Eric D. Snider

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Angry Letter: Won’t someone think of the horses?

I wrote a “Snide Remarks” column in June that dealt with renewing my driver’s license, and somehow horses were involved, too. Accompanying the column was the picture seen here, of a minor British royal falling off her horse during an equestrian event. I included this caption: “She and the animal were both uninjured, but I don’t care, because that’s an awesome photo anyway.”

This cavalier attitude struck a nerve with a reader named Amber, who discovered the column five months later and posted three very angry comments (#60-62) on it. She also sent me the following scorching e-mail, from a return address of “beautyofhorses@[something].com”:

Have YOU read my posts ERIC!!?!?!!?!?!??? If you have you can tell that I’m pretty pisted off!!!!!!!! All my friends are too and they all [swear word] HATE YOU now!!!! How rude is it to post a picture of an inosint horse and rider getting injured and then say I DON”T CARE!!!!??!?! [So she read the part of the sentence that said I didn't care, but missed the part of the same sentence where I said they weren't injured. That is some seriously selective reading.] YOU [swear word]!!! It’s people like YOU who kill animals and the environment!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I should post a picture of YOU, yes YOU ERIC doing something painful and say “well I just wanted to post this picture because it is a good picture,but I don’t care that Eric’s hurt. I DON”T CARE!!!” [Fine with me! I'll send you some.] That’s what YOU did with the horse and rider!! Horses are amazing, beautiful animals and deserved to be treated with respect unlike YOU i may add!!!!!! SHOW A LITTLE RESPECT FOR OTHER THINGS IN YOUR PATHETIC LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and to think I used to like this site!!!!! HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I [swear word] hate it now!!!!!!!!!! I bet A LOT of other people do now too!! [How can they fail to, when you make your arguments so convincingly?] Oh ya and the driving learn how to drive YOURSELF [swear word]!!!!!!!!!!So please e-mail me back SOME kind of response.You should read my posts too. THEY might scare away some potential ericsnider site lovers!!!! BYE

P.S.I’m right to be doing so too!!!! Even though I didn’t put this letter in THE ANGRY LETTERS SECTION I want this to go STRAIGHT to YOU!!!!!! [I do wish more readers shared her foresight and labeled their correspondence as "angry" when appropriate. It would save my staff so much sorting time.]

Per her request, I replied to her e-mail. This is what I said:

Yes, yes, I saw your comments. I had to edit out the swear words before I could post them.

First, let me point out a couple of obvious things. The horse was not hurt. (Neither was the rider, but you don’t seem to care about non-horse beings.) Also, I did not take the photo myself. I believe I got it from Yahoo News. It was taken by a news photographer at the event, and then widely posted by various news outlets. Have you written hilarious angry letters to all of those outlets, too, for printing the photo?

Now then. Let me tell you a little about yourself. You are a teenage girl, and you are obsessed with horses. That’s fine! A lot of teenage girls are obsessed with horses. You grow out of it eventually. (Don’t say, “I’ll never grow out of it!,” because that’s something that teenage girls say. Eventually you grow out of that, too.)

You’ve chosen horses as your one thing to care about more than anything in the world. You’re the Horse Girl. It’s becoming your defining characteristic. People will say, “Do you know Amber?,” and someone will say, “Hmm, Amber… Amber….” and the first one will say, “You know — the Horse Girl.” And the second person will say, “Oh! Sure, Amber!”

Horses are your “thing.” As a result of this, you blow horse-related things way out of proportion. Becoming enraged by the sight of a news photo of a horse falling down, for example. Posting multiple angry messages on a website. Writing to the person responsible because you’re CONVINCED that he will see it your way and apologize. These are all symptoms of horses being your “thing” to the exclusion of all rationality and common sense.

Other teenage girls have other “things.” One of them is the movie “Titanic.” Some girls became very obsessed with it, to the point that when I made fun of it, they flew into a rage that was very similar to yours. They even said similar things about how they used to love my writing but now they hate it. You might read those angry letters and laugh and think, “Wow, those girls sure are getting worked up over nothing!”

The thing is, that’s what people will think when they read your angry letter, too.

You’re far too young to be this angry. Relax. Calm down. You have your whole life ahead of you. It’s already going to be hard, since most girls named Amber wind up working as strippers. So chill out, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy life. Someday you’ll look back on all this and laugh.

Eric

Far too late, I realized something: The picture was of a woman falling off a horse. Nothing even happened to the horse. It didn’t fall or anything. Amber’s outrage was even less reasonable than I thought.

37 Responses to “Angry Letter: Won’t someone think of the horses?”

  1. OMAllen Says:

    That was a low blow saying she has a good chance of ending up as a stripper. Not that it was wrong, just a low blow.

