Well, I reckon it’s about time to dip into the ol’ Snide Remarks mailbag to see what’s gotten folks up in a dither the past few months. We do this in the spirit of giving that permeates this season so that everyone can enjoy the hate and vitriol that bursts out of my e-mailbox like so much e-vomit.
A few months ago, I said the guy on the Totally Awesome Computer commercials was so annoying, I would sooner smash him in the head with a computer than buy one from him. This resulted in an exchange of e-mails with the guy himself — Superdell, he’s called — which included him sending me approximately 1,000,000 pages of positive feedback he’d received from satisfied customers who apparently bought a computer from him AND hit him in the head with it (I don’t see how else they could have been 100-percent satisfied). I told him if he did lots of business, fine, but as for me, his commercials annoy me to the point of wanting nothing to do with Totally Awesome Computers.
That’s when the friendly stopped. He wrote (and this is just how I received it):
I can’t believe someone educated to your level would have such a weak mind! Why would you not want to save $100, get a better computer and better service simply because your emotions are stronger than your common sense. I don’t care if you are a total [vulgar expression], I would buy from you if you had the better deal. … Suggesting that people should get all emotional, and boycott a product is unwise. You should be charged with malpractice [’cause I’m a doctor, you know] or fired for having such a ridiculous opinion! [If columnists got fired every time they had a ridiculous opinion, would Ann Landers still be writing? Trick question; Ann hasn’t expressed an opinion, ridiculous or otherwise, in well over 30 years.] Are you having that female time of the month by chance? Sounds very childish! [And that female time of the month crack was the picture of maturity. What is the female time of the month, anyway? I didn’t realize the month was divided into genders like Spanish nouns.] What next? Not buying from people because they are black? Or not of your religion? Just because people are different doesn’t make them bad. [No, it’s being annoying that makes them bad.] Use your brain mister IQ! I still love you but you should grow up so you don’t have to avoid every business of whom you didn’t like their ads for the rest of your life.
(Before you ask, no, I don’t know why he loves me. We’ve never even met, at least not that I remember. I met “Weird Al” Yankovic once, and they look and sound the same, but I doubt even Al would say he loves me, at least not in public.)
But we have wasted too much time here, as there is another column that made people even angrier. It was one in which I expressed dismay when a waitress at the Orem Village Inn said they don’t serve shakes after 10 p.m. This turned out to be untrue; the waitress simply didn’t feel like making shakes. After the column, I received this voice-mail:
I think you’re a [swear word] punk. That’s one of my favorite waitresses that you were regarding, and you know what? She doesn’t look nearly as bad as you. You look like you had a condom wrapped over your head and hung out [swear word] wet.
I don’t know what that means either, but rest assured, I will think twice before regarding another waitress in my column. I knew my rampant waitress-regarding would get me in trouble someday.
I also got an e-mail from the very waitress I regarded, no doubt having recognized herself from her description in the column (I said she was surly). She said, in part:
I am that waitress [swear word] that waited on you and your wonderful friends. … Let me tell you, you are a joy to wait on. I make 2.13 an hour. I deal with [swear word that only needs two S’s but that she spelled with three] all day long. You are just one of those people I guess. …Thank You, you four eye [swear word]nose loser.
It is grand, this intelligent discourse and exchange of ideas, is it not? It makes me proud to be an American, especially at this female time of the month.
Those who visit my Web site regularly were already familiar with these angry letters, as well as most of my commentary on them. Readers of The Daily Herald, however, only got a column like this every six months or so to keep them abreast of events in the world of anger. That, and the fact that I didn't have anything better, made me feel justified in writing this particular column.