Letters to Myself: A portrait of humor that is ahead of its time
It seems we have lost the ability to write letters now that everything has been condensed to 140 characters or a bunch of emojis. Since no one has written me in a while, I thought I would write myself a few letters and respond to them.
How can you call yourself a columnist? From what I can tell, your background is in public education and I am willing to bet you never took a journalism class in your life. From what I can tell, your columns are an indicator of your inability to focus on any one thing or theme and you are a little quick at solving problems you know little about. Am I wrong?
Dear Avid Reader,
No you are not wrong and I will not take you up on that bet, although I did run the school newspaper at Clifton Middle School in 1984 and I was also a pretty cool Yearbook Adviser back in the day. You are also right when you say I have difficulty focusing on one particular thing which could be a sign of some hidden genius inside me or more likely I am just attracted to shiny objects. Either way, I may not be qualified to be a columnist, but you have to admit, I am a better qualified columnist than Trump is a qualified POTUS.
How much do you make writing columns for the Los Angeles Post-Examiner? Whatever it is, it is too much. Have you ever considered doing other work that is of greater help to mankind than to rip Democrats, Republicans, and our beloved National Football League? Satan has a seat waiting for you.
Dear Satan Hater,
I want you to know I spent 26 years living in Hemet, California where temperatures often rise above 110 degrees so I am not worried about Satan keeping a seat warm for me. My earnings at LAPE are a complex mathematical equation that is dependent on a number of factors like the average number of syllables in the words I use, how difficult it is to find free pictures about what I write about, and most of all, whether or not I misuse a colon or semi-colon in my articles. Then you have to factor in whether or not I make my editor do any fact checking before he decides whether or not he has a better article to post than mine. When you add it all up, my earnings are somewhere between the homeless guy at the local Target entrance and Tom Brady’s.
For the life of me, I can’t tell if you are a Republican or a Democrat. Could you please enlighten me and tell me which way you lean politically? Thanks.
No, I can’t help you. In fact, I make a point of trying to never enlighten anyone. I prefer to make people angry so I find it best not to take any one side politically. All I know is when I stand up too fast and get a little light headed, I tend to lean a little to the right before I fall down. I hope that helps.
You have not written about your dogs lately so I was wondering how they are doing? I hope they are well.
Dear Dog Lover,
My four legged pals are doing just fine considering they have been left to protect the inside of the house while workers have been renovating our place the last few months. I would love to provide you with an individual breakdown on each one, but since we have two more than the city allows, I prefer not to. Let’s just say if Bernie Sanders were to run for president again and offer free health care for pets, he would get my vote. The more I take them to the vet, the more I learn about the advances in veterinary medicine. The days of just getting shots are over for Rover now that MRI’s, CT Scans, and Spinal Taps can be done. Did you know a dog can be placed on Prozac? Sending a kid to college to become a Veterinarian will cost you less than to get your dog diagnosed with White Shaker Dog Syndrome (I know first hand). Still, they just have to lick my face, hump my leg, or piss all over the floor to remind me how loved I am.
You have said several times you did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. You also apparently ran a joke campaign. When it came right down to it, who did you vote for in 2016?
I did not vote for either of the two major party candidates primarily because both remind me of why we have a pretty stupid bunch of voters for allowing the election to come down to them. As for my campaign, it was not a joke, it was the real deal at a grassroots level in which I successfully raised ten dollars in campaign funds that went unreported to the IRS. And even though I failed to secure the endorsement of LAPX (an oversight I am sure they regret), I still proudly wrote in my name. Besides, I did not know how to spell Kasich.
What do you make of that guy Kim in North Korea? Should we take him seriously? s he worth going to war over or is he a big joke? I am very concerned.
Did you ever hear the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue”? Be worried, be very worried. A guy named Kim with Nukes is far more dangerous than a boy named Sue with a six shooter. So far, he has succeeded in taking out one of his own cities. It won’t be long before he becomes a real threat to hit Mar-A-Lago and if that happens, we will have World War III.
Do you ever laugh at any of the stuff you write or are you like the rest of us and just roll your eyes over how lame your punch lines are?
Dear Eye Roller,
I have always considered my humor to be ahead of its time. Right now, it’s at about 2037. My goal is for it to reach 2058 which would be 100 years after the year I was born.
You have not covered the NFL this year, but I am wondering if you have a prediction for who wins this year’s Super Bowl. My money is on the Los Angeles Rams. Am I crazy?
Now this is exactly what I mean about humor ahead of its time. The very idea that the Los Angeles Rams could make the post season is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. I suppose the next joke you will tell me is the Raiders signed Jon Gruden to a $100 million dollar contract to coach them again. Thanks for making my day!
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Keep sending me your letters. I love to hear from you and make a point of responding to all of them.
Top photo by Claudia Gestro
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.