Thursday, January 18, 2007

That package from Chuck

Just as we were putting Cat in the car to go to the cattery on the morning of 8 January, I espied our postman walking down the terrace. (Cat will have plenty to post about about his spa retreat, too, so keep your eyes peeled for that.)

"Hi there," I said, in my usual cheery way. "Anything I can take off your hands?" He replied in the affirmative, dug deep into his sack (tee hee, I said "sack"!), and pulled out a white box measuring 21 x 14.5 x 8 cm (8.25 x 5.75 x 3 inches).

It was addressed with a large address label to me, and it had a blue Airmail sticker on it. A quick glance at the sender's address revealed it to be from someone named simply "Palahniuk" c/o his agent's New York address.

I was so excited, but I knew I had to contain myself until after the trip to the cattery. Wife was amazed at how cool I was about it, but I had to stay focused on the job at hand! The opening of the box would have to be done methodically, taking the time to appreciate its contents to the full. According to the customs label on the side, the box contained CDs and toys, to a total value of $10 (£5). The label was also signed by Chuck himself on 30 December. Wow, he was even working on this letter-answering task right through the Christmas holidays.

What follows here is some pictures of the contents of the box. Note that the pics were not taken at the time of the initial opening (I didn't have my brain in gear enough to document that), so the craziness of all the purple glitter that flew everywhere with each slight movement is a little lost. In fact, the glitter got so everywhere, that we even found some on the carpet of our hotel room in Seville. I guess it got stuck to something
-- clothes, shoes, whatever -- and travelled there with us. Or it may have been stuck to the small box of the chocolates we took with us from the box, and that Chuck had said I should give to Wife, "as part of her birthday gifts".

customs label
The signed customs label...

The top of the letter...

Power Cow
My power cow!...

A peek at the package...

And another peek...

And another...

CD inserts
And here are the CDs. I've removed my name, natch.

letter sign-off
Look: he even asked after my holiday. What a guy!

The full list of contents reads like this, and might I point out that I think that's more than $10 worth of stuff, Chuck!

first and foremost, the letter itself
my Power Animal: a cow (although it has horns, so I guess it's a bull)
2 exclusive CDs of Chuck reading short stories, one dedicated, the other signed
self-adhesive "My name is" name badge, à la Fight Club, signed
black-and-white photo of Chuck with chicken, signed
Silly Putty (I used to love this stuff as a kid)
a rubber severed, bloody finger
flick-knife comb (I used to have one as a kid, and I loved it)
box of four chocolates, which Chuck suggested I give to Wife
pen knife (surely that's not legal to send through the mail?!)
glowstick necklace
2 bouncy balls
10 plastic Roman coins
tip of a spear
24 normal birthday candles
8 "relighting" birthday candles
deck of magic cards
12-page pirate colouring book
4 mini crayons
tin of sugar-free mints
rubber spider
mini harmonica
carrot seeds
money-plant seeds
herb seeds
forget-me-not seeds
temporary tattoos
postcard for the book Clown Girl, which has an introduction by Chuck

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's awesome!!!

i can't believe he did that... what a cool guy! you definitely have quite the collector's item there... i'm jealous ;)

18 January, 2007 18:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah... and i'm first... yay!

18 January, 2007 18:33  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

Just what did you write in that fan letter to deserve such an excellent package?

18 January, 2007 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in napoleon dynamite voice:


i recently joined "the cult" as well and i missed this oppurtunity... next year.


18 January, 2007 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow man that is really awesome...

18 January, 2007 21:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool package (tee-he-he, I said package) to get! Especially right before your trip! What a guy indeed. Are you his only fan?

19 January, 2007 00:02  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Martha: Congrats on being first! It's a really cool bunch of stuff, isn't it? I'm most content with it anyway!

U/Baker: Just stuff, y'know, mostly about me. He'd asked for letters detailing personal achievments and goals, so that's what he got. About four pages of it!

Andrea: Drag that you missed out, but welcome to the Cult, and you should definitely have a go next time. Thanks for visiting.

Shea: It really is, ain't it?

Olives: You did say package, yes. Very rude! No, I'm not his only fan. He has brazillions of us!

19 January, 2007 07:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as per, i am slow on the uptake! so you never actually asked for any of this? and this is the guy that wrote fight club?
can you see james herbert or steven king taking the time to do this for a fan?
me niether. good for you.
now, whats his address?

19 January, 2007 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palahniuk = legend.

19 January, 2007 14:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That is really a fan package!! What a really cool guy:-)

I love silly putty....

19 January, 2007 18:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*, these are fantastic. What a haul. I've seen his wonderful fan gift boxes in the past, but this one is really intense. (I have a brooch he sent a friend...along with handmade soap ala Fight Club, yikes).

