibiting what Gaetan (Georgia's fellow Tolkien buff and Quebecois take on Sidney Freedman from MASH) would call a simmering resentment; Liz wants them to be put away for good. I almost feel sorry for Anthony; she's sore at him because he knows they can't and probably shouldn't. Not that I would waste too many tears on the goof, not knowing how dim he is. She isn't going to be Mrs Caine too much longer, I don't think. Unless I miss my guess, Anthony will end up being her Pete Landry.
Anyway, that's none of my concern. I've got to cut this short because Mrs Sobinski has to go home from house-sitting for Mike; nobody wants to see Elly show up by mistake and start shaving sheets.