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Write Off - Even Un-Fans Can Blow You Away
by Phil Truman
This months column will cover the
ever-increasing concern of anti-fan mail. Do we need it? Should we read it?
Could we Alabama greet it?
Lets take each question separately.
Yes, most indeedly we do need it. Without
anti-fan mail we would shirley start to think we are the funniest writer who
ever walked the face of the earth and several neighboring planets. If nothing
else, we would eventually come to realize we werent Shirley. Unless, of course,
we were Shirley. Anti-fan mail helps us keep everything in perspective, sort of
like Prozac. With anti-fan mail you can look yourself in the mirror every
morning and say, "Dang, theyve found me out. They know Im actually not funny.
Now Ill have to go back to being someone who takes himself way serious."
Without anti-fan mail our egos would become so huge only Rush Limbaugh could fit
Should we read it? Anti-fan Leslie Thompson from
Colder Than a Welldiggers Nose, Klondike writes "I found [your] column barely
funny and a waste of precious space for an ezine/newsletter." At first, reading
this email troubled me. Because, you see, I couldnt really be sure if Leslie
Thompson is a man or a woman. Leslie is one of those names like Pat or Chris or
Sidney or Hulk or John-John that editors like to have so you wont know whether
to address them as Mr. or Ms. in query letters. Then it dawned on me that the
gender of my anti-fan Leslie Thompson didnt matter. What matters is the content
of thems cute widdle soul. I want to thank Leslie Thompson, from the heart of my
bottom, for pointing out to me my thoughtless waste of that precious national
resource, e-zine/newsletter space. Pixels and laser printers the world over can
loudly hail Leslie Thompsons stance on this issue. And he/she/it is absolutely
right. I couldnt be more "barely funny" even if I stood naked in the middle of
a funny farm, which I may actually have done once.
Could we Alabama greet it? Ive thought about
this difficult question long and hard, and have come to this conclusion. It
would only seem prudent to Alabama greet it if you actually live in Alabama, or
are an active student or alumni of Alabama University. I suppose there could be
a derivative greeting if you are a fan of the Country n Western band Alabama.
In truth, we only used Alabama because its fun to say. The syllabic meter just
kind of rolls off the tongue. However, we would probably be more inclined to
Oklahoma greet it, seeing as how thats our roots.
On the other hand, I think what my son Nathan
said to a traveling Texan in an airport once is a perfect response to fans and
anti-fans alike. Nate was three. Curious, he walked over to where the long Texan
sat. He looked him up from his lizard booted feet to his Stetsoned head. From
the Texans posture and expression you could tell he was weary and unhappy.
Then, quite seriously, little Nate looked him in the eye and said, "Bless your
heart, cowboy." The Texan eyed him back a few seconds, then smiled a smile that
said his mood had been lightened a bit.
So to Leslie Thompson and anti-fans everywhere,
I want to say I hope you find a way to lighten up. And Bless your heart,