Unfinished Business - Digital Collage 5" x6"

Before my father died two weeks ago he assured me his estate was in order. The other day I found among his papers a document which threw all this into doubt. Inside a yellowed clasp envelope was a letter addressed to my father from the Toyko law firm of Toguchi, Nagaro & Weinberg. It read as follows:

February 17, 1971

Dear Sir,
It has come to the attention of our client, Toho Company, Ltd. and its principal star, Godzilla that you knowingly and wantonly altered the content of their product in your home this past Saturday afternoon when you and your son turned down the sound and improvised what can only be deemed a shameless mockery of their cinematic property
. Your action constitutes an act of unauthorized use and as such we demand you immediately cease and desist from any further manipulation. Should any similar incident occur in the future, it will be taken as a further breach of your unspoken and unwritten contract to be entertained, and deemed an actionable offense.

We await your reply.

Obviously, the jokes we made at the expense of a bad japanese monster movie made their way from the privacy of our family room half way around the world to the underground lair of that terrifying monster with the paper thin ego. I marvel at my father's skill at keeping this matter hidden from us for all these years. I gather from the other papers I found laying beneath his filing cabinet that he endured decades of bitter litigation, but refused to budge. It appears things turned in my father's favor as the 1970s drew to a close and Godzilla came to be viewed as kitsch. As its core audience shrunk, the lawyers for Godzilla suddenly found themselves on thin ice. Nevertheless, my father continued to receive harassing letters up until as recently as 2003 when Godzilla suggested the poor box office numbers for its anemic remake stemmed from my father's private mockery of it thirty-two years earlier.

Technically, the suit is still open. Though at this juncture I would be surprised if they went after his estate. Still, I remain wary of that vain monster and his lawyers.