A Hopeful Immigrant’s Letter, Intercepted

[25 February 2007]

By Robert Collins

Three weeks ago Secret Service agents intercepted the following letter addressed to President Bush posted from Madrid, Spain. Leaked by an unknown White House source, for the first time anywhere, here is the transcription of that letter.

PLEASE NOTE. The Secret Service corrected the numerous spelling and grammatical errors to aid communication during the course of their investigation. Presented here is that edited version.

Dear President Bush

My name is David and I will soon be moving to the USA with my family. I do advertising and play football, although my wife Victoria tells me football in America is something different and involves having a tight end. Maybe she can do that and I’ll do normal football – which she tells me is called soccer in your country. She used to be a singer in a band. Don’t tell her I said so, but I still can’t figure out how she managed that. She only sings when it’s one of the kids’ birthdays. Even then it’s a racket.

Let me say from the start that I’m one of your biggest fans. Some say I’m a bit on the thick side, but people like you and me have shown the world that brains aren’t everything. A bit of charisma goes a long way. Especially in America. That’s what they tell me anyway.

I’m very much looking forward to moving to America, although I’m still confused whether we’ll be living in Los Angeles or LA. One minute Victoria and my personal manager, Mr Fuller, are talking about us buying a house in Los Angeles. A minute later they’re talking about LA. It’s so confusing. But Mr Fuller says it doesn’t matter. He and Victoria always say it’s not what you know but who you know. Although I guess that must be different in politics.

I’ve been living in Madrid, which is in a country called Spain. Have you heard of it? It’s a strange place. No one speaks English. Our coach at my team, Mr Capello, has been a big meanie to me recently. He says I can’t play for Madrid just because I signed a contract with another team called The Galaxy. That’s hardly fair, because I’ve sold more replica shirts than the rest of the team combined. Just because I haven’t played well for a year, that means I deserve to be benched? Victoria says he’s just jealous because he doesn’t have his own fragrance for men. I think she’s right.

I was looking for a trade to different soccer teams recently. The problem was, I’ve already played for two of the biggest clubs in the world. And as much as I love getting out on the pitch and playing, Victoria and Mr Fuller both pointed out that moving to a smaller club, even in my home town of London, would ruin something called my commercial appeal. ‘David’, they say to me, ‘you’re bigger than the game of soccer. You have to dictate to the sport. The sport can’t dictate to you’. So with that in mind, we decided to move to your lovely country. Over there it shouldn’t really make a difference how well I play. As long as I’m at the right premieres and still looking handsome, nothing else really matters.

As you might imagine, I’m very excited about moving to Los Angeles (or LA). Our friends Tom and Katie live in one or both of those places. We went to their wedding last year. They do lots of fun things, although sometimes when Tom talks about aliens inhabiting our bodies I get a little frightened. A lot of my biggest fans live in America. Pepsi pays me a lot of money to say I like their drink. It’s quite nice, but Victoria won’t let me bring it into the house because of something called calories. Do you like Pepsi?

Gillette are big fans, although they make me shave (boo!). Do you have a Vodaphone phone, Adidas shoes or eat Snickers bars? If not, Victoria and Mr Fuller say that I heartily recommend all of them. And I don’t know if you know anything about oil but put Castrol in your car, ok?

The reason I am writing is that I need a few favours from you. My most pressing concern is that my new team, The Galaxy, as far as I can tell, have a green and yellow kit. This is not good. As Victoria always says, I’m a fashion icon so I have to dress well at all the time. I’m used to wearing red or white when I’m playing. Primary colours. Timeless. So if you can have a word with their people, that would be much appreciated.

Also, I would still like to play for England. Your friend Tony Blair is in charge of England and as you seem to be his boss I’d again be very grateful if you could put in a few good words on my behalf.

Between you and me, I’m a little worried about this whole soccer business. Keep it to yourself, but I’m not as good as I used to be. I really just stand on the right wing and hoof the ball into the middle whenever it comes to me. Even that’s become a bit of a struggle recently. I should be ok in the barely competitive MLS, but if I can’t hack it at The Galaxy I really need something to keep me occupied.

Mr Fuller has got me a couple of acting roles in movies already. In ‘Goal II: Living The Dream’, I play a footballer called David Beckham. And we’ve already filmed ‘Goal III’. I play, you’ve guessed it, a footballer called David Beckham. As you can see, I don’t exactly hold out my chances of a film career once my playing days are over. I have what’s known in the acting world as ‘a squeaky voice’. I don’t think Victoria will be getting any acting jobs either. Have you seen Spiceworld The Movie?

Here’s the thing. I know I’m down for about £250 million dollars as long as all my sponsors keep using me to advertise their crap, but I’m still concerned. You see, according to Mr Fuller, your citizens aren’t big soccer fans. They know me for being cute and having a charmingly musky fragrance. Once they see me in action it could all go a bit tits up. I’m not exactly the flashy player you see. I’m tenacious in midfield and pretty useful in the dead ball situation. But if they’re expecting me to dribble around an entire defence before leaving the goalkeeper for dead, it didn’t happen when I was twenty-four, and it’s not going to happen now. I just wanted to let you know that I know that. If the press and the advertisers go cold on me, I want you and me to be on the same page from the start.

So this is what I’d really like from you. Can you guarantee me and Victoria a reality show on MTV a couple of years down the line? As far as I can tell, that’s what all reality shows in America are. You get someone who used to be famous for actually doing something, stick a couple of camera crews in the house and it can drag out a faded celebrity’s career for years. It worked for Ozzy Obourne, Hulk Hogan, Gene Simmons and Jessica Simpson. She’s not too bright. I reckon we could easily be as dumb as her. We’ll fit right in. You should see the antics we get up to. Last week Victoria accidentally ate a slice of bread. You should have seen her ranting and raving. The kids and I were laughing for hours.

If you could pull a few strings on my behalf, that would be great. I’m sure you understand.

They tell me America is the land of the free, the freedom to say goodbye to the responsibilities and stresses of the top-level sportsman. Freedom from the need to continually challenge myself, maintaining a degree of dignity competing in the sport that made me famous and the guilt that comes from keeping my spoilt wife and offspring in the opulence they demand.

I’m sure I’ll be very welcome. Whether it’s in LA or Los Angeles.

Yours truly,

David B, Madrid.

Robert Collins is a freelance journalist based in London. Since 2000 he's been Features Editor of Playmusic magazine, edited the musicians' sections of NME and Melody Maker, and has contributed to The Sunday Times, Globe&Mail;, The Toronto Star, thelondonpaper, Ryanair Magazine, FourFourTwo, Sleaze Nation and many others. He earned his degree in American Studies at the University of Manchester, where he developed his exacting standards for chicken kebabs, and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he learnt the finer points of the pick and roll. Robert writes about global sports culture in his column, Sticky Wickets. Before you ask, his favourite sports moment of all time is the Second Test between The British & Irish Lions and South Africa in 1997. He cannot dunk and has never even come close.


Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/column/a-hopeful-immigrants-letter-intercepted/