A letter from Hampus

With the holidays fast approaching, you’re likely to be flooded with many Christmas cards from friends and family. Or, as it happens, from potential Swedes.

An unfamiliar email recently entered my mailbox, forever altering my life. It read as follows:

From Hampus Olsson

Subject: RE

Compliment of the season,

An Essential? proposal for you, Do write me back for details through this email::  yanmrswang13@gmail.com

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs. Wang

I don’t know about you, but I normally send emails without subject lines. I like to keep friends and family guessing. Did someone die? Do I need a recipe? Did I see a particularly hilarious-looking bird? Haha…guess you’ll have to read on because I provide no context whatsoever. So far, so good. Totally not a scam.

The message came from incredibly normal-sounding person named Hampus. My first question was, of course, “Jeez. WHICH Hampus? I know so many. I wish he(?!) had a less common name! Then I saw it was from Hampus Olsson. Figures. The ONE Hampus I DON’T know! A scammer wouldn’t use a plausible-sounding name like this.

Of course, the subject line with “RE” is formatted that means “reply.” Did I drink too much gin and forget I A) emailed my good friend Hampus or B) that I had a friend named Hampus to begin with? Either way, Hampus (gender natural elf?) replied!

Next: “Compliment of the season?” Even though I don’t know this particular Hampus, it feels like he(it?) knows me so well. I could definitely use a compliment. And the one of the season? Bring it on, Hampus! People say my eyes are like mystical pools directed by Joss Whedon so you can start there if you need.

But wait. I think this is meant to be a greeting. In this era of political correctness, perhaps my new BFF Hampus is simply wishing me happy holidays and did not want to offend me with the more traditional “Merry Christmas.” What a creative way of expressing this. I’m so lucky to have such a unique and thoughtful soulmate.

A bit of Google research found that Hampus Olsson is a Swedish art director, artist and longboarder. It’s no wonder he’s a big fan and wanting to give me unique compliments and/or greetings. My popularity amongst the artistic longboarder community is quite large, so it makes sense. Perhaps we can get on the news together. You see those stories about the most unlikely friendships all the time, like between a 150 year-old turtle and a fire hydrant. That can be us!

An Essential? proposal for me? IS it essential? The question mark has me confused. That’s just classic Hampus keeping me guessing. Just like his no subject subject line! What a rascal. I bet it is essential. What reason would he have for steering me wrong?

Let’s see what ‘ol Hampus is up to. It seems he has a proposal for me. Of course he does. I love proposals. Perhaps he wants to go longboarding? Maybe while painting? I’d love to! I’m in no way picturing Hampus on a motorcycle and me in the sidecar right now.

A bit more research unveils that he’s no ordinary artist. He’s been making websites and pixels since he was eight-years-old. When I was eight I was eating an extraordinary amount of grapes and putting the empty grapes bowl on my head.

His very official website also says, “I strive for pixel perfection” and I believe him. Only a fool would doubt his sincerity to pixels. He has a picture of himself dressed like a pirate with a kitten perched on his shoulder, which tells you all you need to know.

But wait. I can’t simply reply to his email! That’s not how Hampus rolls. He’s not some lame longboarder that strives for pixel adequacy. I need to email him at his ALTERNATE address. That’s perfectly normal and I have no reason to be skeptical about it, especially given our best friends status. I’m sure the alternate email address makes complete sense.

Wait a minute. This whole time I thought I was talking to a Swedish art director and now I find out Hampus isn’t even the one emailing me. Who is Mrs. Wang? Hampus, is this your publicist? Longboarding buddy? Head of Pixel Quality Control? I can’t see myself in a motorcycle sidecar with Mrs. Wang. I don’t know what that says about me.

Maybe he(?!) leads a double life. Swedish art director/longboarder by day and excellent compliment-giving proposal-writer lady by night.

After a week of thinking about this far too much I had to reply back.

Subject: Re: Re:

Gracious snow acknowledgements,

You seem in good health and sturdy. I am to accepting of your most pleasing of proposals.  More. More is what I require. I need it so bad. Please? Tell me in pixels. I have so few. Hampus? Is that you? Please for to inviting me to your crayfish revelry. Can I meet your cat? August. Bestest servitude through email:: hampuslover@bestfriends.net

Yours in honesty,

Princess Knockers

I can’t wait to hear back from my friend!


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com