Well last week’s searing exposé about Cairns certainly provoked a torrent of response from readers. From my readers, I’ve been told to say. I was told to write about the torrent and the exposé too, but the whole thing is just a tad silly really. There was nothing searing and there wasn’t an especially enthusiastic response – just the usual trickle of correspondence from people who like what I am doing here and want me to keep going, and the odd one, often with appalling spelling, which wants to tell me to nick off.

I’m not going to nick off, dear reader. Not just yet anyway. I’m not going to do anything because someone who can’t distinguish between ‘their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’ thinks it is a good idea – and I won’t start on the use and abuse of apostrophes, as it will only make me cross – but it is the time of year when I ought to write a column about correspondence from readers.

As the year winds down it is customary to cobble together some highlights from the letters, notes, emails, and other missives one has received, both physical and digital, in an effort to prove to the rest of you that I do indeed have readers who are committed enough to write to me, and in order that I might say how flattered I am that those of you who did send me something have taken the time and how sorry I am that I don’t have the time to answer you all personally. I’m flattered, thank you, I’m sorry – there you go: that’s done! But seriously, I enjoy your comments very much indeed, and Cindy my secretary enjoys reading them to me when we get a pile sufficiently high to warrant the exercise.

This year I have been called various names by a number of people who can’t seem to communicate without using the sort of language teenage school girls use when they are going home on the bus. Much of it has been quite amusing. Special mention must go to the gentleman who instructed me: “f__k off you inbuseel c__t” after my first column about little kiddies going back to school and the promise in the fertile minds of young people. That kicked off the year beautifully. A woman from the western suburbs regularly contacts me with news about her grand kids and updates about how her nephew is going in the correctional facility. These are lovely little notes to receive, and it’s sweet that she includes me in her life in this way. However she also writes a different kind of letter – same name, address, postmark, handwriting – in which she lambasts me for being a know-all. It gets worse than that though. She has called me a “know-all rich c__t” on numerous occasions and referred to my “faggy poofter mates” too. She clearly wasn’t at school the day her English master taught the class about tautology.

I have been given career advice by a lot of people – or, more accurately, by a few people quite a few times. Retire, is the main message with these. “Retire, you hopeless old hack,” wrote one in crayon just the other day. “Your old. You make me want to sh_t my pants when I read your sh_t!” Exclamation marks are used frequently by these enthusiastic correspondents, and good luck to them for their adventurous approach to punctuation. It’s fun to read.

To finish I’ll print an excerpt from a different kind of letter:

“Dear Gordon,

I laughed out loud when reading your latest column. Don’t ever stop. You brighten my week immensely.

P.S. You have the legs of a Greek god.”

Alright, I’ll admit Nancy wrote that one. She slipped it into my correspondence folder when I wasn’t looking. It’s a nice letter though, and I do get nice ones from time to time.

Published in: on November 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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