This was written when the magazine, OMNI, was a going concern. It was submitted to OMNI as a laugh, and I received back a personal reply.
How many things have you lost? Are you missing OMNI?
Susan R. Sackinger
P.O. Box 7213
Tacoma, WA 98407-0213
August 3, 1998
New York, NY 10023
I am writing to see if you can send me a copy of the August 1998 Omni. Surely, you say, this is not necessary since they should still be on the stands. I assure you, I have looked. They are not at the newsstand, or the libraries, or the homes of my friends who normally get them.
This is not to say that I haven't seen a copy. You did print them and they did make it through the mails. My copy arrived at my door as it always does on the 12th of this month. I opened it first—as I always do—and read the silver section, the red section and the cartoons. Then I set it down long enough to read the rest of my mail. That was the last I saw of it.
You have no idea how unusual that is. My mail consisted of a letter from my brother's wife and an ad for rug cleaning with a picture of a lost little girl on the back. I read the letter, looked at the little girl, then reached for your magazine. It wasn't on the coffee table and I distinctly remember leaving it there. I live alone, so no one else could have picked it up. To be on the safe side, I did search my house. It's small, but I have a lot of books and plants so that it took me quite a while. I even took the plants off the window seat and looked in there. Well, yes, I was getting a little silly there, but it makes my point. That magazine was not in the house.
Finally resigning myself to the notion that I had hallucinated the red and silver section, I called my friend to see if she had gotten her issue. She had, and had read the thing cover to cover and then mislaid it somewhere. My brother-in-law, who I called next, hadn't even seen it. His wife (my sister) had not the slightest notion as to whether it had come. She is mundane but willing to look the other way when he reads that "sci-fi trash". I'm not sure, but I think she considers fiction "lying".
Then I called my father. He got through the first two articles, but lost the magazine when he got off the pot and washed his hands. The guy at the local store lost his copy just after he took the little white address label off, and the store was fresh out of new copies. The big science fiction book and magazine store in town had had a stack that comes up to my hips. They were sold out by the time I arrived. The librarian explained it as normal attrition when the main library and all of it's branches were missing just the Omni copy.
I am often this hard to convince. My world is a mundane world. Science Fiction is what I read, not what I live. I write to you today to seek your help in convincing me that what I suspect—fear?—is not true . Are you able to send me an August issue of your magazine?
I breathlessly await your reply.