In addition to drinking less, being nicer to fat people, and reading to completion at least one book by Salman Rushdie (we've been faking it), we resolve to get more mail this year. Nothing to burden the portly mailpersons who took no less than two weeks to deliver a holiday card containing a check from the Nightstand's mother—obviously they are very busy, or confused about their responsibilities, or else they are eating on the job and causing the rest of the country to suffer the logy consequences of repletion. Oh, no, eat away, eaterly mailpersons. We speak not of letters and bubble-wrapped parcels but of the electronic missive, by which most correspondence is sent to the offices of the Nightstand. We get such charming correspondence, full of vitality, imagination, and hatred. Take the one sent on July 12, following a column about Mary McCarthy, whose subject was: "And your point is?"
Quoth the correspondent:
What's the point of your column? Maybe you don't get enough space for supporting discussion. It looks like you are just enamored of Mary McCarthy. Are you somehow impressed that she has the audacity to attack some of the "Big Literary Figures"? The column comes across like a cheap restaurant reviewer, more impressed with their self-perception of creativity in the put-down, than in the content of the criticism.
All in all a heartwarming paragraph, really, executed with an avid disregard for grammar, style, and sense. Select a pronoun, dear reader. The column comes off like a restaurant reviewer? Now does that make any sense? What's more, "impressed" appears twice; it's flattering, but how impressed can you be? And the quotation marks around Big Literary Figures are redundant because capitalizing the words sufficiently emphasizes the phrase. Furthermore, as we have made it clear time and time again, we care only for Skinny to Medium-Girthed Literary Figures.
Finally, you show extreme immaturity and ignorance when you say she "went to high school in, weirdly, Tacoma." Are only major metropolitan areas capable of producing intelligence? That was, as I said, just plain ignorant.
On the first point, we agree. The phrase "went to high school in, weirdly, Tacoma" teems with immaturity and ignorance. Our mistake, obviously, is that it should have read: "went to high school, weirdly, in Tacoma." We regret the error. However, we are unfamiliar with the terms of your ensuing argument. What is "plain ignorant"—a flavor of yogurt? Not sure we've had it, but it sounds delicious.
Then again, this is probably the only response you'll get (I'm bored, it's Friday). And I forget to take your paper as what it is, entertainment. As a matter of fact, I apologize for taking your column seriously.
That our paper appears as entertainment to you is, well, news. We have been trying to entertain for 27 years. Was 2002 our breakthrough year? Thank you for the compliment, dear reader (we have withheld your name, for your own sake)—and, all you readers out there, we would love to have a few from you, too. Please send your comments, whenever they occur to you, throughout the coming year, to the address below. Be well, and eat lightly.