I get a lot of emails through the year. I mean a lot.
You can break down the types of emails into a number of categories, but regardless of the tone, almost all of the senders think they know me.
First, there are the local public relations flacks or spokespeople who want to pitch me a story. They are doing a job, one I actually used to do, but for the most part their emails get deleted pretty quickly. Rarely is there a gem in the bunch, which is why I don’t mind getting them, but for the most part they have no clue what piques my interest in developing a story.
The second category is the hate mail. I have been called liberal, conservative, gay, un-Christian, uneducated, racist — you get the idea. These people think they know me mainly because I don’t conform to their view of the world, or they are trying to get under my skin.
I like these emails, and I read them because they crack me up, and then I delete them without responding. Why? I had my chance in one article to state my views or the facts, and there should be nothing else for me to add and no reason to waste my time arguing. If they are respectful in tone and point out a mistake, then I will respond because I hate screwing up. If it is a differing opinion, why bother engaging them if they start out by questioning my lineage and my mother’s virtue?
The third group of emails I get is notes of appreciation. My ego likes these, and I will respond with a quick note of thanks. Unfortunately, this is the smallest category, but I like to think it’s only because my spam filter is too picky.
The overwhelming majority of emails come from people who I have never met and will never meet who want me to do a variety of things. They tell me I am a great writer, and for $100 I can enter my work into their contest or come to their conference. They are from the left of the political spectrum and tell me they have a professor I should talk to, who coincidently just wrote a book about the evil of Sarah Palin. They are from the right and tell me of the evil of Nancy Pelosi. Or maybe they’re just plain weird.
I got one the other day from someone in Miami claiming to be the son of Jesus Christ. He said he caused the heart attack of a judge there who he believed mocked him. I’d print the dude’s name, but then again my cholesterol could be pretty high, so I should probably hedge my bets.
The overriding theme to all of these emails is that they start out with a paragraph that tries to connect with me and imply that they know me. Well, they don’t.
To help these people out, I have decided to give them some information about myself. No, I’m not going to say anything that might make me an investor in a Kenyan diamond mine, just a few things to help those who want to act like they know a local reporter. Here goes.
John Wayne was a vastly overrated actor. Peter Graves and William Holden are underrated, especially in Stalag 17. Elvis, never got into his music. If you’ve never heard Jacques Brel or Todd Snider, you are missing out. Fart jokes are funny. Willie Nelson should get pardoned every time he gets busted with marijuana. Medical examiners should not. Not a fan of vegetables. I wish I had a pair
of Hee Haw overalls.
For more information, email me. Just don’t question my mother’s virtue.