Are you going to make a place for this on a shelf, or how will you enjoy it in the house? Is it the kind of thing that would be a displayed set...which could be kinda cool set in among books and things?

What a treat, I love it that he asked about your trip to Spain and the power animal is hilarious!

So glad to have you back in blog mode!

19 January, 2007 20:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

POWER COW!!!!!!!!!


19 January, 2007 21:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanna a power cow. =( That Chuck sure is a swell fella.

20 January, 2007 00:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My eyes really popped out when I saw which "Chuck" sent you that package!!


That is soooooooooo coooool!!!!!!!!

Wow, good for you!!!

I'm so happy! Hahaha!

20 January, 2007 13:48  
Blogger Gentleman-hobbs said...

Yep. We know a song about that don't we kids!

20 January, 2007 15:29  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

wow, that's pretty much all the stuff a guy needs....(not counting accordions, fly rods and scotch)

20 January, 2007 19:20  
Anonymous cappy said...

one more thing that i forgot to ask, and no-one else seems to have.....power cow? what the f....?

20 January, 2007 21:29  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cappy: I didn't ask for any of it, no. Palahniuk (the author of Fight Club) occasionally offers a one-month window to recieve fan mail. And he will read and respond to every one he receives in that one month, including a shitload of little gifts. Pretty fucking cool, huh? King does his own benevolent thing, called the Dollar Babies or Dollar Deal (see Wikipedia).

Will: Your comment = correct.

Snowb: It's too cool for school, that's for sure.

21 January, 2007 10:44  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: I was soooo pleased with it all. I remember the story about the soap that your friend got. That's a cool thing, too, man. I think I'm going to have to keep it all boxed up together, cos it's the sort of stuff you don't use everyday, y'know! Maybe I'll give Power Cow a place on a shelf, next to some other fluffy toys we have around the place (who'd'a thunk, huh?). I think the box could sit among my Chuck books on the bookshelf, with the visible edge being the one with the signed customs label.

Steve: Innit!

Angel: He is proper swell, and no messin'.

21 January, 2007 10:47  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Erika: Do you like Chuck's work, then? Sounds like. It is very cool, and I'm a happy bunny!

G-Hobbs: Undoubtedly we do. I think it goes something like, "Ooh I got some gifts from Chucky. Yes, I am a lucky chap. This song, it better not get mucky. Or make me look much like a sap." Is that the one?

Mr A: Well, when you put it like that, how can I disagree?

Cappy: In Fight Club, at the cancer group, power animals are mentioned as a visualized source from which you draw inner strength. It's a New Age spiritualist thing, apparently.

21 January, 2007 10:51  
Blogger Tanya said...

Fucken awesome! This year I will also send him a letter so that I too may receive a power cow. Or something.

22 January, 2007 11:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oos a lucky boy then!

welcome back btw :)

22 January, 2007 12:20  
Blogger apositivepessimist said...

well crap that was me...dunno what happened there.

22 January, 2007 12:21  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Tanya: You definitely should. When I hear that the next fanmail window is open, I'll let you know.

APP: I'm a lucky boy! Thanks for the welcome, too.

23 January, 2007 12:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow that is heftily cool, am superimpressed. I would be just as thrilled with a package from one of my favourite authors, nice one. and what a guy for doing it.

23 January, 2007 23:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is very, very cool! How fun! I wanna be a cool author who puts together fan packages and spreads joy throughout the world! Oh wait...then I'd probably have to write something huh? Oh well.

24 January, 2007 13:39  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Spangly: I was very impressed. Cool guy. Cool gifts. Cool gesture.

Lee: He's a top geezer, for sure. And yeah, I think if you want to do this as an author, you're probably going to have to end up writing something. And having it sell. Drag, huh?

25 January, 2007 14:39  
Blogger Piper said...

What an awesome gift.

How did this all come about? Do you know him? Did you write a fan letter?

When Fight Club first came out, there was a series of promotional posters that were headlines and pictures of the Fight Club soap. I have looked for the past few years and can't find them (I'm kicking myself because I originally saw them on Hollywood Blvd, commented on how cool they were and never did anything about it)

If you wrote him and got that stuff, I am wondering if I can write him and see if he's sitting on those posters.

11 February, 2007 16:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Piper: Roughly every couple of years, he opens up a fanmail window in his schedule. Anyone who writes to him within a given month gets a letter and box of goodies. There are rules and regs (natch: this is the guy who brought us "the first rule of..."), but they're not hard to adhere to.

Apparently it takes him about six months to reply to one month's worth of mail!

11 February, 2007 16:52  
Anonymous Cliff said...

That is amazing!

14 February, 2007 13:07  

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