Dear Mister Stevens,
My name is Bobby Hulthbee, I’m 8 and I’m a big fan of your tv shows, especially “Texas Times Tennessee” and “Grandma?”. I told my dad the other day that I want to be just like you when I grow up, and he told me that I can’t watch any of your shows anymore. What can I do?
Thank you so much for your lovely letter. It is one of the sweetest things I have ever read.
We all have fathers that we don’t trust. This is something that I tell young people like you all the time. Anyone who says they have a good relationship with their pop is a liar. It never happens. When you become a dad, you become a bad person. That’s why I’ve stayed away from having kids, because I don’t want to turn into an asshole.
My father, of course, was a great man. This is just based on observations of other fathers.
The number one thing I would suggest to any kid in your situation is to run away from home. Where? Anywhere. I would suggest a big showbiz city like LA or New York City, so you can start up your career instead of treading water in a shitbox town like I did for a decade. You’re going to want to find an agent. Check the yellow pages, ride the subway (or if you’re a rich kid, take a cab) to wherever there’s a good agency. Start crying, say your family died in a car crash in the Hudson (or the Pacific) and they’re all dead and it was your families’ dying wish that you be a performer. Then you’re on your way.
Sal “Saving You From Your Dad” Stevens
Dear Mister Stevens,
I started to run away, but then I cried because I thought of my mom, and my dad is good too. I don’t know what to do. I want to be like you, but I love my parents and I’ll miss my dog.
Are you familiar with the Bible?
There’s a story in there where there Jesus was on a big trip telling people to follow him. There was one person that wanted to follow Jesus, but he decided that he was going to go say goodbye to his family first. When he came to find Jesus, he was turned back and told to go home since he didn’t want to give it up.
Do you understand what I’m getting at, Bobby?
If you want to be me, you have to give up all of it, your mom, your dog, and especially your dad. As I said, your dad is a bad person. He’s probably up all night, screaming, cackling, yelling, and then during the day completely despondent. You probably want to try to make him laugh by being loud and grabbing his attention. You’d love to get that attention. He’ll never give it to you. Your dad is a bad person Bobby, and by staying home you’re telling him that his miserable behavior is okay.
My father he would play instruments, and that was part of why we loved him.
Jesus is knocking on your door Bobby, are you going to turn around and say goodbye to your family?
Sal “Salvation” Stevens
Dear Mister Stevens,
Thank you for all your advice. I think you’re funny on tv, but I don’t like writing you letters. I hope you have a funny tv show coming soon, and maybe I can watch it when my dad isn’t around.
You’ve decided to throw it away, huh? You make me sick. Little shits like you are ruining the world. I want you to know, and you can tell your asshole dad this too, that I hope you drop dead.
My father dropped dead twenty years ago, and my car broke down so I couldn’t go to his funeral.
Your father is ruining your life. He’s filling your head with garbage. I’m trying to fill it with truth. So what if the truth is hard? Wake up you eight year old cocksucker, it often is. People might say to me that I’m the one in the wrong here, trying to wake you up from your Cookie Crisp daydream, but I’m right.
Go fuck yourself,
Sal “Sayonara” Stevens
I see that you or your parents released that letter and the last two to the press. I hope you know that they were all jokes. I often use hyperbole to make jokes, and I thought you were laughing at them the whole time. I’m so sorry that you thought that I was being honest. I guess because you’re eight years old you can’t read sarcasm in writing.
My father and I once went fishing, or we should have but instead he just shoved me in a rowboat into the Atlantic and said goodbye.
I’m reading those letters over now (I have the copy in People Magazine) and I’m cracking up. Despite what the hack who wrote the commentary said, I wasn’t tripping on cough syrup when I wrote it, as I kicked that habit several months ago.
Anyways, I hope you’re good, and I hope your dad, who has sent me multiple death threats, will learn how to get a sense of humor.