We are, at the very least, on part 3 in terms of hate mail posts. I’ve actually probably received closer to 10 pieces of pure hate mail since starting this site, but the majority of those were short little “Fuck you traitor! Airport security is AMERICA and if you don’t like it git the fuck OUT MY ‘MERICA!!!!” It’s hard not to just completely forget those emails after giggling for a couple seconds.
This morning I received a piece of hate mail that pretty much just made me laugh, as well. I instantly just deleted it forever from my Gmail inbox and didn’t think much of it. I now greatly regret that.
The email was something along the lines of “Hey asshole….making jokes about the TSA doesn’t make you witty, or a good humor writer. It’s not hard to get humor out of TSA, anyone can do it. You are the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the internet. Bye.”
Or something along those lines. I started to write a response, beginning with “Hi there. Actually, I was publishing humor pieces, as well as non-humor pieces, for publications well before I ever wrote a single thing about the TSA…” but then I realized “Wait, why am I trying to be reasonable and civilized with some person who fires off emails to strangers along the lines of ‘You fucking suck. That’s all I have to say. Bye.'” That was when I deleted the email forever.
But a little later, I realized that I shouldn’t have done that. I should have responded to him. I tried desperately to recover his email address, but it was too late. So now all I can hope is that my very special hate-mailer reads this. This is what I would write in response to you, if I hadn’t made the unfortunate decision to just delete you permanently:
Hi, Person Who Emailed Me This Morning to Call Me an Asshole and Tell me I’m the Worst Thing on the Entire Internet and Not at All Funny Because All I Do is Draw Humor from the TSA, Which is an Easy Target. I understand where you’re coming from with that. In fact, I already went over this with another reader/emailer right after I started my blog. He compared writing humorously about the TSA to poking a large, neurologically disabled bear with a stick. I told him that unfortunately, he was absolutely right.
First, Mr. Hate Mailer, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that not all of my posts are even trying to be humorous. Many of them are quite serious. Second, as to your claim that “Drawing humor from the TSA does not prove any sort of humor-writing talent at all; therefore, you have none,” I’d like to point you to the fact that I was drawing humor from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, failed Internet start-ups, Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman, Raymond Chandler and laptop repair guys, and many other topics, well before I published a single piece of TSA-themed humor. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency has a withering rejection rate; so withering, in fact, that there are many staff-writers for The Onion who have most certainly experienced cold rejection after submitting to McSweeney’s. (And actually, every other current McSweeney’s contributor is an Onion staff writer or headline contributor anyway, for that matter. You’ll even get the occasional– well, actually, frequent– head writer for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart being published on McSweeney’s.) But fine. Since you know humor and wittiness so well, Mr. Hate Mailer Man, I will make you a deal.
Email me back, please, Mr. Hate Mailer Man, just so we can reestablish a connection. From there, I would like to make a gentlemanly wager: Since you know humor and wittiness so well, I hereby publicly declare that, if you can get one humor piece published by McSweeney’s, or any equivalent publication, at any time within the next year, I will pay you $2,000 via Pay Pal, and post a picture on this site in which I am wearing a bunny costume holding a sign that says “[Insert your name here] was right: I am the worst thing on the internet. He owns me for life.”An example of a near-equivalent to McSweeney’s would be the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs section. McSweeney’s is something like a 98-percent rejection rate. Shouts and Murmurs might be a 99-percent rejection rate, or so. They’re close. Numbers 2 and 1 as far as open-submission humor publications.
You ready to dance, Mr. Hate Mailer? You ready to take my $2,000 and make me show up on my own site in a bunny costume admitting absolute defeat, Oh arbiter of Internet humor and wit? You better be, Mr. Hate Mailer. Because now…