Dear Mrs. Gallagher,
We, the staff of the Metropolitan Aquarium (the third largest aquarium in the Mid-Atlantic region), offer our sincerest apologies, our most heartfelt condolences, etc., to you for your recent loss. We are so sorry that your son, Joel Gallagher, was killed walking alone in our newly remodeled maritime museum, funded generously by grants from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Tribe of Two Sheiks Hummus, and ordinary citizens such as yourself.
As you’ve probably discerned from the police, medical, and media reports, Joel was near the entrance to our award-winning, family friendly, Ferocious Monsters of the Deep exhibit (on display through October 30), where two giant squid and one killer whale are on display along with a full-size, interactive replica of a prehistoric Carcharodon megalodon. Two workers were transporting Minnie—a stuffed swordfish long held in storage in our extensive archives and that was, at the time of her capture, the sixth largest swordfish to be caught—to our new Zagat-rated seafood restaurant and sushi bar, The Reckless Navigator, recently featured on The Early Show on CBS, so it could become part of our elaborate wall ornamentation, a feature that noted critic Jay Vanderbrush has described as, “stunningly mosaic…like a visual dive of the waters of Curacao by way of the Guggenheim.” As is detailed in the reports, the workers slipped on some water and fell. Minnie went flying, and, sadly, impaled your son through the chest, killing him instantly. It appears that your son died a quick, painless death, and there was no suffering.
Please accept the enclosed check, decorated with our newly refurbished four-color logo, as a small token from us. While we realize that no monetary value can be assigned to your son’s life, we feel that this generous sum may provide some solace during your time of grief. Also, we extend to you a lifetime pass for you and a guest to visit the Metropolitan Aquarium free of charge (summer time Saturday afternoons and one-time premium events excluded), as well as a 20% discount at the restaurant for you and your party when you attend (alcoholic drinks and crab and lobster meals excluded).
We hope that, even though you lost a loved one in our establishment, you will consider the Metropolitan Aquarium as, what the Times recently declared, “a source of wonderment for all ages,” as well as a premier fine dining destination for any occasion.
The Metropolitan Aquarium staff