This one is from way back. It’s from the days when business still ran on the American rail system.
Stennis Overmeyer, president of the Tuscalusa National Bank sat at his desk on a Monday morning and dictated a letter to his secretary. It read:
From: Stennis Overmeyer, President Tuscalusa National Bank, Tuscalusa Mississippi
To: Hamilton Treadwell, president of Ohio and Topeka Railroad, Cleveland, Ohio
As president of the Tuscalusa National bank I travel extensively on business. Of late I have been taking business trips to Chicago on your railroad, and have previously been satisfied with the service. However, circumstances of my most recent trip merit your attention.
On my recent trip back from Chicago I bedded down in one of your highly-advertised sleeper cars and immediately found something amiss. There was a bedbug on the sheet. Looking, I found two more.
Since my bank does considerable rail travel for business, I feel we deserve your attention to this unspeakable insult. Please advise me by return mail that you will personally look into this matter and rectify the situation. I expect to have no similar unpleasant experiences on your railroad in the future,
President Tuscalusa National Bank
A few days passed and Mr. Overmeyer received the following response. Disregarding the formalities, the letter read as such:
My dear Mr. Overmeyer,
I have reviewed your complaint, and I have personally looked into the matter. I can assure you this kind of thing never happens on the T&O line, and I have ordered a thorough investigation and have taken steps to ensure no such incidents ever occur in the future. I have gone to the lengths of firing the conductor of the train in question.
I appreciate your patronage, and I look forward to our continued business relationship.
There followed the usual courteous sign off wishing Mr. Overmeyer well. But there was something more. A short note on a small piece of paper, left unnoticed, was still attached. It read:
Jack, send this joker bug letter number 2.