Oohhhhhh...okay this is absurd, and ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. I love this job for moments of unadulterated comedy like the one I encountered just a moment ago.
I was walking by my co-worker's desk, and noticed some photos on the floor. I bent down to retrieve them for him, and then stopped mid-descent, with my eyes growing large at the sight on the ground. Seconds later I erupted into surprised laughter, but for that one moment, I was inside the mind of a very ambitious ham architect.
The photos were of a model version of the "World's Largest Ham Castle". (My colleague quoted, from the letter: "Dear Santa, This is my new idea for the World's Largest Ham Castle. I want to do this large-scale. Very large-scale. The size of a city. I tried to broker a deal with Egypt earlier this year to acquire all or most of their slaughtered pigs, but my attempt was unsuccessful, so I am writing to you. When my theme park opens I'll make sure to send you a few lifetime passes for you and your family.")
The photos depicted a design for a very large encampment featuring walls of cubed ham, ramparts made of bacon, and windows, arches, and bridges constructed from various sausage products. The design was a repeating pattern, and I had the feeling the stack of 5x7 prints I saw on the corner of my co-worker's desk represented the project in its entirety, but my neighbor hadn't had enough room on the floor to lay it all out.
I usually try to leave people alone when they are pondering a response to an inappropriate letter, but I was so amused and curious that I had to ask, "Where is this guy from? I mean where does he live that he imagines this possibility of a Ham Castle Theme Park?"
My co-worker told me, "somewhere in the Emirates. His parents bought him an estate on a bunch of land when he was in his early teens, and he's never left home."
Wow. The whole thing was so funny, but actually, as I've been typing this -- and laughing about what this guy's next scheme may be -- I've started to realize that the crazy ham dude might have put a lot of his energy toward that and may be very disappointed when Santa's ham delivery does not come through. Well...anyway...that's not my problem.