Category Archives: Open Letters

Dear Wondering Faithfuls

Word Count: 810

My, how you little kings and queens have been patient. I am, of course, speaking to you as if you really exist. Delusional, I’m aware, but please let me have this, it is kind of the point of this whole enterprise in the first place.

I’ve been so busy doing stand up that I have not had the free time to pay more attention to this little corner of the web I’ve dug out for myself. The balance of both used to be better maintained, due to the irregularity of my chances for stage time. I now get to perform about three or four times a week, and with the rise of one self fulfilling prophecy comes the decline of another. Getting better at it has been priority number one, but the glass ceiling of the world of stand up is very visible to someone in my position. I have every intention to penetrate it with extreme prejudice, but I’ll only be able to shatter through it if I have experience running head first into other seemingly impenetrable surfaces and surviving.

Hence why I’m back.

The Placeholder is still my ‘brand’, if you must call it that. I like to think of it more as the thesis statement for the whole shit-storm of stuff I have made and/or plan to make in the near future. Oh, the near future. So near, it barely seems like the future at all.

The need for The Placeholder in my life is nothing I really feel like having to justify or explain too much anymore, as you’ve probably deduced. I used to, but I’ve learned that there’s no point to that, really. It exists because it has to, and it is what it needs to be. In the past few months it has not needed to be very much, apparently, but that does not mean it has gone anywhere far from my thoughts. All healthy relationships see the couples take some time apart so they can come back together with some interesting stories to share. If they don’t, it always ends the same way. One day the wife just snaps and bashes her husbands head in with the toaster oven. Since I need my toaster oven, a little break was best for both of us.

I produced two shows under the banner of The Placeholder Show in late February and early March. They debuted to minimal crowds and critical obscurity. There have been requests for more by the curious and masochistic, and it will indeed return soon, if only to continue the masturbatory practice of standing on a stage of my own design. Too much fun, I must say. All those who helped me in those shows are saints, or at least as close to saints as bat-shit crazy heathens can be. A sincere thank you to all those who contributed to making it what it was, and who expressed hope in what it could eventually be. You have all been added to the “do resuscitate” list.

POSTER.jpg Poster for the first show picture by ThePlaceholder  POSTER2.jpg picture by ThePlaceholder

Some new videos are on the way. Articles are in the works. New features and salutes are being devised as we speak. A real site and a non-wordpress url is still the ideal goal for the summer. Promises, promises. I’m sure I wouldn’t believe me either at this point, but trust me, all that is coming soon.

Tim is still in Korea. He’ll be in school in Toronto soon, sharpening the knives. He’s been sending me postcards. Most of them disgusting. Some of them nonsensical. All of them gorgeous.

I’m doing alright. I need some dental work done. Undersexed, most likely. I was told I smell by my new employer, and I can’t argue with facts. People are looking at what I’m doing and telling me they like what they see. Not sure if that is just in comparison to what they have seen from me before, so I’m taking it at face value. I find I don’t make eye contact with people very much, and when I do I get the sense that people think I am trying to steal their souls somehow. I do very little to dissuade this belief, I must confess. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Cardiacs lately. For better or worse, that’s where my universe is at right now.

You deserve content, not excuses. This is neither, though I guess it could be confused as both. In order to survive, I know I must be willing to subject myself to elements that could irreversibly damage or mutate my DNA. I am entitled to no better, and you came here for nothing less.

Again, this is assuming you are real. At least I’ve got my wits about me enough to know I’m screaming non-sense into a void, waiting for the black hole to heckle me back.

Oh well, fuck it. Go on singing. Enjoy the show.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Body Shop

Word Count – 650

Hello, Body Shop. I am writing to inform you of an idea I had that I am certain will make you guys rich(er).
 
 
The holiday season is fast approaching, which means you fine folks are about to get your yearly influx of confused men buying fancy soap and whathaveyous for their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and such. You are widely known as the last resort safe haven for men this time of year, because as every stand up comic from the 1980s will tell you, men don’t know shit about women.

