When I wrote for a paper in Utah whose name escapes me now, one of my favorite things to make fun of was Utah Valley State College, the goofy little cousin to Provo’s more prestigious and selective Brigham Young University. I don’t know which of my UVSC columns a reader named Megan stumbled upon — it could have been this one, this one, this one, or this one (I think it was the second one) — but whichever it was, it roused her enough to send this e-mail:
Honestly I don’t see what you have against UVSC, it’s a really good school and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than BYU. It must all come down to you being jealous. [She’s a graduate of UVSC’s fine Logic & Reasoning Department, apparently.] You were probably the one that go shot down to even enter into UVSC, so then you had to go to BYU, Big whoop. [This is like saying, “You couldn’t get a job at McDonald’s, so you had to take a job as a brain surgeon instead.”] You’re an egotistical, presumptuous, and uncultivated man. (I forgive you if your uneducated mind had to look up all of those words but IÂ’ll sum it up for you. I just called you a really big jerk.) Yes, you won you offended me but I can still give you my input (it seems like you’re wanting it or you wouldn’t have written this article). UVSC is a great school and so many talented students have achieved great knowledge there. Though you hear on the TV about BYU and how students are being raped and robbing bars (yes, check the news sometime.) [Thank goodness no UVSC student has ever committed a crime! That would render her argument useless!] But you have no reason to trash UVSC. It’s not like it’s the best college, but neither is BYU. In the real world it doesn’t matter what college you go to just as long as you have a degree in something you’ll get hired for the job. So shut up and grow up. You may be old but you’re really immature and sophomoric.
I’ll be waiting for your reply.
Since she requested a reply, I gave her one. I didn’t say much, but I ended with this:
Thanks for writing. I do hope you enjoy your stay at UVSC, and that you work hard and earn your diploma. Well, not a diploma, of course; what they actually give you is a Chili’s gift certificate and a balloon. But still! Work hard!
Alas, that joke is recycled from one of the above-mentioned columns, but what can you do?