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A longtime journo's guide to insipid er, inspired letter-writing

So-called "letters to the editor" that are written by readers and sent to newspapers and magazines are commonly rooted in personal beliefs in the areas of politics and religion. Experts, however, say some of these letters are generated by questions such as why in the name of Jesus H. Christ, when every other town has actual snowplows and sanding trucks, our village has apparently purchased an entire goddamn fleet of Zamboni machines to maintain our roads in the winter!

(Sorry. I slid off the road 11 times in two miles last Wednesday night during that paralyzing, storm-of-the-century, half-inch snow that nearly covered the testicles of a basset hound. But despite these experiences during that "blizzard," I hereby vow never again to allow any personal feelings to influence, in any way whatsoever, my journalistic objectivity. Even when it comes to the apparent worldwide sand shortage and how this apparent goddamn Middle East sand embargo is the only possible explanation for the skating rink our entire town becomes at the mere hint of snow!)

Anyway, here is a guide for a letter to the editor. It is a template of sorts that can be used when some issue, no matter what the issue might be, gets you all riled up:

To the editor:

I have lived in this town so long I remember when Powers Boulevard was made of (blank). I used to saddle up a team of (blank), hitch up a hay-hauler and take my kids on a wagon ride. They complained for five hours, the no-good, whiny little (blank).

But back then, at least our (blank) got plowed and sanded in the winter. In the old days, our City Council had money for sand because it didn't have its (blank) up its (blank). Coulda' bought a lot of sand with that $21,000 they paid a bunch of Denver consultants a while back so the dumb (blank) could scribble "COSMIX" on a bar napkin.

Sincerely,

(Your name)

  • Here's a template to be used when some issue gets you all riled up.

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