Or at least that is the commonly held belief. The truth of the matter is nobody knows shit about anybody, men and women included. The grand majority of the population are self-centered pricks, and feel obligated to buy our other self-centered pricky friends something at christmas to avoid those awkward, cold stares at new years parties.

I personally have received some of the worst gifts in my life from women, all of whom bought me things from Spencer’s Gifts, the go-to destination for women buying bullshit presents for the men in their lives they barely know and could care less about. Your male-oriented doppelganger, essentially. I have befriended a few women in my life who knew so little about me that they assumed I would be overjoyed at the thought of getting a Scarface throw pillow or a Family Guy beer cozy.

My friends are dicks, I guess is what I’m trying to say. As I’m sure most other peoples are, too. If any of them actually gave a shit about me, they would have asked what I wanted, instead of panicking at the last minute and guessing what I’d like.

Well, let me give you a little news flash, Body Shop. You want to know something I actually like? Baths.

That’s right. I am a man, I am straight, and I like to bathe. Stop the fucking presses.

I don’t know when it suddenly became “gay” to not want to smell like a pile of dead racoons covered in malt vinegar, but I happen to think that good hygiene should transcend gender boundaries. I would gladly accept one of your last minute emergency baskets as a gift, rather than a bottle of boner pills or a blacklite Insane Clown Posse poster. However, not once in my life has a woman ever put bath salts and satsuma hand wash in my stocking. I have never opened a neatly wrapped box from a lady friend to find coconut soap and body butter. I’ve checked your website, and you only have nine products in your “Men’s” bath section. One of them being a unisex toiletry bag (which does not count), and four others being hemp products. Why do you assume the only men who like to be clean are hippies, Body Shop? I am offended at the insinuation.

My idea, therefore, is for you folks to start marketing yourself as the last ditch shopping destination for both men and women alike. Or hey, go balls out and start producing products just for men. Perhaps something like bubble bath that smells like hickory barbeque sauce, and bars of soap shaped like power tools and tits. Call yourselves “The Man Bath Specialists”, and watch as flocks of frustrated last minute female shoppers line up to buy dual-action body wash that comes in Quaker State bottles.

If I have to get gifts with absolutely no thought put into them, I’d appreciate it if they were things I could actually put to use. That has been your business model for years, and I can’t see why you would not want to maximize your profit potential by branching out to both sexes. You provide quality products that everyone can enjoy, so why not expand your horizons a bit and make christmas a little better for guys like me?

We all like to feel clean, but none of us have a use for a plush electric pig that sings “All The Single Ladies” and farts when you punch it.

– J.D. Renaud

 

Dear Guy Who Tried To Mug Me Last Weekend

Word Count – 500

I doubt very highly that you are a regular reader of this site. We don’t really target our material to the semi-homeless “imma’ keel yous” drug addict crowd (though it is never too late to start expanding our horizons, I suppose). However, in the off chance that you are reading, thank you so much for not stabbing me.

Really, that was super nice of you. You had many opportunities to do it, but you didn’t, and that showed tremendous restraint. Maybe you were just not into it. Maybe you didn’t think you saw the right opening to do it. Hell, maybe you assumed I would have fought back. Whatever your reasoning, thanks all the same.

If you are curious, I most likely would not have. Anyone who knows me could have probably told you that. I have not been stabbed much in my life, but I can imagine that the experience would be met with great discomfort and the desire for as few stabs to be inflicted on me as possible. Fighting back would have exponentially increased the chances of that, so there you go.

I’d also like to thank you for showing me what kind of person I am in dealing with this kind of altercation. Most people will never truly know how they would react to this kind of situation, although I’m sure a grand majority assume they fall into one of two camps. Either the “knock the fucker out” camp, or the “crawl into a ball and cry” camp. If you do not recall our encounter, (call me presumptuous, but something tells me your memory is not incredibly keen), I’ll transcribe it for you.

