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Tod Goldberg's new novel, Living Dead Girl, is in bookstores. You should get a copy right away.

Thursday, January 30, 2003
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury

Goldberg: Philanthropist

By Tod Goldberg

Dear Assorted Famous & Non-Famous People:

I write to you with good news. While most of you have gone about your lives without giving one moment of pause to what is going on in my life, I have spent a lot of time wondering what has been going on with you. You may have thought of me once--late at night when you're sitting at your computer wondering whatever happened to the fat kid from your third-grade class (I lost all that weight, but, sadly, seemed to have gained it all back), or that guy who wrote that nice article about how he was going to stop stalking you (You have to admit, Mr. Springfield, I've stopped) or even been curious about the fellow who wrote the piece about your website and then, subsequently, became addicted to you like cheap heroin in a Mexico City brothel (Wil Wheaton spares no man).

In most cases, I know it's a one-way street. And that's fine. Really. Because now all of you owe me. You see, I did some searching over the weekend and found out that all of you are owed money. My fee for finding this cash is simple: return the love. Or 10 percent. Whichever is more.

It was a simple process. I just went to a couple of websites run by various state institutions that track unclaimed property and money and typed in your names. What I learned is that most of you are lazy with the ducats, which is odd when you consider the financial straits the tabloids purport you are currently mired in (I'm talking to you, MC Hammer--you've got more than $700 sitting unclaimed--bankrupt my fat butt).

I know the suspense is killing you, so let me show you a few examples and offer some suggestions on how to spend the cash:

Wil Wheaton: You've got two outstanding checks coming to you for about $300. Maybe get your kids Nolan and Ryan something nice--like, I dunno, two copies each of my novels Fake Liar Cheat and Living Dead Girl--and then why don't you meet me for lunch in Hollywood at Intermezzo and we can talk about how fucking wrong it is that Jerry O'Connell had the top movie in America with Kangaroo Jack and you still have to audition for stuff. We'll get pasta and chat and you'll still walk out with a good twenty bucks.

Rick Springfield: I know, the court order says I can't mention your name in print, but I thought you should know there's an outstanding check with your name on it (your real name, that is) for $825. I know I can't ask for any real appreciation from you, so just know that I tell you this out of love, Rick, love.

Tarrylee Silke: You're not a movie star, or a rap star, or any kind of star at all, but you did once have sex with my friend Dave Baker, so I thought you should know that AT&T owes you $50.

Nikki Sixx: While I never assumed that Nikki Sixx was your real name, nor can I imagine a situation where you would have told me otherwise since, well, we don't know each other, I nonetheless searched you out just in case you needed some walking-around money, what with Tommy Lee moving on to his solo career and Vince Neil moving in with Corey Feldman. You'll be happy to hear that Ceders Sinai Hospital owes you $220.96 for overcharging you on a medical bill. This might have been from that time you overdosed, or the other time you overdosed. Anyway, if you want to put the money to good use, maybe send me half and I'll go out and buy some methadone for old time's sake.

Ben Fong: You probably don't remember me, but we were in the same fraternity in college. I used to call you the Walrus because, frankly, you looked like one. I also kicked you out of the fraternity because you never paid your dues on time. Now I know why. Sears owes you $108. I recommend sending that money to the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter at Cal State Northridge so you can start coming to the parties again. Formal is coming up and you don't want to miss that. HFF, brother.

Adam Rich & Willie Aames: You guys were like extended family to me when you both starred on "Eight Is Enough" as brothers. It shouldn't be a surprise to know that both of you have $72 in old payroll checks sitting in a dusty office in Hollywood. Willie, maybe think about spending your money on a proper tombstone for Adam's career.

Be advised, also, that a few big names still have money outstanding. George Clooney, you can pick up your $180. Paula Abdul, your Tiffany credit in the amount of $900 still waits. Lorenzo Lamas, you are owed $1,500 (put that toward acting lessons). Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, you've got $3,821 collecting no interest while band mate Peter Tork has $81.38. And if anyone should run into Ice Cube before this letter reaches him, please tell him he's got an extra $73 he could be spending on '64 Impalas and bitchez.

Please send all gifts and money to my attention at the Mercury.

Sincerely,

Tod


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