  2. Speeding Slowly Says:

    Haha…wow. The stripper comment at the end completely caught me off guard :p. You just took her to the glue factory.

  3. David Cornelius Says:

    She’ll never become a stripper. She’s too inosint. And pisted.

  4. Jane Says:

    Wow, if there’s anything calculated to infuriate a teenage girl, it’s having an emotional tirade met with sweet reason and a pat on the head (not to mention the stripper insinuation). I bet she blows a gasket. Tee hee!

  5. Steve Says:

    OK, i admit that when I read your caption, I missed the “un” in front of “injured,” too. Then your comment in the middle of her letter said that the horse and rider were not injured, and I looked back at the caption, and thought “oh, right, it says UNinjured.” Now I am not defending this girl’s response, but I am a highly intelligent 36-year-old male, and yet was capable of the same original oversight.

  6. Jason L. Wright Says:

    That was one of the best responses I ever read. It reminded me of something Cartman would have said on South Park…

  7. Neil Says:

    It’s like you hang out with my friends (I know you don’t hang out with me, you don’t call or write….it’s like we’re just drifting apart).

    “Amber is an 80′s hooker name” has long been a rallying cry ever since our friend Amber said it was ok to use it in such fashion. Although, I don’t know if the rules let us use it, since we aren’t Ambers. But, that’s beside the point.

    “Horse Girl” was our quick and dirty explanation for the unattractive girl with no social grace. You know, the one that back in elementary school with long hair growing to her butt and who spent all day drawing pictures of horses and had the horse binder and horse folders, etc. You know who I’m talking about. Her.

    [note: Horse Girls are never found in the company of Jeep Girls and Ox-Men]

  8. Bigmonkey Says:

    I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IS MY POINT GETTING THROUGH? I LOVE CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are internet/email etiquette classes offered in school yet?

  9. john doe Says:

    The stripper remark wins me over. Funny stuff.

  10. whea-wix Says:

    Strange, but her comments draw me in even farther. What could inspire such ire?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I DONT CARE [swear word] but I like it.

  11. Nate the Great Says:

    Reason why Eric is a Great Write #113:

    In the second paragraph, Eric refers to his “cavalier” attitude. Brilliant! Cavalier means both “disdainful, off-hand, uncerimonious” AND “Horseman or mounted soldier.”

    Oh, and the stripper thing was hillarious as well.

  12. Shelby Says:

    I love how the extra exclamation marks and question marks just aren’t enough, and she feels the need to add extra apostrophes for emphasis as well. A very nice touch and quite effective, really.

  13. card Says:

    Awesome. I wonder what the “ecricsnider” site is? Did anyone check it out? I’m too scared to try it.

  14. Weezy Says:

    Amber is a Stripper Name?? Whoa, I had no idea. I am about to name a late in life completely unexpected/unplanned addition to the already well established family because a selfish someone procrastinated submitting his application to the seedless grapes club, and I need to make sure I am not dooming the kid for life here.

    What other names carry such limited career connotations? (yes, I know the obvious ones, Candi and Darci and I’m sure a slew of other names ending in “i”)

  15. B Says:

    Weezy: Other stripper names include Candy, Brandy, Dusty, Tiffany, anything named after luxury/sports car such as Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lexus.

  16. Neil Says:

    No way dude – Mecedes isn’t a stripper name, it’s a fat girl name. Although, I suppose the latter could be the former….

  17. Weezy Says:

    Well, although none of those names were on my list, this is still good information to know. Thanks guys!

  18. thejoeinme Says:

    You can’t give a list of stripper names without giving the #1 name: Cammy. I’m convinced that anyone named Cammy was born wrapped around a stripper pole. Don’t forget Tammy, Crystal (Crystal’s have about a 60-40 shot of being a stripper), Jade (even though I like that name), and Chevelle.

  19. Audrey Says:

    Other stripper names include Bambi, Buffy, and anything with “Shar” in it (Sharla, Sharlene, Sharmain). And Star. And possibly Tina. And anything spelled wrong on purpose.

    Actually, Wheezy, why don’t you just go with Gertrude or Millicent? You’re probably safe with those. Anything else is going to sound like a stripper name to somebody somewhere.

  20. Cameron Says:

    I knew there was a reason I never let anyone call me Cammy.

  21. Chrystle Says:

    60-40 shot, eh? I’m glad I fell into the 40%, especially since it’s spelt wrong.

  22. Phil Cardenas Says:

    Eric proves once again why angry letters are always the most classic retorts posted on this site. When you said the word “stripper” I about fell out of my chair, but when David Cornelius wrote his subsequent comment, WORLD’S. BIGGEST. SPIT-TAKE. I hadn’t laughed that hard at this site since the “I’ll Build You a Rainbow” column. Absolute genius…sigh, what do we do with our kids today? Is it too much for them to hold on to their inosince? Maybe she’ll come back with SOME kind of response.

