Like most people in the newspaper business, I've received my share of crazy ass, out-of-the-blue communications over the years. Sometimes it's a breathy phone call. Sometimes it's an incoherent letter.
And then there is that much rarer subset: the crazy ass letter accompanied by the even crazier photograph.
I received one of those just the other day.
The fellow's missive began with an oblique reference to a dog fighting story I wrote, then veered into a discussion of psychiatric wards. He enclosed four photographs, three of which were entirely unremarkable. A dignified portrait of the letter writer. A still life of his bedroom. A shot of a musician friend.
What about the fourth, you ask?
Well, that was a doozy--a slightly out of focus, close-up shot of a hand wrapped around a penis. There was a little arrow pointing at the pecker (circumcised, pink, a little on the stubby side), accompanied by the scribbled words, "Believe in me." Below that was another inscription: "Despise your life, Jesus' gospel."
I'm not sure what to make of this. I mean, beside the obvious facts that the guy went off his meds and Jesus isn't providing him much comfort at the moment.