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Happy Holidays from Your Favorite Escape Artist!
In the words of the immortal Mallory Archer, “Always know where the exits are.”
The following somewhat tardy holiday update recently reached me from one Mr. Leo Luger, an old and dear family friend. Its author has always been quite the raconteur, so I doubt he would object to my sharing his letter here.
17 December 2021
Dear fine family and friends,
I trust this letter finds you all happy, healthy, and free from ankle-mounted electronic monitoring devices. In fact, I’m trusting my trusty friend Bilbao to ensure that this letter finds you at all!
It’s certainly been another interesting year for your favorite Grandmaster of the Escape Arts. I celebrated my 83rd birthday by relocating permanently to my deluxe suite at the Naurettavaa Bubble Hotel in northern Finland. I love it there, especially on nights when the Aurora Borealis dances across the heavens like God’s own green thoughts. Of all my escapes, I think my escape to Naurettavaa is the greatest of them all (even if the transparent dome makes it difficult to properly display the small framed Monet gifted to me by la première dame de France upon my successful escape from her boudoir after the unexpected arrival home of M. le Président and his security retinue!). Best of all, the terms of Finland’s extradition agreement with Brazil are somewhat hazy when it comes to trespassing warrants, which is why one of you will find a roll of film accompanying this letter. In the event that I should disappear not in the course of one of my stupendous feats of escape, please forward it to the usual media outlets. (I’m especially pleased with the panorama shot from atop Cristo Redentor.)
It is, of course, just Bilbao and I these days. I don’t really hear from the twins, Hem and Haw, but I understand they are happy in their chosen careers in, respectively, corrections administration and fugitive apprehension. In a delightful surprise development, however, I’ve been contacted through 23 and Me by a fellow who turns out to be their younger half-brother! His name is Hodad. It’s quite a story, as I had completely forgotten the incident in Kathmandu, but I think that one will have to wait for the posthumous publication my memoirs or the expiration of a certain statute of limitations, whichever comes first. But welcome to the family, Hodad! There really is no escape from genetics.
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I’m happy to say that work, for the most part, remains as stimulating as ever! The major disappointment of the year was the rejection of my proposal to escape from the International Space Station. I have backup proposals out to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, but even if they fall through I still have high hopes for the greenlighting of my Bravo reality series, Getting Away From It All with Leopold Luger. As you know, this has been in the works for some time. All we need to do now is nail down our sponsorship deal with LifeLock and we’ll be home free. You know, in the figurative sense.
Oh, but there’s one other minor obstacle, which has to do with another tiny bit of news from here in Leopold Land. If you recall meeting Lady Funicular, Mistress of the Dark Arts, a few years ago at Haw’s wedding, well, I’m sorry to say that she and I are no longer what the ink-stained wretches used to call an “item.” It seems she was friendly with certain elements of the French deep state — or état profond, if you prefer — which is why we’ve called it quits. And which is also why preparations for my grand escape from inside the crater of Mount Kilauea (a celebration of my 70th year in the profession) have stalled.
In fact, my practice run snagged on the minor detail of the extra castor oil Lady F. slipped into the Carcassonne cassoulet she served me the evening before. I must be old because I failed to clock the passage of the lockpick I’d swallowed earlier in the day. My trusty sidekick Bilbao brings me what sustenance he can, berries mostly, but since he is, of course, a raccoon, I’ve had some difficulty conveying the nature of the precise piece of hardware I’d prefer he deliver.
So, you know, in conclusion, if any of you happen to have Hawai‘i pencilled in on your near-term travel agenda, please keep an eye out for Bilbao in the vicinity of the ranger station on Chain of Craters Road. He’ll know you. (You might bring some slightly charred mahi-mahi and a side of poi along with the lockpick, since those are his very favorites.) And try to respect the low profile I need to keep within sovereign U.S. borders. With your timely assistance, I hope to be back in my Naurettavaa bubble by Valentine’s Day, enjoying the celestial splendor with a glass of Salmiakki Koskenkorva and a certain Nordic noble of my acquaintance.
Happy holidays and great escapes to you all!
“Leopold the Lubricious”
P.S. When you visit, be sure to wear a good, fitted N95 respirator. There’s a pandemic on, after all, as I’m sure you’ve heard. And, as I need hardly remind you, one tube in Halema‘uma‘u crater continues to actively vent. No pressure! ∅