  23. Momma Snider Says:

    I had to look twice to be sure Eric had said “UNinjured,” too, but I did so before I fired off all those bad words. I would have been shocked and appalled had he really said he didn’t care that a horse or a rider was hurt, but I’d have been really embarrassed if I’d yelled at him for it and then found out that’s not what he said. I wonder if Amber is embarrassed? She will be when her mama finds out how she talks.

  24. thejoeinme Says:

    You know what blows my mind? At some point in history, there was a smoking hot girl named Millicent. I cannot get my head around that.

  25. Momma Snider Says:

    And Ethel. And Maudie. And Bertha. And Edith. That was my own grandma’s name, and she was pretty cute when she was young.

  26. David Manning Says:

    I guess I’m by myself here, but I feel the stripper comment was too much.

    Anyway, while we’re listing stripper names, don’t forget Lola (or Lolita), Trixie, Nikki, Ginger, and if you want to be ironic, Chastity.

  27. Kathleen Says:

    I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your response, Eric.

    I’m a teenage girl, myself. A lot of my peers are horse people (so called because they sometimes seem to forget that they, themselves, are non-horses). I am surrounded by horse people. And they are starting to get on my nerves. I wish someone had the heart to tell them that most people don’t care about horses all that much. I’ve tried to tell them myself, but they won’t listen to me.

    And Lola is one of the most stripper names of all time. They even have a song about it (her name was Lola, she was a showgirl….)

    Also, Jasmine. Or Jazmine. Or Jasmyn. Wanna know something sad? Jasmine and all its misspellings are very popular names. But the correct spelling of Jasmine is not the most popular form. I don’t even think it’s in the top five most popular forms of Jasmine. (That there should even be five forms of Jasmine in the first place….)

  28. Turkey Says:

    Barry Manilow rocks.

  29. thejoeinme Says:

    Turkey: Yeah, him and Neil Diamond. ;)

  30. Turkey Says:

    No, just Barry. :P

  31. card Says:

    So… where does all of that horse crap go? I hope there’s a sanitation engineer around to take care of it because well, think of the children!

  32. jaycee Says:

    oh dear.

    I think I’m a bit scared to admit I own a horse. And I still read the blog…….!

    Kathleen- I don’t force horses down my coworkers throats though, but do you reckon they extend me the same courtesy about their boring kids? I think not. Please, do tell me what little Sammy, and Jasmine, and Ronnie and Cindy did over the weekend, I’m really excited to know. Truly. *sigh*

  33. Turkey Says:

    Well yeah, but at least their kids are human, born of their own flesh. I’m a big fan of cats myself, but I wouldn’t bore my coworkers with the cat-thing because she’s not human and a lot of people don’t even like cats, let alone tolerate long, dull tales about them. At least my kids are people for heaven’s sake and when people ask about them, I’m likely to tell them.

  34. Amber Says:

    Please read my comment on Eric’s blog and “getting tested”. Then, maybe you will change your outlook on things.

  35. jessica Says:

    I think this is FABULOUS!!!! I myself have a horse, but i go on and on about it (i am also a teenager, but hey, that is irrelevant XD) . This girl sounds pathetic, and a bit hormonal :s

  36. xselfyx Says:

    i thought myself that this was a rather hilarious and closeminded response. funny. because not only am i myself one who likes horses alot, but also a teenager. and i would never make a rediculously anger fuelled reply like that.
    she does indeed sound a little over emotional, and very immature.
    if she also took the time to notice it said both horse and rider were uninjured, and time to realise that yes, people falling off things is funny (especially when noone is hurt, just look at Youve Been Framed.) i have fallen off a horse a few times before, and found it personally absolutely hilarious. the girl needs to loosen up and stop assuming that just because eric doesnt care that the rider fell, it means hes going to go round to all the stables in the world and kneecap all the horses in an evil bid to make their lives a misery. on the whole, she needs to grow up.
    i also would like to point out, i rarely discuss horse matters with my friends, unless it is tia. who is more obsessed than i.

  37. Wilson Says:

    The outrage displayed in that comment to your post was ridiculous. Not that I disagree with you, and in fact I respect the cool and calm manner in which you replied, but I am former horse loving teen and current horse veterinarian. If 40 years is not enough time to grow out of a phase, then I don’t know what is. I appreciate her empathy for the animal, but the fact that she payed no mind to the rider shows either her ignorance that there is two being in the photo or her maliciousness towards the human race (which may be why she showed herself and Eric zero respect). The stripper comment was a low blow, and I hope untrue since I named my daughter Amber. I will have to keep a closer eye on her now…

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