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Write Off - Even Un-Fans Can Blow You Away
by Phil Truman

This month’s column will cover the ever-increasing concern of anti-fan mail. Do we need it? Should we read it? Could we Alabama greet it?

Let’s 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 weren’t 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, they’ve found me out. They know I’m actually not funny. Now I’ll 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 into it.

Should we read it? Anti-fan Leslie Thompson from Colder Than a Welldigger’s 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 couldn’t 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 won’t 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 didn’t 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 Thompson’s stance on this issue. And he/she/it is absolutely right. I couldn’t 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? I’ve 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 it’s 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 that’s 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 Texan’s 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, cowboy…er, cowperson.

© Copyright 1999, Phil Truman

Phil Truman's website is philtrumanink.com.

Other articles by Phil Truman :

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