Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Fan mail from some flounderer?

One of our restaurant clients down in L.A. received a strange piece of mail recently. It’s from someone named Matthew Thornton, and the return address says “Western United States 120º West.”

The single sheet of paper (below) is titled “The Rupes Nigra,” which I promptly looked up. It refers to a mythical island that supposedly existed (or exists) at the North Pole, though the picture our interesting correspondent included is actually a depiction of the Tower of Babel.

I don’t know what to make of the text, which speaks of ley lines—lines drawn between certain landmarks and ancient sites—and “a map to a new world.” Turns out you can walk to South America!

Curious by nature, I Googled “Matthew Thornton” and learned that he was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Not that there isn’t a contemporary “MT” out there somewhere in the Western United States. The letter was postmarked Sacramento. And 120º West runs pretty much along the California/Nevada border, which is shown on the envelope, I figured out. That little blue spot must be Lake Tahoe.


Apparently, this Matthew Thornton has been mailing out these letters to many business addresses over the years. There’s a couple of reddit threads about him,
and one person, earlier this year, got the same message our client got. The reddit commenters wonder whether MT is schizophrenic or something, but I’d prefer to think of this project of his as a long-term performance-art piece or even some kind of geocaching game.

Why does everyone with an eccentric slant on life get labeled schizophrenic?

Like I said, I don’t really know what to make of it, but it’s given me something to think about to distract from the dystopian fearscape of American life in 2020.

Whatever the case, it’s nice to know, that if things really go sideways we can always walk to South America …

18 comments on “Fan mail from some flounderer?

  1. pinklightsabre
    May 18, 2020

    Yeah that Tower of Babel image is just never a good sign.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 18, 2020

      I wonder if they ever finished building that thing … 🤔

      • pinklightsabre
        May 18, 2020

        Ha, right. What’s the point?

  2. kingmidget
    May 18, 2020

    Over the 25+ years I worked as an attorney for three different employers … it was amazing how much weird mail we got. This one may be at the top of the list, but there are a lot of people out there who send some pretty weird shit into their government overlords.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 18, 2020

      We sometimes get handwritten religious letters from total strangers, trying to get us to accept Jesus as our Lord. Think of the time people spend on these things! 🤯

      • kingmidget
        May 18, 2020

        A lot of what we got at my last job was from sovereign citizens, tax protesters, etc. And prisoners. So many people out there who have been taken advantage of by others and led to believe some really strange things. … like … I can establish a trust and it will be worth $10 billion and I can use it to pay my bills and my taxes.

      • Kevin Brennan
        May 18, 2020

        Sounds like a plan!

  3. David Barber
    June 14, 2021

    Kevin – I stumbled across your post while researching a similar piece of mail we received today at our business. This piece did not include the Tower of Babel but did have a few odd poems regarding Mother’s and Father’s Day along with a gopher on the side of Half Dome at Yosemite.

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 16, 2021

      I don’t know what this cat is up to, but he has an interesting mind. Thanks for the info!

  4. Chelsey
    June 16, 2021

    Hes hitting all the restrants in georgia now.

    • Chelsey Brown
      June 16, 2021


    • Kevin Brennan
      June 16, 2021

      Interesting! Maybe he’s following ley lines all around the country …

  5. Zach Jackson
    July 21, 2021

    We received a letter @ our restaurant in Shreveport, La. today. It has Egyptian pics and Pics of ducks with green eyes. Speaking of “first steps to heaven.” Cray Cray. no Ricin i hope?

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 21, 2021

      Welcome to the club! I guess Shreveport must be on one of those ley lines to South America. 😉

  6. Gerenda Washburn
    August 8, 2021

    We’ve received 3 letters over the past few years at our restaurant as well. The Garlic Press in Midland, Texas. Got one this past week actually!

  7. Jessica
    May 8, 2022

    The restaurant I work for also got one last year! I took it home because I thought it was so bizarre and random.. the envelope is the same but the “letter” is different

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 8, 2022

      Weird wild stuff! I guess covid didn’t slow this guy down. 😆

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2020 by in Et alia and tagged , , .
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