By EW Staff
Updated April 14, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

The author of Idiot Letters (Doubleday, $7.95) is definitely a smart aleck. Call Paul Rosa on the phone, and you get this message on his answering machine: ”Hi, you’ve reached Paul’s place, and the special of the day is lasagna and a small dinner salad for $7.95.” Read Rosa’s book-containing 87 purposely lug-headed letters he’s penned to companies and their even dopier responses-and see how he’s messed with the minds of some of America’s biggest businesses. Rosa’s insipid missives began almost two years ago, when the defense- industry techie-turned-stand-up comic received a fateful note from Pizza Hut. ”Their records showed that I hadn’t ordered a pizza for a long time. The really pivotal sentence was, ‘You’re the kind of customer we’d like to see more often.’ I wrote back: ‘Which kind of customer wouldn’t you like to see more often?”’ A book idea was born. Soon Rosa was churning out five brilliantly dumb epistles per week from his Colorado home. He advised Victoria’s Secret to include more models ”with extremely large feet or noses” in its catalog and Scott Paper to place images of unpopular figures (Adolf Hitler, for example) on its toilet tissue. He thanked the ”Sandwich Sultans” at the Mayo Clinic for studying ”this delicious condiment” and inquired whether the Caterpillar truck company needed ”an entomologist with 22 years’ experience.” Amazingly, Rosa received replies from all but two of the corporations he pestered (Penthouse magazine ignored Rosa’s request for ”more pictures of the bottoms of feet”). What was the strangest thing a company ever sent to Rosa? ”A loaf of bread,” he says. Actually, the grainy gift made perfect sense: Rosa had written the Super Glue Corporation, informing them that he was housebound and unable to shop for food because he was ”sitting with one hand hopelessly adhered to a portion of a large ceramic vase.”