I give full credit to Mr. Miller…my fourth grade teacher. Mr. Miller often sent letters and notices home to my parents and, in order to save him unnecessary embarrassment which could potentially befall someone charged with the daunting task of shaping young minds, I’d return his notes before delivering them.
Mr. Miller was about 147 years old-- which presents an abundance of clarity as to why he smelled funny. He also went to the bathroom a lot and often fell asleep at his desk with false teeth dangling from his mouth in a puddle of drool.
I now understand that this was a primary reason as to why Mr. Miller was always so grumpy.
I often highlighted spelling errors and offered helpful wording and/or sentence structure recommendations on his notes because I felt that his unfavorable assessments of me would carry more weight with my mom and dad if they were a bit more polished.**
**Note: Hats off to my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Hanner. She was an excellent teacher in the area of English composition.
Neither Mr. Miller nor the school principal seemed to find my recommendations helpful at all. In fact, my dad held even stronger feelings on the subject.
As I recall, my father was buddies with the school principal, Mr. Granstaff. Dad often asked if I knew exactly how and why my antics at school made things difficult for him. I astutely and, I believe correctly, replied:
"Because it likely made things uncomfortable for the two of them when he and Mr. G. got drunk every weekend watching football."
This is about the same time frame that my dad threatened to send me away to the local military academy.
Many of us seem to take “getting to the point“ as offensive or curt…especially when it’s presented in written form. Then again, perhaps it depends on the topic.
I loved that story about the ways people quit their jobs…especially your resignation letter. Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know.
Love your writing dude!
Our client, Chase Bank, has turned this account over to our office in order to take legal avenues to collect the $10, 872.50 owed.
So that we might collect full payment on your balance due without legal action, please call our office immediately.
Admittedly, I realize that my written words might be taken in a way in which they were not intended. It goes without saying that my SPOKEN words have the aforementioned effect.
I began my writing "Road to Recovery" by practicing on a friend of mine with a Happy Birthday sentiment on her Facebook page.
I believe that it was a strong and positive exercise in getting to the point without creating an awkward or odd aura associated with conveying my point.
As the corporate mantra, from my former employer, goes, perhaps "Less IS more."
Hey there...Hope you’re having a great day!
I had a slight problem in securing your birthday present.
It was not an elaborate gift idea but I thought you’d like it. It’s a rather long story, so I shall give you the short version.
My friend, Chris, visits South America every other year. Did you know that South America is the 4th largest continent in the world? They also broke off ties with the West (super continent-- Gondwanaland) around 135 million years ago.
It had something to do with health care reform, I suspect, but I can’t seem to substantiate this theory. Rush Limbaugh is working dilligently to confirm it, so I will sleep better, taking great comfort in the knowledge that he is on the case.
Anyway, Chris left for his trip, along with his buddy Phillip, last month for a guided expedition. I concluded that it would be great to seize this unique opportunity by having Chris capture and bring back a Collared Peccary.
Since you're a lover of animals, I just KNEW that this would be the perfect little pet!
Peccaries are cute little hoofed mammals (12-16inches) and eat berries, nuts, insects and roots.**
**(Note: Not the kind of “nuts” who live in New Orleans...or my ex-girlfriend)
Of course, because of their tendency to overeat, they also devour entire South American crops…which is why farmers use the Peccary for target practice.
Funny, I’ve never seen or heard of PETA jumping all over THAT bandwagon.
I’ve never seen Pam Anderson, the rocket scientist that she is, pose in the nude as a form of silent protest on a PETA billboard with a caption which reads…
“Save the Peccary!!!”
Anyway, Chris managed to secure a Peccary! Of course he somehow also secured a sexually transmitted disease from an overnight stay in a tiny mountain village…but that’s a LONG, crazy story!
Due to the fact that Chris allowed Phillip to book the trip this year, Phillip cut corners and hired a crazy, alcoholic expedition guide who also only had one foot. He was missing his left eye as well. He also showed up 2 hours late...slurring and reeking of alcohol.
The guide was, supposedly, from Brazil, yet he couldn't even speak Portuguese!!!! THAT should have been their first warning sign.
Allow me to point out the obvious here…There are some things one simply should NOT book through Travelocity.com.
They were lost in the Andean mountain territory for 3-weeks thanks to Phillip’s thriftiness in not choosing an experienced guide.
After a couple of weeks in the wild, food became a major issue, as did the burning sensation in Chris’ pee pee area. They were tired of eating tree limbs, leaves and insects, however, the Peccary was in culinary heaven!
This must have been hell on earth, as Chris and Phillip are avid meat eaters. So, as these things go, the Peccary became a delicious prospect to the guys.
Sadly, I’m now able to report that Peccary tastes a little like Buffalo…according to Chris.
The guys DID manage to save a tooth from the Peccary, which I commissioned a local artist to affix within a lovely little necklace. I’ll drop by and leave it on your doorstep.
