Faithful Acowlytes! Imagine my surprise and joy this morning to receive an email from the beautiful Yuliya, to whom I recently wrote on the matter of ‘love and sensations among people’.1 Yuliya even included, most thoughtfully, a picture of herself! As you will no doubt have perceived, Yuliya is a professional semiotician, and with this portrait she is using semiotics to reflect her thoughts: the Christmas hat indicates that ‘all my Christmases are about to come at once’ and the object she is holding shows that she has ‘the key to my heart’. The gold handcuff-like bracelet signifies that she wants to be my Eternal Love Slave. Although Yuliya is from Russia, language poses no barrier when your true love communicates with symbols!

Yuliya has obviously been thinking long and hard about how best to convey her intentions to me. To make things absolutely clear, she has also outlined her yearning in words. Taken together, the semiotic subtext of the image and the sincerity of the email are persuasive evidence that Yuliya is completely hot for me. Here’s what she said (I’ve omitted some things, as much of it was boring personal – I’m sure you’ll understand):

hi, dear
Please, do not be surprise – this letter is not a spam one.
You will probably be amazed of the fact that I am writing you an e-mail.
Yesterday I myself was amazed too, when saw your letter in my e-mail box.
The letter was about love and sensations among people. The motto of the
letter was like this search for love and you’ll become happy! I liked
this letter very much.
I would like to know more about you. Providing that it is me who is
the first to write, I want to say some words of my personality.
My name is Yuliya. I am 32 years old.. I from Murom it in (Russia). To me
of 32 years. I the widow. My husband was lost in automobile failure!!
I am cute, calm, kind and sociable.
I think it is interesting to talk with you and discover new features of
yours! Discover you as a person. I am a serious woman and I am looking
for serious relations. For me it means no deception, no double jokes. I
am looking for a real person who will manage to love and respect me. I
hope you are searching for your love, too.
I do not think that in love-relations age and appearance have any
importance. The chief factor for me is ability to love and respect
I have lots of hobbies and interests in life. Among them you will find
sport, cooking, books reading and definitely music. I am going crazy
about housekeeping and house holding. I like tiding up and general
cleaning. I am keen on experimenting in my kitchen. I love changes.
I am fond of animals and prefer to lead a healthy lifestyle, thus, I
do not smoke or use alcohol.
Hey, my new pen-friend. What can you tell me about yourself? I want to
learn more about you.
In my future letter I will describe my character and my personality more
Definitely, I will send you some of my photographs. It will help you to
understand who I am and where I live. My photos will reveal all parts of
my life – my happiness, my pensiveness and sometimes melancholy.
I am looking forward to your reply. I am really interested in knowing you
Remember of me.
my e-mail – yuliya.b76@gmail.com
Your new friend,

Of course, I wrote back to Yuliya immediately –

Oh Yuliya, my Maiden from Murom!

Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to please you, Yuliya! I am so terribly sad to hear of the automobile failure that claimed your husband’s life. I myself am no stranger to that kind of tragedy, and I can only imagine how lonely you must feel. I am a little older than you, at age 51, but I see that you are not too concerned about that. You sound like exactly the kind of woman I am looking for, and even though you describe yourself as ‘cute, calm, kind and sociable’, I think you are being a little coy by leaving out ‘sexy’, you naughty thing!

I think love and respect are very important also, and, if you wear attractive lingerie, I am sure I can manage to love and respect you, as you desire. Although I also do not hold with deception, I’m not sure I could give up double jokes, which I find quite entertaining. For example:

    A man walks up to a Buddhist hotdog vendor, gives him five bucks and says “Make me one with everything”.

    The hotdog vendor hands him a hotdog and the man says “Don’t I get any change?”

    The Buddhist hotdog vendor looks at the guy, raises an eyebrow, and says “Change comes from within.”2

I think you must agree that a double joke such as that is trés amusing, and it would be a shame not to have some humour in our relationship. Thank you for telling me of your hobbies – they do sound intriguing, although I’m not really very interested in sport (unless it’s of the kind that can be performed in the bedroom). I must tell you that on the first read-through of your letter, I failed to notice the comma between ‘cooking’ and ‘books’ and hence for a moment had the amusing image in my head that one of your hobbies was ‘cooking books’! Hahaha! In my country, that is a slang expression that means ‘to be dishonest with your accounting’ (I know that you would never be dishonest, Yuliya, like so many women from your country who attempt to entrap lonely and desperate foreign men and fleece them of their money).

I understand that you like to experiment in the kitchen, which I find an especially appealing trait, as I’m very fond of science myself. I suppose you have done that great trick with dairy whitener and a candle flame? That usually gets a few laughs at parties. Perhaps if (dare I say ‘when’?) we meet, we can whip up a big batch of methyl glycol on the cooktop!

