The Prank Letters of S. William Kost

Over the last ten years, I have written dozens of joke letters, sometimes under pseudonyms, to companies large and small in America and around the world. Many of these companies have written back.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Willow Creek Community Church 3/11/01

Meet Lyle Castrole...a man of many "personal" problems...

Lyle E. Castrole
P.O. Box 598
Clackamas, OR 97015

March 11, 2001

Pastor Bill Hybels
Willow Creek Community Church
67 East Algonquin Road
South Barrington, IL 60010

Dear Pastor Hybels,

I am going to be in the Chicago area from May 4-22, and am interested in attending services at Willow Creek Community Church. I have friends in both Wheaton and Carol Stream who have recommended it to me. I have heard that Willow Creek is committed to delivering God's Word to people of all backgrounds as well as levels of mobility. As I am handicapped, this is welcome news to me.

My disability does not require the use of a wheelchair, nor is it an impairment of either my eyesight or hearing. Pastor Hybels, I have a handicapped brain. I'm not mentally retarded. I have no learning disabilities, and I have full cognitive ability. What's different about me is that I react in very extraordinary ways to very ordinary stimuli.

For example, last Tuesday I was watching television when a commercial for Odor-Eaters came on. The commercial was very normal, as were the actors and the product they were selling. But when the voice-over announcer stated the words "activated charcoal", that's when things got crazy. Upon hearing those words, I promptly stood up, kissed my next-door neighbor, removed my shirt, got a pencil from the drawer, stuck the pencil up my left nostril, and walked in a perfect circle for 37 minutes.

Three weeks ago, on my 31st birthday, my mother came over to my house, bringing with her a photo of myself as a baby. I laughed at the chocolate cake on my face, but when I saw the 1969 calendar in the background, it triggered my odd behavior. I ran out my front door with one hand on my head and the other on my right thigh, and when I got to the 7-Eleven I stopped, looked in the window and made donkey noises for twelve minutes.

Many different triggers have had repeated effects on me, and as a result I am no longer allowed in Office Depot, McDonalds or any hotel (the little soaps make me belch the alphabet).

Pastor, I am writing this letter to you to make sure your church can accommodate my unusual disability. I can make sure to locate myself in a corner of the sanctuary, where I might be out of the way of most people. I cannot predict whether or not I will have an incident at the church, but I do know that every time I watch TBN, something happens, and it's not because that woman's big hair. Is there any way there can be a security officer nearby in case I get up and scream "the bucket the bucket the bucket" until I drop?


Lyle E. Castrole

Dear Lyle:

Bill Hybels passed your recent letter along to me. My name is Bob Irwin, and I am the Safety and Security coordinator here at Willow Creek. I would be glad to personally attend to you, if you decide to visit us in May. Please contact me when you know the date you will be attending one of our services and I will arrange for your special needs.

Willow Creek serves over 17,000 attenders at our weekly services, so it is our desire to protect them from disturbances of any kind. I appreciate your consideration for others. It would be advisable for one of your friends to accompany you when you visit, and we will do everything we can to attand to your disability.

Lyle, you can contact me at (847) 765-5000 ext. 633. Leave a message for me giving your phone number and also your friend's phone number. Let me know which service you will be attending. I will then arrange to meet you, or have another security person escort you during your visit.

It is important that you contact me before your visit so that I can provide a safe place for you thus allowing you to enjoy the service. Thank you for writing and I look forward to hearing from you.

In Christ,
Bob Irwin

Lyle E. Castrole
P.O. Box 598
Clackamas, OR 97015

April 16, 2001

Bob Irwin, Safety and Security Coordinator
Willow Creek Community Church
67 East Algonquin Road
South Barrington, IL 60010

Dear Mr. Irwin,

I appreciate you taking the time to write me back before the days in May that I was supposed to go out there and attend Willow Creek. There have been some huge things that have happened since I wrote you that letter in April.

If you remember, up until recently I had this odd problem of reacting very strangely to certain "trigger" words or phrases. I would hear a particular word on TV or in a conversation, and all of a sudden I would go berserk. I think I told you about the McDonald's incident in the last letter, where I got kicked out because Ronald McDonald's face made me start singing songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show (a movie I haven't even seen). Well, I am happy to say that that whole problem is gone due to the thoughtful work of my pastor, Jess Northrup. He suggested one night that I might be demon possessed. I told him it wasn't possible, since no demon has ever signed a lease! (A joke) Then he got really serious and started yelling at me, shouting out commands like Get out! and Leave him! Well I got up to leave but he was holding me down! Suddenly I felt this wave rush over me and I knew I had been cured. Pastor Northrup said that I definitely had a demon inside of me that was doing all of this crazy stuff. He said that the demon needed to be exercised. I didn't get it. Wouldn't that make the demon stronger? Well, maybe the workout tired him out and he fell out of me. Anyway it worked out.

The problem is that I was shaken really hard and I kept hitting my head on the floor, and a week later I went deaf and I can't speak a word. The doctor says it's temporary, that I should be back to normal in a year or so. In the meantime I'm not supposed to travel, so the Chicago trip is a bust. Also I can't get Bob Carlisle's song "Butterfly Kisses" out of my head. I appreciate all that you were willing to do for me to accommodate my condition. Therefore I have a new question:

Are there transcripts of Pastor Hybels (spell check suggests: "Highballs"!) sermons available? Like in script form, or outline? Since I can't hear (temporarily), a tape is useless. Some pages to read on the bus would be good. Please let me know. And again, thank you for all of your generosity and dedication to making sure I could enjoy the service. I feel "safe and secure" already!


Lyle E. Castrole

P.S. My nephew told me a joke: What was King Nebucadenezzer's favorite kind of sandwich? Babylonian cheese (Baloney and cheese) Pass that on to Pastor Hybels!


Blogger Scott said...

Once again Stan, you had me rolling!!

8/17/2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Ash said...

...I now wish to do that at my church.

The 7-Eleven/donkey thing had me laughing so hard I was almost having trouble beathing.

5/14/2007 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear lyle,

my father in law's name is lyle too...that must mean that we are supposed to be friends. when i was a little boy my mommie told me a story about a man who had a problem and would say the words "the bucket" repeatedly...was that you?


8/30/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...


12/31/2009 6:11 PM  
Anonymous オテモヤン said...


2/22/2010 1:27 AM  

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