The Other RALPH
A Fly for the Prosecution
Madame Spivy
"I brought culture to Buffalo in the 90s"


>Hello Lolita,

>As you may well know, people searching the Web for your title, The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (RALPH) often end up finding the site of my title, RALPH magazine
and vice versa. These bemused people are always pointing this out to us, as I'm sure they occasionally do to you, and we have even run correspondence on the coincidence on our letters page.

Tell us about it.

>Obviously we are a magazine aimed at young men interested in girls, parties, cars, etc... and you guys are not, which is obviously why people find it funny.

We, too, are seeking readers who are interested in girls, girls who've grown up (like Virginia Woolfe, Jane Austen, and the Brontës); parties (Whigs, Tories, Mugwumps); and cars (Cords, Pierce-Arrows, and Stanley Steamers).

>Anyhow, long story short, we're currently working on our 100th issue and are seeking messages of congratulations from all over the world. We would be most honoured if our namesake publication would in lighthearted fashion provide such a message to run in the issue. We'll even send you some copies!

>Look forward to your reply.

--- Michael Pickering

Is there any way to get a transcript of Spivy's "I brought culture to Buffalo in the 90s"....

Or a copy on CD or tape or a music file?

I'd appreciate it very much.

--- Barbara K. Ray


While we were preparing the article on Spivy, we ran across a recording company which was reissuing her discs. (We tried to find it today but got boggled by the number of entries in Google.)

Call up Spivy there and --- if you have more patience than we do --- see if you can find any such recording companies. (And let us know if you do.)

--- Lolita Lark

Go to the article
that inspired this letter


I just read A Fly for the Prosecution, and I understood the first chapter; describing all of the different kinds of insects that go to a dead body to lay eggs, which the detectives then use when they finish growing to see what actually happened to the victim. But after that, when they were getting into all different cases I started to not understand it.  

After reading the book, I barley understood anything. And I thought maybe you could help explain some of the things that happened in it, because all i have now is a bunch of random info and I thought maybe you could help me put the pieces together.  

It would mean so much to me,

--- Andrew U

§     §     §

Our Editor Responded:

Dear Andrew U.:

Truth is, we were as perplexed as you as the scientific details that appeared in A Fly for the Prosecution. However, we found the writing to be spry and merry --- considering that some might find the subject somewhat grisly.

Indeed, we had some correspondence with Harvard University Press after they sent us the book. They didn't seem to know if we had received it, much less reviewed it.

This is what we wrote:

Daniel Verdejo
Harvard University Press
79 Garden Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Dear Mr. Verdejo:

The original review of Mr. Goff's book, A Fly for the Prosecution, appeared in our Mid-Late Summer 2000 issue [technically, issue #44].

We sent Harvard University Press two hard copies of that review shortly after it went up at our site, and in case you cannot find them in your files, we send another herewith.

It can be found online at

We liked Mr. Goff's book so much --- as our reviewer pointed out, it's a joy --- that we listed it again in our Very Early Summer 2003 [Issue #98] issue under the sobriquet "Great Reviews of the Past."

We recently sent you a copy of that, too, with (once again) the date of the review, or at least, of our printing of it, in the upper right-hand corner.

I hope this clears up your questions, and if you are in contact with Mr. Goff, tell him that if he ever leaves Hawaii, we do hope he moves to California so we can have him for our own forensic etymologist, and, since our low-rent offices are so bug-ridden, maybe he can help us get rid of some of those beasts as well.

Lolita Lark

From: Jennifer Esposito
Subject: Film Review --- Galileo's Sons

Dear Ms. Worth,

I have arranged shipping for a vhs copy of the film "Galileo's Sons", as per your request.

Please note that our reviews policy requires that you return the video at the end of four weeks.

If you find that you need more time, we can extend the due back date.

  Please notify me when the review is available online.  

Thanks for your interest in Bullfrog Films!  

--- Sincerely,Jen Esposito
Reviews Coordinator
Bullfrog Films
P.O. Box 149, Oley, PA 19547

§     §     §

From: Lolita Lark
To: Jennifer Esposito
Subject: Re: Film Review --- Galileo's Sons


Please do not ship Galileo's Sons. We get so many books and tapes we cannot be responsible for returning them. If you have already shipped it, we will return it without viewing. Sorry.

It's just that we have made this our policy because of past misunderstandings and want them to never happen again.

--- Lolita Lark

§     §     §

From: Jennifer Esposito
To: Lolita Lark
Subject: RE: Film Review --- Galileo's Sons

If you are positive that it will be reviewed, we can make an exception and send you a complimentary copy of the film.

Let me know ASAP --- the order is in process and scheduled to be shipped on Friday. 

--- Thanks!

§     §     §

From: Lolita Lark
To: Jennifer Esposito
Subject: RE: Film Review --- Galileo's Sons

Dear Jennifer:

I wish I could say yes, but as you know, a worthy book review magazine can and should never make any promises whether to review, no more than it can promise how to review.


--- Lolita Lark

§     §     §

To: Lolita Lark
Subject: Film Review- Galileo's Sons

Hi Lolita,  

We've already shipped the dvd, so you don't need to return it.  We'll just keep our fingers crossed that it gets reviewed.  

Please notify me if does, and if possible send me a tear sheet or direct me to the online location of the review.   

--- Thanks, Jen
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