Last weekend Penny went to a party that combined the two things CFC holds most dear to its heart: words and clothes. (Sorry Nutella, you run a close third.) Before you start imagining a glamorous and cerebral fashion-week-meets-writers-festival fundraising soiree, let us set you straight. The party was a birthday party and the theme was Inappropriate T-shirt Slogans. You see, Penny’s sunning it up in Honiara which is not only the capital of the Solomon Islands but also the capital of inappropriate t-shirt slogans.

You know how every Christmas since you were sixteen, Uncle Duncan’s found it hilarious to give you a pun t-shirt that borders on sexual harassment? Get this, when you dump that t-shirt in a goodwill bin on Boxing Day, there’s a chance it’ll find its way to Honiara. Each week bales of secondhand clothes get shipped over from Australia and, along the way, inappropriate t-shirt slogans get a little lost in translation. They end up worn unawares by ordinary folks going about their everyday business. Stroll down the main drag of Honiara and you’ll be greeted with the suggestive, the ludicrous, the bizarre and the very wrong: Chicks Dig My 12-inch, It’s Not Easy Being Easy, I’m not small – I’m fun-sized, Don’t Shit Me…

What can we take from all this? Sometimes words and clothes don’t mix. Especially when Uncle Duncan is concerned. But, dear readers, ofttimes they most certainly do mix. Sometimes they’re a match made in heaven. Take this past month for example. We wrote words, you sent us clothes – boxes, literally boxes, of clothes. Seriously, what is up with you guys? We don’t know where this outstandingly generous spirit has come from but we’re not complaining. Keep it coming.

And keep the letter requests coming too! A recent fave was for a letter to a hotel who thought it would be okay to get rid of the best outdoor dance floor west of Uluru. So very naïve. So very wrong.

A symbol of the passing of the digits

Another particularly fun-sized request was from the previous owner of a much-loved mobile phone number. She wanted a letter to the new owner, apologising for being lax in telling her friends she’d changed numbers, and also wishing the new owner well with a number that’s been the source of so many happy memories…

Hi! Is that Amanda?

Jokes, jokes, I know you’re not Amanda. I’m Amanda.
But I’ve called 0414 xxx 051, right?

Jokes, jokes, this is a letter not a phone call. I’m not crazy. I thought I’d write, rather than call, because I know you’re up to here with people calling you and asking for Amanda, so please let me explain.

0414 xxx 051 used to be my phone number and now it’s yours. That’s the connection. I got a new number a year or two ago and was slow to spread the word – mostly because I was struggling to let go. See, the thing is, I was in love with my old number. Deeply and profoundly in love.

Read on...

This is merely a taster of the numerous goodies we received this past month. Told ya, BOXES!

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