If you’re home, I MUST come in and tell you the strangest story I’ve ever heard which happened to a buddy of mine the other day!
I hope you have a Happy Birthday!
I’ve NEVER understood why American Greetings or Hallmark won’t entertain the idea of me working on their writing staff.
After learning that I was working on this piece, a girl I know thought it to be a good idea to share a recent text message conversation between she and a gentleman she’d recently met.
I was pleased to learn that I'm not the only person whose words become lost in translation:
You would be a fantastic “sub”
Let's pause for a second. As the recipient of her initial text, the proper response from this gentleman should have been:
a) Thank you, but I have a bad back…and my knees are fairly weak. Plus, I don’t own a “gimp“ suit or a “gag-ball.” Thanks anyway!!
b) Absolutely! I’ll be over in 15-minutes!! Should I bring my "gimp" suit? Xoxo
It will all make sense as you read on…We’ll call this little conversation:
THE CONFUSED “SUB”
Who is this? What am I a good sub for? This is an odd message
You’d be a good sub for a Domme
Yeah? No clue what that means, who is Domme? Is he/she with you? Can you be more specific?
Sub= submissive. Domme= dominatrix
Ah. Who has come to this conclusion?
Ah. Yet I don’t have a name associated to this telephone number. How can I domme someone when their name is a mystery to me?
You can’t Domme.
a) You’re not a girl
b) YOU would be the sub
BTW, I’m Veronica…we met about two hours ago and talked for about an hour. You gave me your number dumb ass! xo
Ah…Well, I appreciate the compliment but I am on the wank right now and I’m too far away for anyone. Anyway, I don't think Shannon would be the "sub" type. LOL!
I think you may possibly be confused, but that could just be the wank. Come back to the bar tonight and we’ll talk then.
I am really tired and I don’t know if I want to risk driving back that far. Is there no middle ground we can meet at?? What am I confused about by the way??
I take your silence as a bad thing?
I would love to continue this convo, but must sleep now. Tomorrow perhaps??
U still there????
Meanwhile...the the following day:
I went to sleep last night after our last text…No, Silence isn’t bad. Come out tonight. I promise you'll have fun!
So, what is going on there? Some kinda concert or something like that?
Yeah, something like that.
Doesn’t look like I am heading out.
That sucks. I be sad. :(
Sorry to disappoint, I apparently have that affect on women…LOL!!
I was going to fix that.
I appreciate the sentiment but I don't believe you're my type.
I don't think so either.
Gas is getting too expensive for me to get out anyway…and I have to drive to campus 3 times a week as it is. BTW, I am curious as to how the discussion of me being a good sub came about? Can you elaborate?
On second thought, you ask way too many questions to be a sub.
And so, young Sean will never receive the answers he so desperately seeks…all because of rising fuel prices!!
Unfortunately, in the instantaneous society in which we live, communicating with my friends via instant message or text is, as I’ve been told, a disaster waiting to happen.
I’m not sure what that means, but it prompted me to take a closer look at who I associate with via social networks. Mr. Miller...where are you when I NEED you??? Oh, you're dead. I forgot.
I glanced at my “friend” folder last week and realized that I didn’t know several people on the list. These are people who I can’t recall EVER having a conversation with, much less email or message exchanges.
Who is Cynthia Hobbs???? Wait a second…she’s pretty cute.
Via Facebook Email
I noticed that you’re on my Facebook friends page. I’ve been sorting through this page in order to clean it up a bit and, while I’m not quite sure how we know one another, I glanced at your photo albums.
Judging by the visual content in numerous pictures within your online albums, I strongly suspect that you would look STUNNING without clothes-- as especially evidenced by the photo of you wearing that revealing bikini at the lake in your album titled “Chillin’ Wit Da' Peeps/ Summer 2010.”
In the high hopes that I might see more revealing photos of you in the future (either posted to your Facebook page or by personal correspondence) You'll be pleased to know that I have decided NOT to “De-Friend” you.
Instead, I thought I’d send you this email and “Poke” you. Um, not literally-- I meant “poke” in Facebook vernacular. (I.e. Subtly saying hello.)
I hope that this email and the news of my delaying "De-Friending" finds you well and in good spirits.
From: Cynthia Hobbs
Uh…WTF??? I’m your Realtor. I sold you a house 7-years ago.
With that…I suppose it’s time for me to be quiet. Perhaps Mr. Miller was correct after all. (sigh)
copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011
Author's Note: For our national and international readers..."Wank" is New Orleans slang for West Bank. It's an area of the metro which prides itself on nothing in particular. Several of it's citizens routinely enjoy a dozen alcoholic libations and drive home across the bridge, usually crashing into the guardrail. It is home to several wonderful establishments such as Target. And, for a TRUE New Orleans dining experience, you'll also find a Taco Bell, The Texas Roadhouse, McDonalds AND a brand new TGI Friday's!! Those crazy "wankers."