Win a Queenslander!

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The envelope came from the folk at the RSL Art Union. It was clearly a raffle but the large lettering on the outside of the envelope said "Win a Queenslander" - what exactly were they raffling?

Dear Sir,

I have, sitting before me, an envelope that came to me at work.

It is unopened.

On it is the phrase "Win a Queenslander".

Um...are you sure that is legal?

I showed it to my wife and she said "Oh, yeah! Just like you! After one of those tanned meter maids with enormous long legs that go up to their arm-pits and great wobbly boobs that you could drown in, I bet!"


No, I had immediate dreams of a personal man-servant; called 'Colin' in honour of a long gone but not forgotten budgie.

Colin would clean my shoes, trim my nails , run my bath, whip up a passable hollandaise sauce, weed the vegetable garden, laugh at my jokes, make fresh pasta, deal with the door-to-door purveyors of fringe religion, take back my library books and iron my shirts.

Well, maybe not laugh at my jokes. A simple "Very droll, Sir" would possibly be the best I could expect. But that's okay.

Overall, it is almost too good to be true.

Is it true? Dare I open the envelope?

Yours apprehensively, Lee Kennedy.

The reply came from a Pamela Olson, taking me to task for addressing my lettter as 'Dear Sir'.

Dear Apprehensive,

By now your curiosity MUST have gotten the better of you and you've opened that daring envelope?

I certainly hope so because that's exactly what I intended you to do.

I'd hazard a guess that if YOU haven't, your dear devoted wife has. I'm sure she'd do virtually anything to escape the tedious duties expected of your imaginary man-servant.

It was extremely presumptuous of you 'Mr' Kennedy to have addressed your letter to the Public Relations Manager of the RSL Art Union as 'Dear Sir'.

Aren't perceptions interesting?

Perhaps you would have been MORE 'apprehensive' had you realized that you were writing to a woman.

In the event that the feline side of your character didn't get the better of you, why not NOW be tempted? What have you got to lose? And look how much you have to gain... or maybe it's already too late.

Pragmatically yours, Pamela Olson.

PS As a marketer of 25 years standing, your letter made my day, which to that point was less than exciting to say the least.

My reply:

The Pragmatic Pamela Olson,
Purveyor of Fine Dreams,


Many thanks for your reply to my letter.

Letter writing is not one of the great hobbies; certainly not in the same league as free-style mouse pickling and naked bungee jumping but equally satisfying none the less.

It is all worth it when you know you have made someone's day.

As you rightly point out, I was presumptuous. It is often difficult to know what to use as an opening salutation in a letter. By and large, a woman does not resent "Dear Sir" as much as a man resents "Dear Madam". So I guess I play the odds.

Occasionally I have used "Dear Sir Stroke Madam", but it must be used with caution.

Even in this letter I was uncertain. "Dear Pragmatic" has a Dorothy Dix ring to it. "Dear Pamela" is acceptable as long as you permit such familiarity on just the second letter. There is always a problem with Ms/Miss/Mrs; which ever you choose is presumptive and equally likely to offend. A Ms being a Miss who wishes she was a Mrs. Or vice versa.

See, letter writing is really a dangerous hobby!

No, I would not have been more apprehensive if I knew I was writing to a woman. These letters just grow based on a whim of the moment and no specific thought is given to the recipient. Please don't think me callous or uncaring; it's just the way it works.

Besides people often think I am a woman, Lee being ambidextrous, as it were.

This in itself can lead to some interesting answers!

Anyway, I trust your day will improve,

Yours in sedation...