Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I Used To Do At My Day Job

After a few rejected submissions to McSweeneys in 2003 and 2004, I got this published at the now-only-archival Uber.nu:

An Open Letter to McSweeney's Internet Tendency Open Letter Chooser

Dear McSweeney's Internet Tendency Open Letter Chooser:

Remember those two letters I sent before, to persons or entities who were unlikely to respond? The first one was to Australia. Maybe you were worried that Australia was likely to respond, and that's why you didn't choose it. Or maybe you didn't feel like making an enemy of another nation; that was probably it. I said some pretty inflammatory stuff in that letter. But can you fault me? I was totally pissed at Australia when I wrote that letter.

(Remember that part where I made fun of Australian actors, like Nicole Kidman? That was awesome. Oh wait, no--you obviously didn't think so.)

But I was okay with that snub. I thought I had learned from it, actually. For one thing, it was probably too long (I talked about The Crocodile Hunter for 127 words, for Christ's sake!). At first I thought it might have been too inflammatory, or vulgar (like when I talked about Australians being fuckers), but then I read a recent letter you published that talks about pissing on a guy's head and doing his wife. So I figured I was in the clear on the inflammatory/vulgar bit.

What really hurt was the second rejection. Did you think the letter to my Grandpa was a joke? Granted, it might have been insensitive, but I didn't title the letter "AN OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAD BLIND GRANDPA," which I totally could've. I left out the DEAD part.

But seriously, he would 'watch' Wheel of Fortune religiously. How funny is that? Did I not play up that angle enough, the it's-weird-that-a-blind-person-would-be-interested-in- a-television-program-that-relies-heavily-on-sight-for-its-entertainment-value angle? I thought I did. (Did you ever solve a puzzle, Grandpa? Did you ever grimace when the lady from Spokane couldn't solve the Before & After puzzle, when it was staring her in the goddamn face? )

Hell, I even made reference to the fact that Chuck Woolery (I called him the ubiquitous Chuck Woolery, too! Priceless!) was the original host, not Pat Sajak. That shows I did my research!

That letter to my dead blind Grandpa was gold, and you turned it down. Why? Are you worried about the dead blind Grandpa demographic?

I'm sorry for putting you on the spot; I'm really not into confrontation. But I figured that since you were unlikely to respond, there's not much at stake.


1 comment:

chad said...

i think your biggest mistake in your letter to Australia was your failure to make any mention of Yahoo Serious. By neglecting that, it made it seem as though you weren't serious. Yahoo or otherwise