In August, I asked Lake Highlanders to tell me how they choose the right school for their kids. In September, I quoted excerpts from the responses I received, some of which were attached to little Keffer voodoo dolls.
But have you ever wondered about those letters that are received but, for whatever reason, are never quoted in columns such as my last one?
Well, you’re in luck, because this column is devoted to those letters that usually don’t make the cut. After all, I’m an equal-opportunity columnist. Despite the allegations of closed-mindedness by several of my loyal readers, I hope that publishing the following excerpts proves, once and for all, that my mind is open, my heart is warm, my bank account is overdrawn, my sanity is in question, and my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek.
One woman wrote: “I appreciate the opportunity to express my opinions on schools in Lake Highlands. But before I do, I would like to encourage you to write a column on all of the UFOs that have landed in Wildcat Stadium…I have met with several of them and even visited their planet. They seem to like football.”
I’m not sure I like this reader having my address.
One irate man wrote: “Bill, you’re nothing but a (blank). You (blank) write whatever the (blank) you feel like. (Blank)!” Needless to say, the letter reads differently when the blanks are filled in.
One man thought he had me figured out: “Your agenda is not hidden; it is open and obvious. You’re nothing but a spy for the Plano school district trying to scare our residents into moving from RISD to Plano. You Plano people think you’re so sly.”
And those were the letters that had a loose association with the topic of schools. I also received the following letters:
“Bill, you big hunk of a man, I just love that cute, little picture of you next to your column.”
And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, it was signed “Hugs, Tom.”
Another person wrote: “If you’re so proud of your private school education, figure out a way to get rid of those speed bumps on my street.”
Okay, smart boy, here’s what you do: Buy some piping hot McDonald’s coffee and then take on one of those speed bumps at about 20 miles per hour. You’ll spill the lava Java in your lap, and you can sue the City and McDonald’s and become a billionaire and move to a place where speed bumps are only an unpleasant, distant memory.
Of course, there are always those letters suggesting topics for future columns.
“When will you write about recreational activities for senior citizens?”
Oh, in about 40 years.
“Bill, the situation in Bosnia has become desperate. You should write a column on Serbian atrocities.”
The solution has been obvious to me for some time. Designate a representative for the Serbs, the Bosnians, and the Croats (and throw in somebody from Transylvania just because I want to see if he looks like Bela Lugosi), have them sit at the negotiating table and play paper, scissors, rock.
The winner gets to divide up the country. And to soften any hard feelings held by the losers, have a Three Stooges video standing by.
As you can see, as a Viewpoints columnist, I end up wearing many hats and having to respond to all kinds of inquiries. If I have helped even one reader through this column, then I will have earned my pay.
Now, about that pay…