Unwanted Correspondence

I'm reserving this page for when I start getting insensitive, hateful, or otherwise unorthodox emails. I'll put them up here in their entirety.

* * * * * *
(Received 10:00pm 02/07/2012)

From Christopher Storz to Me:

Please remove my name from your December 5, 2010 blog.  I do not appreciate it and it defames my character.  Mainly the following sentences from this URL:

http://www.invertedeuphemism.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

I sold cigarettes, booze, and cigars with Jason for all of eternity. Then one particular gentleman walks in my door: Rush Storz. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Rush consider yourselves lucky bastards. A sexist, egotistical douschebag, Rush has been fired from or kicked out of  nearly every place you can imagine. Reasons include stealing, fighting, vomiting in places where vomit should NEVER GO (foreshadowing), laziness, being a creeper, drunken loutishness, gambling, and all around ass-ishness.  Suffice it to say I'm not a fan.  Perhaps twenty minutes after I notice his arrival he walks back from the bathroom to give me some exciting news, "Somebody puked in your pisser.".  He went on to say that it wasn't him and I found myself nodding blandly while screaming something about fate in my head. I finally decided the best way to allay some blame was through this adapted quote from Casablanca:


"If Rush's presence in a bar can inspire this demonstration what more will his presence in Lincoln bring on?"

If you do not, I will be forced to take legal action.

* * * * * *

Dear Mr. Storz,


We have two possibilities. That there are multiple persons with the last name Storz, who go by the nickname "Rush", and you may have confused yourself with the subject of my article. If that is the case then you have nothing to worry about, take solace that its not you. Option two is that this is the very same Rush Storz who was blackballed from my fraternity for throwing up in no fewer than two showers in a single evening. If that is the case then I only have this to say:


Actually, that article would only be a defamation of character if it were false. ( I think you have it confused with "definition" of character.) However, the attention you have drawn to this issue brings up a valid point. I will be correcting the spelling of "douchebag" forthwith! I'm surprised you remained sober long enough to Google yourself.  Each and every item on that list I have either experienced from you first hand or heard from primary sources and their own experiences in dealing with you directly. As far as legal action is concerned, I am entitled to free speech. Laws concerning defamation of character have no solid precedent established on independent bloggers and I highly doubt that any judge would disagree with me, after spending a few minutes with you. The very notion that I would censor my own content because YOU asked me to is preposterous. Believe it or not, the site is called "Inverted Euphemism" for a reason. Once you look up those "big" words you might be able to understand exactly why you shouldn't be surprised.


To be perfectly honest I had completely forgotten about that post from two years ago, as did everyone who visits my site. People rarely drift past the infographics or comics. But since you decided that the best course was to immediately threaten me with legal action, (a very rude gesture I might add) I have decided to add a new page specifically dedicated to our current and future correspondence.


Hugs and Kisses,
Grant David Anderson II




* * * * * *
From Monica Leonelle to Me:


Hi Grant!

My name is Monica Leonelle and I'm a fellow writer and blogger. I stopped by your blog recently and wanted to reach out about a blog tour I'm hosting.

My new novel, Socialpunk, is coming out in April and I'm looking for lively, energetic, and social people interested in helping me get the word out about it. I'm hosting a huge, fun blog tour to celebrate the launch of a new book and was wondering if you'd be interested in participating? (By "Blog," I mean in both the traditional sense and Facebook, Tumblr, or Google+ posts.)

Bloggers who participate in the blog tour get lots of fun, free stuff, including chances to win an iPad 3, a Kindle Fire, tickets to SxSW Interactive 2013, and/or consulting packages worth over $1000. All participants also get a Free Writer Toolkit with tons of bonuses, promotion to my network of 10,000+ readers, and permanent links back to their site from MonicaLeonelle.com, SocialpunkTrilogy.com, and ProseonFire.com.

Is the blog tour something you might be interested in participating in? 

By the way, Socialpunk is aimed at tech-savvy, social media aficionados who enjoy writing and reading. The book centers on Ima, who is stuck in a virtual reality that functions more like a prison, and Vaughn, who lives in a dark, technology-driven future, but manages to save Ima from the people trying todestroy her. If you enjoy books like Ender's Game, Neuromancer, or The Hunger Games, you would probably enjoy this book too!

There are three options available to participate that range from an extremely small time commitment (less than five minutes!) to just a few hours time commitment (if you want to go all out). And even if the book itself isn't a perfect fit for your blog, I can interview about several topics, including business (I have an MBA), social media, blogging, marketing, writing, and food and wine (I am a total Chicago foodie).

If this sounds like something you might enjoy working together on, please email me back and I can give you the specifics about the contest/blog tour and also provide the next steps. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Monica Leonelle

* * * * * * 
[At first I was simply going to decline, but I thought, why not check out this random person's website. Here is what I found in the "about me" page...] 
 [My Response]
  * * * * * *
 Monica,

I understand your rationale for contacting me, however I generally do not support something unless I have personally found it to be exemplary and worthy of praise. If I was to read your novel and thoroughly enjoy it, that would be another matter, but as of now I do not feel comfortable lending you any support.

