Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Time I Stole John Cusack's Mail...

So back in the late 1980's, right around the time "Say Anything" came out, my friend Christina and I were strolling around Chicago. We came across a cool, old-fashioned car (like maybe a 60's model Thunderbird or something?) and stopped to admire it. Upon closer inspection, we saw that the inside of the car was littered with crumpled-up, trampled-on fan mail addressed to John Cusack--I mean, there were thousands of letters!

The windows were rolled down and being young (and stupid) Christina and I "helped ourselves" to a few of the letters and sat on the curb to read them. Now, let me just say that I know how awful this sounds--but remember, I was very YOUNG and very STUPID! I guess our mindset was that it certainly didn't look like Cusack cared about or was ever going to read the mail, so why not...?

Anyway, the letters we read were hysterical! I remember one in particular was saying how great L. Ron Hubbard was (I still remember quotes from some of these letters because Christina and I laughed about them so much)--it said "Have you ever heard of Dianetics? It's great!" Another one asked Cusack if he would go to prom with her, another one had poems written about Cusack, some included pictures...on and on...these people were crazy-obsessed with John Cusack and he was just throwing them all over the floor of his car.

So we came up with this scheme that we would write the fans back--pretending we were John Cusack. We took the letters (I know, I know!) and we wrote these absolutely hilarious letters back to the desperate fans. I think we wrote about four and each one was custom-made for the fan We praised Dianetics to L. Ron Hubbard Girl, kindly turned down the prom, told poem-guy that we dabbled in poetry too and wrote a poem for him, etc., etc.

I wish that I could find copies of the letters we wrote (I'm sure I have then somewhere...) because they were truly amazing. They were masterpieces!

We decided that the only way we could send them was if we had Cusack's permission (we already feeling uneasy enough about reading/taking them) so we sent him a letter (we figured out where he lived based on where the car was parked) with the original fan letters and copies of our responses to the fans and asked him to call us if it was ok.

Point blank: John Cusack loved the idea! He called and left a message (I'm still kicking myself that I wasn't home) and said that, yes, we could send the letters and actually thanked us for doing it! He even referenced the poem we had written--you could tell he thought the whole thing was hilarious!

So we sent the letters and probably made some die-hard John Cusack fans really happy!



Anonymous said...

Well that was very funny and I totally believe you.
Buy that man a paper shredder!
He's probably still trying to get people to stop writing embarrassing junk to him on Myspace or something. :D
Great story.

Anonymous said...

OMG I can't believe that...he called back? That is just so funny and hilarious! Love it.

manda said...

That's hilarious!

leezee52 said...

That is a great story! Please find the letters and post them they're priceless!!!

Anonymous said...

I have given this more thought, and I wanted to add something. I am a fan of Cusack. It seems to me that if he really didn't care about the letters he would have just tossed them, right? Easier, and neater.
Fan letters are basically love letters. Sad but true.
So he may have been feeling unsettled to just shred them, or toss them. But leaving them unopened, and surrounding himself with them, might have appealed to his sense of symbolism. He's very creative, which you can tell especially when watching the movie 1408.
Anyway, it's a theory. I think he has a heart of gold, and that's something you are born with. Not taught.
And it's something you have at 23, just like at 41.
Thanks for posting. Very interesting to read about this 4 me.
Uh oh. Sounds like I wrote a fan letter, doesn't it? Take me to the prom, John!!

Jennifer said...

letterfrmthepast--I'm starting to think you're one of those fans we sent a a letter to! Or are you John Cusack? From what I could tell, it looked like all the fan letters were sent to the production company for Say Anything--so the company probably forwarded Cusack this huge amount of mail at one time--more than he could ever read--and they just ended up in his car. I'm sure he appreciated all the letters!

He was young at the time (as you said)and I'm sure he just didn't have the time to read/answer them.

He seems like a great guy and handled the fact that some strange girls *stole* his mail very well! He could have been a complete jerk about it.

Anyway, I'm intrigued about who you are!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm nobody.
If I were John Cusack, I would be offering you a really good explanation of what was up with all those letters in the car.
If I were one of the writers of the 20 year old letters I would probably just be laughing. I mean you know, we all were nuts when we were teens, right?
Anyway, don't worry. This all just tied in with my current thoughts lately. I feel kind of sorry for fans. They all just need to go find a real guy who is not on a flat screen, and deal with real world. Hollywood presents an unhealthy perfection.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jen- how hilarious!!

Teresa said...

You are hilarious!!! That was a great story :)


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