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The Standard Bedbug Letter
This story has been circulating in Canada and the United
States since the 1880s.
An elderly woman traveling by train from Buffalo to
Pittsburgh was horrified to discover a bedbug in her
berth. When she arrived home, she wrote a strongly
worded letter of complaint to the president of the
To her delight she received a reply, two pages long,
just a few days later. On the first page, the president
offered an abject apology and assured her that he would
attend to this breach of sanitation personally.
The elderly woman was very pleased with the president's
letter and turned to the second page. It was a
handwritten note that read, "Send this cranky old bitch
the standard bedbug letter."