Your form letter, though delightfully personalized by the addition of my name, reeks a bit of bribery and desperation. If you looked at my blog in any detail you would realize that I am in no way motivated by money, prizes, or "consulting packages". The Inverted Euphemism has no ads, no clutter, and no desperate attempts to placate readers into a mailing list or newsletter; and I intend to keep it that way.  I'm confident in my content and let the viewership fall where it may. 

Having said that, as a novelist myself, I find that the work should stand on its own. If you feel the need to compare it with other novels to get me interested it is already off to a bad start.  My immediate reaction is "she is trying too hard" and inherently I want to turn away in disgust.

Ironically enough, had you simply asked nicely for my support, without the rigamarole, my reaction may have been quite different. 

I was going to suggest that meeting in person might change my mind, but upon further investigation of your website I have decided to dedicate the rest of this correspondence into a well worded argument on why Superman is, without a doubt, a terrible super hero.

The only thing that makes Superman "Super" are his powers, given to him by the presence of our yellow sun. It should be noted that Superman didn't at any time make a conscious decision to save or protect humanity, making his character motivations inherently flawed. In all likelihood a child, growing up with strange powers, in Iowa, without his real parents would probably turn amazingly evil during the angsty teen phase and take his pent up aggression out on the world. Simply because he has the ability to defend earth does not directly translate into his being driven to do so.  In contrast, Bruce Wayne, though leading a privileged childhood, loses his parents in a manner that is the catalyst to his ultimate transition into Batman, fueling his drive for fighting crime through gadgets and sound detective work.

This brings me to my second point, the maintenance of a secret identity. Where as Clark Kent's secret identity is Superman, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne. Bruce manages to spend his nights fighting crime and still manages to run the billion dollar corporation, Wayne Enterprises by day, helping to make Gotham city a better place through physical and economic endeavors. Superman causes massive collateral damage to Metropolis through his "good deeds" and is, by all definitions, a terrible newspaper reporter. Absent from every major event it still remains unclear whether he has ever turned in a story. Don't even get me started on the whole glasses thing.

When evaluating the merit of super heroes it becomes important to take into account their weaknesses. Superman's weaknesses are the red sun and pieces of his home-world Krypton. When he comes in contact with either of these things, he becomes powerless, and for all purposes, useless. This would not be such an issue if these elements were hard to come by, but when Krypton's red sun can be replicated with a light-bulb found in any hardware store, and large quantities of kryptonite are seemingly available on every street corner, the methodology of fighting superman becomes moot. "Kryptonite! My one very publicized and overdone weakness."  Again in contrast, Batman has no weaknesses. His most valuable tool is his mind, and even when stripped of his gadgets and utility belt he always finds a way to escape, turn the tables, and defeat the villain.

But perhaps what is most important is the overall message that each fictional figure conveys. Batman, as a hero, says to the reader, "Through seer determination and willpower one can accomplish anything." in addition to this, more mature viewers will notice similarities between Batman and Moby Dick, both Ahab and Batman embark on fanatical quests fueled by obsession, one seeks to kill the elusive white whale, and one seeks to rid Gotham city of crime and enact revenge. Both protagonists occupy themselves with unattainable goals, lost in drive and frustration as their exhausting efforts seem to yield little results. This is a lesson that references the human condition, adding a relate-able insight into the overall story arc; ultimately endearing batman to us as a complex hero/anti-hero, who not only fights crime but the emotional struggle within himself.

Superman says to readers, "Heroism is something you're born with, some people are born with talent and charisma and some aren't." This is a thought that depresses rather than inspires. Furthermore, it is a mentality that directly contradicts the foundation of the American dream, that through hard work and perseverance one can make a better life.

However, I would imagine that your infatuation with Superman stems not from the underlying message or his purported ideals, but that you, being a meddlesome and slightly pernicious brunette, fancy yourself as a "Louis Lane" of sorts and spent a fair amount of your formative "teen years" waiting for an impossible man with a chiseled jaw to fly you over the city to a soundtrack provided by John Williams.  That being the case, I feel sorry for any potential suitor who tries to measure up to your plinth-mounted, alabaster standards.

Its been fun.

Hugs and Kisses,
Grant David Anderson II


P.S. Good luck with your novel, the world needs more writers. 

******
Response Received from Monica Leonelle:


Thank you for your consideration, Grant. A simple, nonjudgmental "No thanks" would have been perfect, but I'm lucky enough to have gotten a wonderfully long email meant to grab my attention with the witty and playful "banter" that a truly great novelist would possess. I bow down to your effortless, not-trying-too-hard-to-be-funny, not-starving-for-attention talent. I'm sure you'll be very successful as a writer.



