Monday, June 23, 2008

#413 A Letter

#413 A Letter

When was the last time you got an actual letter in the mail? You remember letters. They start out with something like "Dear So and So," and go on to tell you something, and then end with something like "Yours truly," or "Sincerely yours," or some-such?

More to the point, when was the most recent time you WROTE one? In ink. Without the magic of Microsoft or of an ink jet printer? Just a ballpoint or (gasp!) fountain pen on paper?

Such communication is so rare today, that when you get an actual letter, you have to focus to understand what it is. Not that your mailbox is empty. No, there's plenty in the mailbox. Ads, bills, maybe -- if you're old fashioned -- a magazine or two. But a letter? Some people of majority age today have never written one, and never received one. They are deprived. They need help. You can help them. You can write to someone born in the mid 1980s. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Something simple, like "Dear Billy, We're really enjoyed our cruise through the Persian Gulf. Thanks so much for sending us the tickets. Love, Mom and Dad."

There, it's been done for you. All you have to do is revise it slightly, if your kid's not named Billy or he didn't send you on a cruise to the Persian Gulf (tourism there is down for some difficult to discern reason, so maybe his name is Joey and he sent you on a cruise from the gas station to, say, Dunkin' Donuts.)

Probably, Billy will send you an email or a text message asking you what you call that thing you had delivered into his mailbox. If he even has a mailbox. If he ever looks in it.

On the other hand, maybe you'll start a trend. Nah. The letter really HAS gone out of date. It's just a piece of nostalgia, like Bakelite, incandescent lightbulbs and Oldsmobiles. There's still some of that stuff around. But if it weren't, no one would die from the lack.

Those of us who remember hand written letters as personal or intimate and typewritten letters as formal and official don't always remember them fondly, either. You had to have a decent handwriting for the former and when your fingers erroneously typed "Synseerly" at the end, you either had to either erase the word (that never worked convincingly,) or start the whole thing over.



Shrapnel

--Menthol's been in cigarettes since Spuds came on the market in 1924. Seventy five percent of African Americans who smoke, smoke menthols. Not smoking makes people rrrrreallllly cranky.

--Some members of congress want to remove flavorings from cigarettes. Menthol is included. Going to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "angry black male" (and female.)

--Vick's Vapo Rub is mostly menthol. It's harmful if you swallow it. Maybe they should ban that, too, or at least decorate it with Surgeon General's warnings.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(r)
(C)2008 WJR

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