EXT – NIGHT – 3am ON A DESERTED STREET

YOU: Hey man, you got any money?
ME: No, sorry.
YOU: Give me your fucking wallet.
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Come on, fucker!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: I’ll fucking take you back there and kill you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Fuck you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

Long, awkward pause

YOU: Alright, get out of here. You were lucky, fucker.

Exit YOU. ME stands still, staring forward, one eye twitching.

ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

SCENE

Turns out, I am the wild card third camp, that being the way of the Shell Shocked Jedi Master.

I am now curious to see if my powers will work in normal every day situations, or if I can only pull them out in a crisis. It was a very “these are not the droids you are looking for” kind of moment, but apparently I can only channel my suppressed powers of psychic persuasion while I’m also fighting back the urge to unload a stream of terrified urine down my leg.

So, in closing, thank you for the not-stabbing, the revelation of my magical transcendence, and for the reassurance that my decision to continue showering regularly was a very wise move on my part.

– J.D. Renaud

PS – When you came up to me, I had yet to pay my rent, and had over $300 in my wallet. You picked the perfect guy, at the perfect time, and you didn’t fucking do it. Enjoy your DT’s, sucker.

Dear Creators of Dudley-Do Right

Word Count – 650

I’m sure its been a long time since you guys have received any letters, and I know I’m a little late to the game here, but I have a pressing issue regarding your program that I need some clarification on.

I decided to go out for Halloween this year as Snidely Whiplash, mainly due to the fact that I always like finding the excuse to wear a top hat and a curly black moustache in public. After the festivities were over, I was in the mood to travel back in time a bit and re-watch some old Dudley-Do Right cartoons. After watching a handful of them, I noticed a very alarming trend. There is a running gag in many of the cartoons I watched that center around Dudley’s love interest, Nell Fenwick. Many times in the show, she appears disinterested in Dudley’s advances, and the reason given is because she is more romantically interested in his horse (aptly named Horse).

I’m going to say that again, because I think it is worth repeating… Nell Fenwick, a human female in a cartoon show set in the late 19th century, made in the 1960s, is in the middle of a love triangle involving a FUCKING HORSE. You used BESTIALITY as a MAIN PLOT POINT in your CHILDREN’S CARTOON SHOW.

I’m not sure if this makes you progressives or perverts, but god damn if that didn’t slip under my radar when I watched these as a child.

My issue here is not with Nell. Zoophilia, like most dangerous deviant sexual behaviours, usually stems from a traumatic upbringing or a maligned mental condition from youth. In her time and place, a condition like that was unlikely to be treated clinically as it properly should have been. Also, even though he seems totally cool with the whole situation, I’m not directing my anger towards Horse, either. He’s a horse, I doubt he has any idea whats actually going on. I’m sure Nell truly loves Horse (in her own demented little way), but I highly doubt that her love is, or could ever be fully reciprocated. I’m sure most zoophiles out there would disagree with me, but in my opinion, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t expect it to cuddle you after you fuck it.

What bothers me most is the fact that nobody else in the show seemed to give a fuck, suggesting that you people don’t give a fuck about these kinds of shenanigans, either. Whenever it is brought up, it is never met with a reaction from any of the other characters in the appropriate “What the fuck is wrong with you, woman?” kind of way. Dudley often just shrugs it off, as if it was perfectly normal behaviour, essentially saying “Oh that Nell, always trying to fuck my horse”. I understand that he is supposed to be a bit of an idiot for comedic purposes, but I’m pretty sure that even certifiably retarded people know that romantic involvement with quadrupeds is generally frowned upon in most cultures. I have to imagine that the turn of the century RCMP would have some kind of provision regarding this sort of thing.

I am aware that cartoons are usually way ahead of the curve on taboo cultural issues (Bugs Bunny’s cross dressing, Snagglepuss’s very evident homosexuality, Woody Woodpecker’s battle with meth addiction, ect.), but I’m sorry, sex with horses is where this fellow draws the line. It’s also where I’m fairly sure a vast majority of the rest of the world draws the line, too. Now, you might be saying to yourself, ‘who is this guy to to say that someone isn’t allowed to love whomever or whatever they want?’

