In the Spring, 2013 issue of the magazine Lucky Peach there was an amusing article by a chef who flies from New York to Los Angeles to do a tour with the punk band C.R.A.S.H., for whom he is their drummer. Like many articles in Lucky Peach, “C.R.A.S.H. Landing” by Brooks Headley is set at the intersection of the food subculture with another subculture (punk rock, in this case). Being more interested in food than punk rock, I would have forgotten about the article had it not been for a couple lines:
“I write Jon a thank-you note and put it in the fridge in the vegetable crisper. Hidden thank-you notes are the best. I also empty my pockets of $1.75 in change and put it on the windowsill. A tip!”
What a wonderful thing to imagine—not just Headley scribbling a thank-you note and squirreling away for his host to find at some unspecified time (I hope Jon uses his vegetable crisper), but also the image of Jon reaching for carrots and finding “Thanks for the crash pad!”
One or two days after I read this article, I received my own surprise thank-you note. My mother is cleaning out all her kids’ accumulated junk (we’re 34 and 40, so it’s been in her house for a while) and she asked me what I wanted to do with my collection of glass Disney figurines (see http://calstate.fullerton.edu/news/Inside/2009/photos/disney-figures.jpg for the best picture I could find of what I mean). I wasn’t interested in keeping them and told her she could sell them or give them away. She had a coworker whose young daughter liked Disney and would be interested in them. “Fine,” I said, “it would be nice if someone who would appreciate them got them.” And I put the figurines and their future with this girl out of my mind.
Maybe a month after I told my mother this, I got this in the mail:
My own surprise thank-you card.
“Hidden thank-you notes are the best.”
What’s the best thank-you you’ve ever received, card or otherwise? I’ll choose one random commentator on Saturday to receive one copy of each of my books (The First Move and Reservations for Two).