Unlike today’s younger generation, the so-called “millennials” in particular, I grasp the arcane concept of a “newspaper” in the old-fashioned sense of a news organ that has a form (ink on paper) other than digital pixels on a screen; I have been an inveterate daily newspaper reader since back in my college days.
(Full disclosure…these days I read the online version of the daily Tampa Bay Times; I miss the tactile feel of the paper in my hands, but I got sick of walking out in the morning to find it drenched and unreadable from the overnight rain.)
Back then, living in the medium-sized town of Joliet IL (yes, the same Joliet made famous in the original Blues Brothers movie, population approximately 75,000 in the 1970’s), I read the local paper, the Joliet Herald News. Most of the residents of the area read the “Snooze”, as we called it, along with one of the Chicago dailies, either the Chicago Sun Times, which was the Democratic, more liberal news source, or the mighty Chicago Tribune, a Republican powerhouse of international scope and national prominence and influence.
It was the Tribune for me, from back in the mid-70’s through the mid-90’s when I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, where I then got the daily Los Angeles Times, which in those days was owned by the Tribune Company and considered a “sister” paper to the Trib, all the way through to this morning’s TB Times; I read it all, every morning, the front page, the national news, the local news, the sports section, the “funnies” (still my fave part of the paper) and of course, the editorial page, or “op-ed” page as we savvy media veterans refer to it.
Pretty much all the papers I’ve ever seen in this country print, alongside the opinions of the editors on the “op-ed” page, letters they receive from readers, allowing the authors of said letters the opportunity to sound off about this, that and the other subject; it’s been my experience that the “Letters To The Editor”, along with the opinions contained therein, are much like assholes…a) everyone seems to have one and b) most of them stink.
As the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding, as well as the editor of this blog, like newspapers, I often receive letters from my readers, either complaining that I have in one of my posts maligned one of their personal sacred cows or that I have made some comment to which they feel compelled to respond. Since the only things I was contemplating doing this evening were either a) watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies in Burmese (with subtitles), b) rewriting Article Two of the United States Constitution and reducing the term of the Presidency down to one week, retroactive back to January 19th, 2017 or c) publishing some of the letters I mentioned above, I decided to take the high road and share some of the more colorful and sophomoric, excuse me, interesting missives that I have received here at the WATRUK blog.
To wit, here are some excerpts that I thought you might enjoy (or that might make you yark into your azaleas)…
“As President of the Society for the Lovers of Pond Scum (SLOPS), I must take serious umbrage with your post of 4/12/18 (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?) in which you compare President Donald Trump to one of nature’s most misunderstood substances, the great American pond scum. It is a grievous and uncalled-for malignment of this most precious of our native algaes to make this invidious comparison, and I can assure you that, should you continue this foul defamation in future columns, SLOPS will be compelled to mount a boycott of your blog and to suggest to your readers that they not only discontinue their readership, but to also seek you out and whack your peenie. This vile durance will not be tolerated.”
Dan DeLyon, President, SLOPS”
“In your post of 11/29/18 (THOUGHTS ON THE BLOGGER AS AUTHOR) you mention the cruel and frankly sick act of the shaving of a gerbil, perpetrated by a character in one of your sick, twisted stories, and we here at the Society for the Prevention of Animal Zoomorphism (SPAZ) are sickened and angered by this disgusting mistreatment of one of these adorable little rodents. You are a repulsive, sick, despicable, degenerate, twisted, sick, repulsive, gross, nasty, deplorable, twisted, reprehensible, disgusting, sick individual and we most sincerely hope that you contract an advanced case of crotch lice and then die from sclerosis of the blowhole, a lonely and broken man. Thank you.”
Patty Melt, Secretary, SPAZ
“Re your column of 11/14/18 (ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VERSION 5.0) wherein you state that you and your daughter were “doing disgusting things to our cat with a salad fork”; this is the kind of flagrant abuse of an innocent feline that sick, disgusting, perverted, gross, horrible, degenerate, filthy, lying, sick, degenerate, perverted asswipes such as yourself find amusing. You are disgusting and perverted.”
Laurel Enhardy, Hippo KY
“As the President of the 1910 FruitGum Company Fan Club, and their Number One Fan, I want to thank you for mentioning this most influential and yet sadly now mostly forgotten American rock band in your recent post of 11/14/18 (ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VERSION 5.0). “Simon Says” rock on, and we “Gummers” agree!”
April Showers, Butt (excuse me) Butte MT
“People here in Idaho (home of the great Grown In Idaho® potato and sister state to Wisconsin, home of sour cream) are frankly damn sick and tired of being made fun of by disgusting, gross, lying, despicable, lying, nasty, gross, disgusting shitwads such as yourself just because we appear russet, sorry, rustic and backwards to you. To imply that Idaho has no universities or institutions of higher learning, as you did in your post of 5/11/18 (A YOUNG MAN AND THE SEA-THE SAGA OF LEAK POHLUPS, BABY SAILOR) is an au graten, excuse me, rotten thing to say, and I think you should be French fried, damn it, vilified for saying it. You are sick, disgusting and reprehensible, and you obviously have no respect for the peelings, shit, feelings of others.”
Jack Cheese, Idaho Falls (down) ID
“I can’t believe you ordered your First Mate Tammie Wetzel thrown overboard 4/1/18 (HOW LONG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?). You are really a sick, repulsive, gross, unfeeling swine. But hey, I loved your post about the mule who wouldn’t plow (ANYBODY GOT A 2X4 I CAN BORROW 4/24/18). Keep up the good work, you freak.”
Sue Perficial, Pee Pee OH
“Cap’n John, you rock. Love your blog.”
The Behind Bars Reading Group, Stateville Penitentiary, Joliet IL
“Cap’n John Krissongs, your application to become a resident of the Home for the Chronically Bewildered has been processed and we are happy to let you know that you have been accepted. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your residency.”
Juan Atatime, Director
And a big thank you goes out to our Founding Fathers for the wisdom and foresight to ensure that Americans have a free press and freedom of expression…Ben and James and Thomas and all the guys must be spinning in their graves these days.
Love and newsprint,