Well, I’ll tell you. A rational, non-horse fucking human being, that’s who.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I expect a full formal apology, or for you to write an episode where Nell and Horse are forced to marry. If they must do what they do, they should at least have the decency not to do it out of wedlock.

It’s not the Canadian way.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Homosexuals, RE: Halloween

Word Count – 650

I really think you guys should sit this holiday out for like a decade or two.

Hold up, hear me out.

I am not prejudiced, I truly think gay people should have all the rights and privileges that straight people have. However, I think this is really a productive and efficient way for you guys to win a lot of the battles you’re currently fighting.

The first rule of war is to know your enemy, and your opposition to things like equal rights and civil unions stems from people with a highly irrational sense of tradition. These are people who don’t like letting new people enter their club because… well, because new people aren’t allowed in the club, so there. In many ways, it’s not that you want something that they already have, its that you want it without giving something up in return. It’s one of those “mommy, I broke my toy, could you break one of my little sisters toys to make it fair?” scenarios.

Straight people love halloween because it permits us the freedom to cross dress in public for one day a year and not be ridiculed. Quite frankly, we need this day a lot more than you do. That’s not to say I don’t think you all enjoy a good costume ball. Hell, who doesn’t? But you have to understand what this day means to people with bland, vanilla sexual habits. It’s the one day a year where a guy who masturbates to La Senza flyers can pretend he’s something better than what he is. It’s the day when women who have never experienced any sexual positions beyond missionary can cram their bodies into skin tight cat suits and still retain their dignity. In short, it’s the day when all the people who hate you pretend to be you.

If you take a bold stand and agree not to participate in halloween as a sign of solidarity, it will be seen in the eyes of the bigoted right as a decent compromise. You know, like how they let you have your own parade, but you’re not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade? It’s not for any fundamental or religious reasons, they just don’t want you hogging all the parades.

In their eyes, you guys are greedy. For many of them, they think that since they are not having gay sex all year long that they have earned the right to be Batman for a day. The lives of straight people revolve around shame and penance. Halloween, a day devoted to horror, violence, paganism and sex, is their reward to themselves for being upright citizens. Once you get that, this all makes a lot more sense.

You have to understand that most straight people think that every day is halloween for you. You’re kind of like goths in their eyes, they don’t really see the need for you to dress up when you’re already dressed up the other 364 days of the year anyway. Yes, they are wrong to assume this, I know, but that’s not the point. Where you may think you have to fight fire with fire, in this situation, you actually need to fight stupid with humble.

If you sit out halloween until around 2025, in that time it will be likely you can negotiate your way into being allowed to marry, join the military, and adopt white children. Let them think they won this round while you scoop up all the important things right under their noses. Meanwhile, the homophobic opposition will still have a heightened sense of superiority, because they are allowed to go outside dressed as Captain Planet and you are not. Then, when you’ve got everything you want and the time is right, you can fight for your right to take part in the festivities again.

Besides, 80% of you only dress up like angels or butterflies anyway.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear People I Have Met Several Times In My Life Whose Names I Can Never Remember

Word Count – 575

To all of you, I’m truly sorry. I can’t blame this on any kind of mental problem or drug dependency, I just legitimately can not remember the names of… well, frankly anyone, most of the time.

Interestingly, I discovered this condition actually has a name, ‘jamais vu’. It is actually the exact opposite of déjà vu, in that I could hear your name over and over and over again, yet convince myself that I’ve never heard it before in my entire life.

Again, this is totally not your fault, but I feel like I owe it to you to explain my dilemma. I owe each and every one of you an apology, but am far too embarrassed to say so to your faces. Also, I do not know how to contact any of you, because I can’t remember your names. You see my problem. Instead, I have decided to address you here individually in this letter, using the nicknames I have created for you based on the vague bits of knowledge I have gleaned about you.

Sleepy McHeadWound – You spent the night on my couch once and had a large gash on your head. You have been over several times since then, and we have talked about many things beyond sleeping and head injuries. I do not recall any of these conversations, yet I am led to believe you think you are my friend. You are not. I’m sorry.

