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I received the following out-of-office message from a journalist in response to a press release we sent out. It has to be the best, most entertaining OOO message ever.

Hi. I’ll be out of the office beginning Friday, July 18, returning on the 12th of Never. During that time, I will have limited access to e-mail, Twitter, Twatter and Squatter. I hope to avoid human interaction entirely, except with those closest to me, and even then on a limited basis.

If this is an emergency, you’ll just have to bite it, or suck it up, or do something with your mouth you don’t normally do. If the person has stopped breathing, then blow.

I promise to get back to you within a month of when I return, for I will face a soul-sapping Kilimanjaro of e-mail, phone messages and texts, none of which will be relevant anymore. Except for yours, none of them were very relevant to begin with. But I will sort through them one by one, as I mentally revert to the mountain stream I was just on, or the Jim Harrison novel I just finished, or that spirited little Coltrane progression I intend to study while I’m gone, the one where he uses multi-tonic changes over common chord progressions. No, I don’t understand it fully either, which is what makes it such art.

During this time, I also hope to re-introduce myself to my wife, What’s Her Name, and my children, Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3 and Thing 4. I realized my wife and I had grown slightly out of touch the other day when she ran — naked — into my arms thinking I was the cable guy. This isn’t the worst thing to happen to me, for when someone runs naked into your arms, it’s always a good day. But the gardeners were there, so it was a little awkward. It distracted them enough that they missed that little thatch of crabgrass around the septic, and in a week it will have taken over the roses. Naturally, this concerns me.

If you wander by the house while we’re gone, please keep an eye out for gophers. If there’s a party going on, feel free to join in. It will be hosted by the nice National Merit Scholar we have watching the house who probably kicked in the liquor cabinet. There are hoses in the front and back; any party-related fires you can’t douse personally should be handled by the local station house. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid calling the police, because my naked wife What’s Her Name is growing some leafy medicine in the corner of the garden that may not be entirely legal. The local cops will just bag it for evidence and then we’d never see it again. Somehow, that would all be my fault.

Well, they’re calling our flight. Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer…the few succulent moments that are left in it. Because in a few more weeks, things will really start getting nutty.

Best always, Chris

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