******


Recieved April 26, 3:30pm


From Roni Goldberg to Me:


Hi Grant, I was just looking at your (great!) site and thought your approach might be a great/fun/easy way to convey our product positioning to retail buyers.

We have a line of premium Mexican seasoning mixes and as you can imagine, there are a lot of misconceptions about Hispanic consumers and products. I can explain a bit more if you are interested, but I wanted to know if you would do something like “how to tip in a bar” or “how to chose a cigar” for us. If you do, could you tell me what would the cost be, etc…

Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Roni

Roni Goldberg
Hispanic Specialty Brands LLC
*****
 [MY RESPONSE]

Dearest Roni,

Thank you for your kind correspondence, these letters of yours do so cheer us up here on the front. Just last week my cousin Theodore took a musket shot to his leg. All looked to be going well until one night it turned gangrenous and we were forced to amputate. This was most unfortunate as it coincided with the evening of the infantry vs cavalry dancing competition. Ole Teddy had been a shoe-in for the title of best dancer until the doctor was forced to remove his one remaining appendage. He had even written a song in 1:1 time that he could hop around to, and was getting quite good. Alas we were forced to surrender the title yet again, and the horse who won gloated mercilessly afterwards. As usual this had a mighty depressing effect on the morale of the men, and we were obliged to spend the evening in the usual fashion: looking wistfully back and forth, growing our mustaches, mumbling about the weather, and avoiding any sharp objects for fear of infection and subsequent amputation. As you may well imagine, they were extremely entertained when I read your letter to them aloud, "do something like 'how to tip in a bar' or 'how to chose a cigar' for us", indeed! We have not heard such wit and joviality in some time, many of the men are still laughing...except for Rupert who was so distracted by the humorous thought, that he tripped and fell face first into a puddle. He has since contracted tuberculosis, but in between his blood-spattered wheezes he has expressed no regrets.  Other than that, our battle seems to be going well; General Grant thinks that in less than a fortnight our new shipment of wheelchairs will arrive from Boston, giving our arms a much needed reprieve. I trust everything in California is satisfactory, and I gather from your responses that you have yet to be kidnapped and shipped off to Shanghai like so many of your fellow prospectors. I look forward to returning home soon.

Regards,
Grant David Anderson II
Colonel of the 38th Infantry, 2nd Brigade - History

P.S. Based on your message I assumed you would enjoy a letter that seems to have little or no bearing on what you actually do in real life, or the situation at hand.

[I'm worried that you didn't read this letter in the appropriate style, so I have attached an image of the hand-written version, as well as this video, which you may watch at your leisure:



Allow me to continue.

Having worked in retail for so long I know exactly what you're talking about. You would like me to design you an infographic telling stores how to position your spice packets, either in their own displays, or on the shelves; something that could be remedied with a few sentences. Allow me to demonstrate:

"We here at Casa Mexicana would like you [retailer] to place our product on shelves. Not just any shelves but sturdy, labeled shelves with prices on them. Also please place our products all together, in a row, preferably in an aisle of related products or spices. Oh, you're doing that anyway, because you are a food supplier? Carry on then."

I gather that your business has only been in operation for three years. Many of the "retailers" you are catering towards have been in this business upwards of twenty years, some of them even longer. Suffice it to say that they know what they are doing, have their own system, and will resent your attempts to pester them.

However, I assume that business is booming if you can afford to nitpick about things like this and that you have excess money to throw around. In light of this I would gladly agree to design this for you under a few conditions. Each one of the infographics you mentioned took me roughly 36 work-hours to complete. At my going design rate of $30/hour this comes to $1,080.00 and is the bare minimum of what I would charge, whether your design takes me the full 36 hours or not.

In addition to this I would require a years supply of your spice product. Assuming that I would use one packet of spices per evening meal, alternating through your four flavors to lend a dash of variety, this comes to roughly 91 packets of each flavor (rounded down) for a standard 365 day year, (disregarding leap year). Although, If I entertain guests I may use more than one packet on a variety of dishes, so we might just round up to an even 95 packets of each. 

Pricing aside, I reserve the right to withhold creative control over the project and may interject my own brand of sarcastic humor into the "instructions" at any time.

These terms are non-negotiable. If you find them agreeable, please don't hesitate to get back to me and we'll get this project finished beyond the scope of your wildest imagination. Retailers will weep with joy over receiving it.

Hugs and Kisses,
Grant David Anderson II

******

 From Roni Goldberg to Me, 


Grant, thanks a lot for your response. Looooved your handwritten letter and video….

There are a couple of things in your proposal that create a bit of a problem for us. So we are going to have to pass, but I really look forward to keep on reading your site.

Best!
Roni

PS. Please send my best wishes to Rupert, hope he gets well soon.
******