lost memos still somewhere in a pile on our desk


To: Unify (the content management system)

From: The Animal Association of Sussex

Date: since you opened for business

Subject: Reproductive Rights

It has come to our attention that discussing our reproductive rights openly is an offense in your rule book.

We, the animals of Sussex, demand to know why you take down pages from our website which contain the name of our historic county. At first we could not understand. We are law-abiding providors of cheese, milk, and companionship. But then it dawned on us — our home has the misfortune of containing the three letter word you humans are so skittish about. Combined with the word “animal” and your people draw the line.

All we ask is a place to advertise our products to locals and visitors, a place where we can discuss our own concerns.

And even if we were to indulge in associations with that tawdry word, would it really be that bad? It is our website and we have a right to put there what we please.


To: Buzzword Buzzards

From: Ferdinand Bollocks Jr.

Date: August 2014

Subject: Lies Before Labor Day

There is no question that the past month has been a prosperous one for B.S. Inc. But as we move into August, I want to reiterate how important it is to be on our guard against the complacency & sloppiness that comes with success and spoils it in the long run.

August is a tough month. Always has been, always will. The majority of our target audience is well-rested and therefore resistant to techniques which might earn easy access to their trust during busier times of the year.

We may not be able to target individuals as effectively as we would like to, but big brands have always been a dependable source of business for us.

As you well know, big brands are sinking ships that need a hand to hold while they self-destruct. We are that guiding, consoling hand that will let go at the last moment. But until that moment comes, we need to keep reassuring them that consumers want to be best friends with their “values” via clever marketing. As the best buzzword buzzards in the business, we must continue to blow smoke in their eyes about the importance of “engagement” through social media.

Let us go to the whip and steep the hazy days of summer in false promises. Keep the standards of B.S. Inc. high by walking the subtle line between not lying and not telling the truth either.


To: Potential Clients

From: Web Designers

Date: Shouldn’t Take Long

Subject: How to Lose a Web Designer in Ten Easy Steps

Hiring a web designer is easy. All you need is money and a big idea. But the opposite is true as well — losing a web designer takes little to no effort (for most people). Here are ten simple ways you can send web designers running for the hills.

1. Fail at basic grammar

We’re not asking you to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Just learn how to proofread.

2. Be rude

Email is not the place to lash out at us because something isn’t working for you. We like to keep polite comany.

3. Introduce the Committee

Say hello to poor decisions and pointless meetings. No, thanks. We have other clients to attend to.

4. Share your life story

Flooding our inbox with essays about your hopes and dreams only makes our eyes glaze over.

5. Remain anonymous

On the other side of the spectrum, telling us about your project without any introduction is rude. And kind of creepy.

6. Indulge your inner Napoleon

Capitulating to your every whim is a lose-lose situation. We learn from our mistakes.

7. Change your mind about everything

We know that, down the line, you will ask us to make changes even after we say — “final call.”

8. Become a font specialist overnight

We just don’t want to argue with you over things which clearly aren’t in your area of expertise.

9. Depend on us for business decisions

Asking for advice is fine but we don’t want to be responsible for your bottom line.

10. Fail to listen to our feedback

If you don’t read through the emails we send you, why should we bother with yours?


To: Inspector Garamond

From: International Crimes Against Type

Date: Since 1983

Subject: Papyrus Must Be Stopped

We write to you with with great urgency, Inspector.

Papyrus is at it again. We’ve received reports of recent sightings from members of the type community. The usual — backwoods travel pamphlets, “mediterranean” menus, cheap wine labels. Ever since he began infiltrating middle school reports on ancient Egypt, he has found victims left and right. I don’t have to remind you of the day his career in crime took off with the Avatar movie poster. It was a sad time for all of us.

We’ve tried removing his presence by force but with little success. His methods of targeting innocents have proved to be so wicked, so pervasive that we need to consider more clever ways of beating him at his own game.

That’s why we need you, Inspector. You are a man of the people — gracing the pages of Dr. Seuss and Harry Potter — yet remain a friend to even the most discerning among us. Lead by example. Confront the Egyptian imposter. The safety of the type community rests in your capable hands.


To: Scribes of Crocodilopolis

From: Sobek, Your Local Crocodile God

Date: 332 BCE

Subject: Book of the Fayum

Yesterday at dawn, as I was watching the procession of mummified crocodiles and sampling a platter of fresh dates, my centuries-old flesh suddenly felt mortal.

All this — the olive groves, rose-scented distilleries, black water and black soil — could disappear with nothing to show for it but a few stones from my temple’s steps.

My shipments of jewels across the red lands bring stories of prosperous kingdoms far less fertile than ours. What do our merchants tell, when they travel with our oils and perfumes?

So I appeal to you, scribes. I want the Book of the Fayum to be a map that articulates the divine through the natural layout of the region. In other words, follow the topography but embellish as you wish.

This will not be a single sheet of papyrus. We will produce many and scatter them in the hands of local priests and foreign visitors, saving the most complete version for my own halls.

If you have any doubts about the shape of lakes and rivers, ask one of my crocodile attendants. But be warned: they do bite.

All Memos