Thursday, January 27, 2005

 

In Which I Get Letters...

So the phone rings this morning and it's my assistant, who never EVER calls me at home when I'm sick unless the Huns are coming over the 7th hill, unless the British are burning the White House, unless Lois Lane is dangling by her bra strap from a flagpole on the Daily Planet building.

Well, it turns out the current issue closes this week. Ostensibly my department's copy was sent to the printer last Friday. But no, some last minute ads came, and these clients ALL wants to be placed next to my stories. But these are all fractional ads--1/4 pages and 1/2 pages--which means my stories have to be chopped up and remade to make room for ads and stories on the same page. Which essentially means I have to rewrite some things.

My assistant was calling because every single story in my department for the next issue is being remade. That's almost a dozen stories, an unprecedented amount. And tomorrow is the absolute final day to ship to the printer without incurring overtime costs on the presses.

So yes, sports fans, it was with a supreme amount of self-pity that I rolled myself out of bed and slouched to work. Four DayQuil and two cups of coffee later, I was more or upright and coherent. And I must say that my department pulled together like the town of Bedford Falls collecting money for George Bailey. By the time I arrived, my senior editor had already finished the remake on two of my stories--plus his own--and my other editor was tag-teaming with our young editorial assistant to get some nit-picky one-page stuff taken care of.

We got it all done in a day. In fact, I even had time to help with a section of the book that is not strictly my responsibility, but which I love to assemble: the letters page.

It's not the letters you run that makes assembling this page fun, you understand. It's the letters you'd NEVER run in a million years because they have nothing to do with your magazine, or even reality for that matter. They make my day.

I've had the pleasure of assembling letters pages at various magazines over the years. Here are a few of my favorites. By the way, what you see is what I read, misspellings and all. Let's just stipulate a general [sic], okay? Here we go:

Dear MM:

I love your magazine. I really think you should do some decorating ideas for small spaces. You know, like small bedrooms and crafty nooks and such like.

I am in a minimum security correctional facility and we don't have a lot of space, but I have done nice things with my bunk and toilet area. I would love to share my ideas with your magazine, or test out new ones you might have.

I will call you collect, sorry next week to see what you think.

Yours,
"Trudi"
Inmate #4973068

Um, is that you, Martha?


Dear MM,

I wish you would do an expose on pesticide dangers. My wife is a gardner and in 1994 she was mixing some pesticide powder to spray on her flowers but got some in her eyes. We went to the doctors and they gave her something for it and said she was fine. But after that she would not go to bed with me anymore. She said she was tired and didn't have the OOMPH anymore.

It's been 10 years now and we hardly had sex anymore at all. I think she breathed in some of that pesticide dust and have read where some pesticides make it so the bugs can't reincarnate each other and that's how they die out. The doctor says no but I think maybe there's something there.

Would also like to see you do stories on easy exercise for men who need to loose weight. I have put on "the spare tire" since I retired from the plant. Would also like to learn more about toe fungus and ingrown hairs on your back.

Sincerely,
Greg

Oh Greg, it's NOT the pesticide...


Dear RBM:

My butt itches. What could it be?

Wait, I KNOW this one...



Before I go, a big shout-out to the mighty Batonga for giving me something good and long to read while I was on my deathbed. And special thanks to the faithful SHARFA, the one person who actually said (well, wrote in comments) the only two words I want to hear when I'm sick, which are, of course, "poor baby." Even my own mother neglected this important part of the recovery process. I'm not ashamed to admit that when I'm sick, I am a big, fat, whiny, cranky, poor-ass baby. So thank you for acknowledging the fact (in the nicest possible way), and know that I remain,

Yours,
From Somewhere On the Masthead

Comments:
Oh My God - those letters are hysterical! People can be so, well....stupid.

You are quite welcome. I'm all blushes and giggles for the mention.

Even on your deathbed though - you threw on your Superman cape and saved the day with time to spare. You even managed to almost make me blow some coffee out my nose with those letters! I'd say it was worth your sacrifice.

I hope you recover fully over the weekend.
Sharfa
 
Hey there, thanks for the shout out. and man those letters were really halarious. Good stuff.

And isn't it great to know that when it counts the team at work is a team, those are great days.
 
I'm coming in on this a little late, but I'm glad I read down this far... those are hilarious. I hope you're saving them for a book.

I think I have gotten email from #4 before.
 
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