Yuliya, I would like to go into depth about my interests and hobbies here, but I think just a brief mention will be suitable at this time. By profession I am a religious man and distributor of hessian underclothing. I have to admit that the latter is also a personal interest, along with collecting old enamel buttons, unusual and rare moths, and tags from other people’s luggage. I own a large country estate in Ireland, where I raise baby chupacabras for the cryptozoology industry.

But enough about me! I would very much like to see some more pictures of you, particularly those revealing all parts of your life. Don’t be pensive and melancholy Yuliya! True love is surely just around the corner for us!

Please reply soon!

Your distant friend and admirer (and should I hope… future lover…?)

Reverend Anaglyph
Church of the Tetherd Cow

Of course, I had it translated into her native language, just so there would no confusion. This is how Babelfish says it should appear to her:

Oh Yuliya, my girl from Murom!

Half of what I speak meaningless, but he tells him exactly to if you please you, Yuliya!3 I am so terribly sad to hear the failure of automobile which it claimed the life of your husband. I itself any stranger to that kind-hearted of tragedy, and I can only represent as lonely you must feel. I a little is older than you, on period 51, but I see that you that not too perturbed about you. You [zvuchaete] as accurately the form of woman I search for, and even if you describe in proportion to `dear, calm, form and sociable’ , I think that you a little shy by way to leave out of ‘ sexy’ , you are capricious thing!

I think that love and respect it is very important also, and, if you bear attractive female [bele], then I are assured I can govern to fall in love and to respect you, in proportion to you desire. Although I also do not hold with the fraud, I am not confident I could give the upward dual jokes, which I consider sufficiently entertaining. For example:

    Men goes for a walk to the Buddhist supplier of hot sausage, he gives to it 5 [sametsov] of deer and he speaks that “make me one with all”.

    The supplier of [khota]- great dane entrusts to it hot sausage and man speaks that “I obtain no change?”

    The Buddhist supplier of hot sausage looks guy, raises eyebrow, and speaks that “change it comes from within. ”

I think that you must agree that dual joke as that is well amusing, and it would be shame not have certain humor in our sense. You for to tell me your hobbies – they [zvuchayut] sufficiently [intriguyushch], although I am not actually very interested in the sport (if it will not be form which can be carried out in the bedroom). I must say to you that on the first of read-through of your letter, I did not know how to note the comma between cooking `and by the books `and consequently for a moment had amusing image in my head that one of your hobbies was `cooking books’! Hahaha! In my country, the expression of slang which means `in order to be dishonestly with your of accounting (I know never that you were not dishonest, Yuliya, as so many women from your country which ask to catch lonely and desperate strange people into the trap and fleece of their [deg]).

I understand that you love to experiment in the kitchen, which I consider specially appealing feature, in proportion to itself very [lyubyashch] of science. I do assume that you it did make that it was large trick with the whitener of dairy and the flame of candle? That usually obtains a little laughter on the parties. Possibly if (laugh I say when’? `) we meet, then, we can shake up upward on a large series of methyl glycol to cooktop!

Yuliya, I wanted would be to go into the depth about my interests and the hobby here, but I think that exactly briefly mention will be [sootvetstvuyushch] at this time. by profession I am religious person and distributor Hessian underclothing. I must admit that latter also personal interest, together with to gather old enamel button, unusual and rare moths, and tally from the luggage of other people. I to have the large property of the country in Ireland, where I raise chupacabras of baby for the industry of cryptozoology.

But it is sufficient about me! I greatly much wanted would be to see still some images you, in particular those showing all parts of your life. No pensive and melancholy Yuliya! True love it is confident exactly around the corner for us!

If you please answer soon!

Your distant friend and admirer (and the lover of hope the I… future…?)
Saint anaglyph is the church of the cow Of tetherd

Not having any great skill with semiotics, I thought it best not to include a ‘coded’ picture of myself in this instance. I am afraid that I might send Yuliya the wrong mesage and scare her off.

Anyway, now I guess it’s a waiting game. Will Yuliya get my letter? Will she be impressed by my obvious wit? Will she get the Buddhist hotdog seller joke? Dear Cowpokes, stay tuned for more news from Murom in future Cow Posts, with the possible added frisson of further pictures of Yuliya – perhaps even a few revealing all parts of her life!

  1. I can’t actually remember doing that, but she seems fairly sure that I did, so who am I to argue? []
  2. Actually, this is a triple joke, if you account for the rather philosophical concept of a hot dog seller being Buddhist. []
  3. Ha! I bet you never thought of putting it like that John Lennon! []