Lady Jim – You were a friend of a friend who reminded me of a guy I knew named Jim. I mentioned this to you, and you seemed confused and a tiny bit offended. You should consider it a compliment. I liked Jim. Now that I think about it, I should get in touch with him. As for you, I know absolutely nothing else about you. I’m sorry.

The Brick – You were a large man I used to work with who barely talked to me. I was pretty sure you hated me, but I never asked you, out of fear that you might hurt me. Nobody else at work seemed to know your name, either. Part of me today still wonders if you were actually an employee of the store, or just a large crazy man who stole a uniform and began lifting things and moving them around. Regardless, I’m sorry.

Cowboy Manchild – You were another former co-worker who always wore a cowboy hat. You were a prick, and I’m only sorry in theory.

Short Stack – A name I have given to at least two dozen people in the course of my life, many of whom were actually taller than me. To all of you, I’m sorry.

There are many more out there who deserve apologies, but most of whom I have not given proper nicknames to. There are many “Whosits” and “That guy’s” out there who are also entitled to their just dues, and to all of them I give my sincerest apologies, as well.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, can everyone please promise to stop naming their children Matt or Sarah and at least try to be interesting in social situations when you meet me for the first time? Perhaps this ‘jamais vu’ bullshit has something to do with the fact that none of you have names, or stories that go along with said names, that are worth remembering. Help me out a little bit and work on that.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Entire Internet and News Media of the World

Word Count – 500
Okay, seriously, what the hell is going on?

Please tell me. I’m scared. Something is up, and I have a right to know about it.

Today is Thursday October 15th. I woke up this morning to nothing but news about some kid named Falcon in a weather balloon that may or may not be dead at the time of this writing. It is a story that sounds like an amalgamation of Flight of the Navigator, Radio Flyer, and countless other shitty family friendly movies from twenty years ago. Its all very exciting and adorable, but I sense that there is a sinister motive behind this story and its coverage.

What the fuck is going on in the world right now? I mean it, tell me. There is absolutely no coverage of anything else happening in the world right now whatsoever. Twitter is practically deadlocked with updates on this fucking kid. My facebook friends are engaged in a bitter war between people who like six year olds and people who don’t.

My assumption is also that “#twitterrules” because of the top notch reporting on this kid that goes on there, and that Halloween is trending because everyone is trying to call dibs on going as this little fucker this year. Oh, you may mock me, but mark my words, you will see just as many guys in footy pajamas wrapped in deflated weather balloons this year as you saw guys in shitty joker makeup last year.
 
What is really happening right now? This has to be a smoke screen for some other event that is really just about to bite us in the ass. Did we bomb Iran? Are the nukes coming across the ocean from North Korea? Has the zombie invasion begun? Did Obama kill and eat his entire family in a fit of blind drunken rage? One of those has to be the case, because THIS SERIOUSLY CAN’T BE THE NEWS! Something much worse than this has to actually be going on, and it is your responsibility to tell us! I need to know if I should be stockpiling weapons or killing myself to avoid being kidnapped by motorcycle marauders.

Maybe I am over reacting, but something is clearly a miss here. I’m not doubting for a second that we are all fucked, but the more likely situation is you are just covering up something really disastrous in the hopes that we won’t notice fast enough to panic before we’re all dead. My guess is that NASA is actually blew up the moon last night, and that you hope we don’t notice tonight when the sky is black and all the water on earth floats up into space. And if people ask any questions, it will quickly be drowned out by tomorrows headline, “Basket of Adorable Kittens Floats Down River”.

The end of humanity is the burden you shall carry on your shoulders for eternity, newsmakers. I’m going to go say goodbye to my loved ones now.

I’ll see you in hell ‘Falcon’. If that is your real name.

– J.D. Renaud

 

 **Update** – Apparently ‘Falcon’ is alive and well. That is, of course, if you believe he was actually real in the first place.

**Update 2** – Thank you once again internet for jumping on the quickest, easiest joke you could think of involving someone hiding in their attic…