Ellen! Oh, Ellen! Usually when I write people I don’t know, I like to keep it formal: I use “Mr.”/ “Ms.”/ ”Mrs.” as much as I possibly can, just to stay on people’s good sides. Yet when it comes to you though, I struggle~ if I open this letter “Dear Ms. Degeneres”, you’ll think I’m a complete nincompoop . . . as though there could possibly be another ELLEN!
Oh, of course not. When you type the name/ word “Ellen” into any known search engine, you get about nine pages of Ellen Degeneres results before the web even hints that there may be any other Ellens on the web, let alone in the Universe! After you’re gone, I will bet you they retire the name, like they retired the Apollo 11! Or Mickey Mantle’s number 8!
Clearly you need no last name, kiddo! You’ve joined the ranks of Oprah! And Jesus! And Fabio!
Yet when I was a child, you needed a last name.
Let’s face facts, Ellen~ in the early to mid nineties, you weren’t THAT famous yet. At least not among the crowds *I* palled around with, the ones who had to be in bed by 9pm all week so they could stay up and watch SNICK on Saturdays. Since we did not really know you yet, we had to call by your full name, except as nine year old kid, I did not hear Ellen Degeneres! *I* heard “Ellen the Generous” . . . and golly gee! That sounded like a superhero to me!
Is it a bird? NO! A plane? NO!
WAIT! It’s Ellen the Generous!
Ellen the Generous flying overhead in a snazzy pants suit and tie and a cape! Ellen the Generous feeding the homeless and Feeding America, fighting all forms of evil with her mighty sword of benevolence! Standing Up to Cancer in front of the whole world! Ellen the Generous hosting the Academy Awards! Snapping million dollar selfies and donating the proceeds to the Animal Kingdom! Ellen the Generous with her big Cash Clunkers and Stimulus Packages to help those nicked hard by the economy!
Wait! Could it be? You’ve truly been Ellen the Generous all along?
Oh, I can see it now! YOU on the cover of TIME:
“Yup. I’m Ellen the Generous.”
ELLEN DEGENERES! The time has come to be generous!
I can see you asking yourself, “Who? Me? What could this girl possibly want from me? My house? My car? My kidney?”
No! No, of course not, Ellen, I would never ask for anything I thought you would miss. All I want is a million dollars . . . that’s it, ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Just ONE.
Come on. That’s nothing, you’ll make it back in five minutes anyway. You’re ELLEN!
So what did *I* do to deserve a million dollars? Well, nothing really, as a matter of fact, I kind of did the opposite. When I get depressed, I shop and when I was about 27, I became insanely, wildly depressed . . . by the time I stopped shopping, I was thirty and I only stopped shopping because they took all my credit cards away.
I shiver to even tell you the gory, macabre details! I was an addict by then, I’ll not deny it. I sat in a cold, dark room for days and days, bawling! Shaking like a wet dog! It was so murderous! I ripped my hair out of my head, I rubbed my arms raw! I yanked at my eyelashes, I tried to pull the ears off the sides of my skull! I screamed, I cried, I howled at the moon: “Why? Why? WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?”
Except it wasn’t a crack rock I couldn’t get my hands on . . . it was a credit card.
My name is Brianne Sloan and I’m a writer, but I did not care about writing anymore! I would have given anything for another fix, just one more fix! I was sixty grand in the hole by then, it was all from shopping too; pure, uncut, glorious shopping! To put it bluntly, this was sixty thousand dollars of shoes. Shoes, suits, dresses and designer handbags . . . that I hadn’t paid for yet.
Now who would have thought it could get worse?
I live in St. Augustine, Florida. Florida may get hit by hurricanes a lot, but Jacksonville and St. Augustine are on a curve which sort of “shoves” hurricanes back out to sea . . . or anyway, that’s what *I’ve* always been told. They must have told me that one too many times though because when I heard about HURRICANE MATTHEW, I laughed. I laughed a lot.
“HA! I don’t believe in hurricanes!”
Famous. Last. Words.
Still I evacuated like a good girl and the next time I saw my house, it was hardly recognizable: there was a big, gaping hole in my bedroom ceiling, there was 26 inches of water damage in every room, mold growing all over my furniture and shoes and handbags.
Oh, Ellen! All my pants suits and ties are gone! Just GONE!
Now none of this seems a terribly big loss, I still have my life and my family and my little doggie, all that designer crap never meant much to me anyway.
But wait a second! Do I still have to pay for all that garbage that was destroyed? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! According to Capital One, I do . . . they sued me.
This looks like a job for ELLEN THE GENEROUS! Bum bum BAH!
Ellen! You were just like me once! A waitress! A bartender! A cashier! Doing one thing to get by and make money, when you knew your real talent lay somewhere else! The torture! The mindless torture of waking up every day and going to a job you hate, only to struggle to nourish your real passion at night! So that one day (MAYBE one day) you might able to lose the crap job and do comedy all day! I doubt you ever dared imagine you’d be a real life CoverGirl, hosting the Academy Awards . . . you could never have imagined, I am sure of it.
Now maybe I’m not funny and maybe I don’t do comedy, still I doubt I’ve imagined even half the wonderful things that can happen to me! So write me a check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS, Ellen!
Easy, breezy, beautiful ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
You’ll always be ELLEN THE GENEROUS to me!
Here’s looking at you, Ellen!