Three common responses to my e-mails:
“You would be a really good writer if you wrote about something serious.”
“You have too much free time on your hands.”
“You need to get out more.”
When I write these e-mails, I write them down on paper first. Once they’re completed, I type them up and send them to you. After that, I copy them down into a journal. A while back, I wrote a really long essay about my vacation to England and Ireland. Yesterday, I finally got done copying it into my journal. The reason why it took so long to copy it down, and the reason why I never e-mailed it to anyone, is because it ended up being twenty-four pages long. That being said, yesterday, I comprised a list of eight people who I thought would be interested in reading the essay, and I walked to my office so that I could photocopy it for them. Or at least I tried to. When I got to my office, there was a light on the copy machine that read Toner Low. It always says that, so it didn’t really concern me. Sure enough, with twenty-two pages of this twenty-four page essay photocopied, the copy machine ran out of ink. I pulled out the toner cartridge and replaced it with what I thought was a new one, but it wasn’t a new one; someone had simply left the old one sitting there when they replaced it with the newer one. So now, there are no more ink cartridges left in the office. This might not seem like an emergency, but when your boss is a gun-toting maniac who goes to anger management class, everything is an emergency. I had two options on how to deal with this. Since no one else was there, I could have decided to play dumb and act like I didn’t know anything about it. But if I did that, and then the boss comes into the office on Monday and sees that the copy machine doesn’t work, it’s going to contribute to his perpetually bad mood, and everyone in the office is going to suffer. Actually, I won’t, because I’m not going to be there on Monday. I decided to “take one for the team” though, so I called up my boss before, and I left a message on his voicemail. I told him the truth, that there was no more ink left in the copy machine, and that I was the last one to use it, but I lied and told him that I only made five copies, when in fact, I made 176 copies. I said, “Yeah, I just wanted to let you know ahead of time that you might want to pick up a new ink cartridge today. Actually, I’m going to Staples later anyway, so I can pick one up if you give me money for it on Tuesday.”
Now I’ll be the first person to admit that, so far, this has been a really boring story. But I’m telling you this story for a reason. I put a lot of effort into my writing, but I also put a great deal of effort into sharing my writing, which is something that I’m not obligated to do. Like I mentioned earlier, when I write, it’s with a pen and paper. It’s not as if I’m using the computer in the first place, and it’s then only a few simple clicks to share my writing with you.
“Look, Keith, we didn’t ask you to go to your office and photocopy your England/Ireland essay.”
I understand that, and I’m not blaming you for it. But people’s reactions to my e-mails have been bothering me, and I’m just using what happened with the copy machine to serve as a sort of “springboard” in order to address those things. Let’s start with…
Response #1: “You would be a really good writer if you wrote about something serious.”
No. It’s not “I would be a really good writer.” I am a really good writer. In fact, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, “I’m one of the best writers currently using the English language as both a musical instrument and political weapon.” Regardless, what difference would it make if I were to write things that are serious?
You’re an evil cunt. Leave the White House immediately. Thanks.
Got your letter. I’m leaving. Sorry for all the damage I’ve caused.
Your Eternal Friend,
George W. Bush
Is that going to happen? Of course not. Due to global warming, within ten to fifteen years, half of the world is going to be under water. The remaining half will be plagued with starvation and famine. On the bright side, we probably won’t even have to wait that long to die because, before that even happens, we’ll probably get into a nuclear pissing match with Iran or North Korea. Even if we avoid nuclear Armageddon with Iran or North Korea ,there are nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union that have been missing for years. Missing. No one knows where they are. No one. My point is this: we’re not exactly living in a utopian society. The world is pretty God damn serious as it is. If I add even the slightest amount of humor to it, it should not, by any means, be a problem.
Response #2: “You have too much free time on your hands.”
It must be hard for all of you to be so busy. I wonder what that’s like. Do you guys work ninety hours a week? You must, because, apparently, I have a lot more free time than the rest of you. Too much, in fact. Or maybe –and this is just a thought– maybe we have the exact same amount of free time, but I just choose to spend that time creating something rather than sitting torpidly in front of a television set. Or does the four hours a day that the average American spends sitting in front of the television set not count as “free time?” Get back to me on this.
Response #3: “You need to get out more.”
Translation: All of that free time that you have on your hands is being wasted because you’re spending it alone, and anything that can’t be shared with other people isn’t worth doing. Instead, you should be going out to bars and trying to trick yourself into believing that you’re still twenty-two as you kill the last five brain cells that you still have remaining.”
Don’t get me wrong. I know that these responses are said in jest, and that they’re not meant to be hurtful. You’re human beings, and it’s a typical characteristic among human beings that they all have a little too much to say. But I will repeat that I am under no obligation to share my writing. Like a retarded little puppy who only wants to be petted and loved, I go to great lengths to spread the joy of laughter, asking nothing in return. I mean, when you really think about it, the borderline between me and Mother Teresa is a thin one at best.
Tomorrow, my boss will confront me about the copy machine, and there’s a very good chance that I will be staring down the working end of a 22 caliber pistol. If he pulls the trigger, I would have died in the pursuit of entertaining people who don’t truly appreciate my gifts.
What a waste.
September 24, 2006