Monday, April 29, 2013

Tubas and Letters to Playboy: The Resolution

At long last: a resolution to the story of the mystery letter!

For those of you not following along, a brief recap:

On April 11, while walking home from work, I found a letter on the sidewalk at UT. The letter was addressed to Playboy and had not yet been mailed. I picked it up and took it with me, unsure of what to do about it. I was wildly intrigued and found this to be an extremely exciting situation. Friends offered various suggestions on what to do with the letter. I was shocked at how many people wanted me to open it. Though I had no problem kidnapping a random found letter, I refused to open it. It just felt too naughty.

Okay, now you're all caught up.

Because I am a lazy slowpoke, I took a while deciding what to do, and it took me a while to take action. That, and I kept forgetting about it, then I'd see it on my desk and slap myself in the forehead and say, "Mystery letter! What am I going to do about you?"

The best suggestion that didn't require me to potentially put my life in danger (after all, it would be weird just to show up and someone's doorstep with their unopened mail, right?) was to drop the mystery letter in another envelope and mail it back to its rightful owner.

To protect the identify of the sender, the sender's name will be called "H" from here on out.

Here is the letter:

Dear "H",

This is perhaps one of the oddest letters you will ever receive! Bear with me while I explain.

Several days ago (actually, Thursday, April 11), I was walking in the UT campus when I saw the enclosed letter on the ground. At first, I snapped a photo of it, then wondered if perhaps it included a check, so I was a bit concerned about leaving your mail unattended on the sidewalk. I looked around for an owner (or a hidden camera!), and didn't see either. I was unsure what to do – I tried finding you online to give you a call, because I felt unsure about dropping it in the post (what if you didn't want to mail it until a certain date, changed your mind, etc.?)

Given the rather “sensitive” address, I considered bringing your letter to your address, but wondered if you might want this private – who knows?! Knowing that opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense, I kept the mail with me in safekeeping (though my husband did attempt to peek inside and I stopped him!)

I’m a writer, and curious by nature, so I took the letter home with me, and wrote about it. You are welcome to check this out on To protect your identity, the information was hidden in the photo. You must admit this is a curious story and quite hilarious!

I am sorry that I have had it with me for nearly 2 weeks, but I simply didn't know what to do until one of my readers suggested that I mail it back to you. Brilliant!

I have one small favor. I would love to know the actual story if you are willing to share it. There are obviously many theories here – is it a simple subscription renewal, job application, hate letter? – I’d love to know the real story here if you’re willing to share it.

Best regards,

Amy Arndt,


I included my email address and the return address of my office, just in case the letter writer got really angry at me for kidnapping their mail, I would have a security guard at my disposal. Except our security guard looks like he works halftime as our building security guard and halftime as the tenor member of a barbershop quartet, so I'm unsure how much he could protect me if it came down to that.

By this morning, I had given up hope of ever hearing back from "H." And then, this afternoon, an emailed response!

I will not disclose the identity of the writer, but I will tell you what I suspected all along -- it was a woman! That tell-tale girly handwriting gave it away! Also, it's evident that this Miss "H" is not my age, because these young whippersnappers bust out with a lot of "lols." I would peg her to be in her early to mid 20's, as my cousins are this age and they do a lot of "lol"ing as well. Just an observation.

Here is the response. I changed one minor area to protect the workplace of the writer and the type of car they drive. Otherwise, here you have it:


I must say, I am absolutely amused by the fact you found my letter to Playboy and even bothered to return it to me. I also found your blog about it absolutely hysterical! (I will also be following your blog now, if you don't mind.) :)

I don't wish to disappoint you, but all it is is a subscription with a check enclosed. I found a coupon for a year's worth of Playboy for $12 (and you returned it to me just in time, too, as it expired at the end of April! lol). Who could turn that down?! I could save face here and say that I was subscribing to it for my fiance, but I'm rather blase about such topics and will totally own to the fact that it was for my benefit, as well. I do enjoy the articles and find the beautiful, au-natural ladies gracing the pages to be an added bonus, as does my fiance too, I'm sure. lol 

I do actually work here at UT and park along where I assume you were taking a walk. I had the letter in my hand when I walked to my car so as to not to forget to mail it and didn't realize until I got home that I had lost it. (And to think I was being all efficient that day. Dammit! There went that! lol) When I realized that I must have lost it somewhere on campus, I had a vision of someone finding it and wondering about the Playboy address. Lo and behold, I get your package in the mail a few weeks later! 

Feel free to blog about my response if you wish for those that may want an update on the situation. 

Thanks for returning the subscription/check to me. If you want, I can send you a complimentary issue for the trouble you took to return the letter to me. ;) LOL

As you can imagine, I love this girl. She had me at "I'm rather blase about such topics," and won further admiration for being that type of gal who can subscribe to Playboy as a heterosexual female and not feel weird about it in the least. I have another friend who used to subscribe to Playboy before she started popping out babies. I always admired that, because the raciest thing I subscribe to is Bazaar. Not that I don't get a little tingle at the "Bath of the Month" section in House Beautiful, but I have a thing for huge showers.

The past few weeks have brought me several random adventures - the tuba incident, the mystery letter, and the girl I accidentally pocket friended on Facebook who accepted my friend request after we realized we already have a ton of things in common. I figure that's just the Universe delivering me things to write about, and that makes me happy.

So I suspect, and I hope, that I will someday meet this "H." Given that she's engaged to be married, at the very least, I hope "H" shares this story with her wedding party, and that someone tells this story in a toast at their rehearsal dinner. And that the happy couple has Playboy subscriptions in their future for years and years to come.


  1. I love you, and H so much!

  2. All women should be as cool as H, and you, Amy! So when are you going to get your own subscription to Playboy?