Love/Hate Mail, Dec. 1, 2011 

Merciless merci

In response to "An Open Letter to Gov. Bill Haslam, the Great Journalistic Benefactor" ("Hey Thanks," Nov. 17), I have one question: How did Liz Garrigan get so fucking mean? I mean, really. I even agree with her about half the time, but it's like a jet stream of venom all the way from France every time you read something she carved up — I picture one of those smiling mandrills banging away at the keyboard. I just want to know where to channel that kind of hate. You never know when you might have to disembowel someone in print.

Jim Cheney

Wow. Just wow.

An open letter response to Steve Haruch's "An Open Letter to the Kroger Employee Who Bags My Groceries Carefully" ("Hey Thanks," Nov. 17):


Where do I start?

Oh, where?

To call you a teacher would be inadequate. 

To say you gave me cause to chortle would be an understatement. And to mention that your precious, smug, self-flagellating diatribe of drivel-in-the-form-of-flattery-to-a-lesser-person in order to make you feel, I don't know, humble and one of the real people is enlightening, but simply way too mean-spirited of me in this season of good will.

The way you buddy up to the employee with that chummy, ham-fisted jollity makes me want to vomit. The bile rising in my throat is so unctuous and fetid at your rainbow-scented attempt, all sunshine, shoulder hugs and fist pumps that it is, at being friends with someone who probably despises your guts for pretending to help her (Is it a her? Most likely, since if it were a man, there would be more "dude"s and "brother"s in your cloying speech) do the job she gets paid $7 an hour to do.

She's already OCD about it — packing and organizing — and now you've messed up her routine by sticking your amateur fist in where it's not wanted and doing some of your own organizing on her patch.

Here's a thought, Einstein. If you're trying to help people do their job, let them do it. 

And pointing out the ex-store manager's pointy hair tells me one thing — that you're a snide gossip behind people's backs and your new friend will be wondering when you're going to start on her.

Steve, another piece of advice that I swear may come as a totally alien concept but will be worth taking if you're so needy and sad that you have to try befriend workers in the local supermarket so you feel like a good guy who isn't afraid to mix with the poor people: PACK YOUR OWN BAGS!!!!

It's not hard. You always stand there on other occasions — say, after work on a Friday when Li'l Orphan Annie ain't there to cozy up your dry products together — complaining how long the line is and how much you're in a hurry, yet your hands drop like dead weights at the end of your arms while the cashier is pricing them, turning and packing your crap. 


You're already anally compartmentalized in the first place, so just do it! You're already taking away half her enjoyment of organizing, sectioning and dividing so just go whole hog, and do. It. Your. Self.

It'll probably stop you having those nasty anxiety attacks that happen when somebody other than Wonder Girl packs your cleaner in with the grapes.

And lastly, if you're so into this cool new poor chick who works at the store and you're tight, and you're so down with real people you could almost strut the funky chicken walking down the street, why don't YOU buy her a frickin' turkey she needs it so much, or that seitan kabob you were mentioning. Or just slip her a fat $20 if she's so damn life-affirming for you. Just give her the overpriced holiday bonus you were going to spend on some video game or a new jacket from the Lucky store sale. She's worth it. 

Why don't you just pat her on the back and put your money where your mouth is, instead of creaming your keyboard up with some pathetic poetry to this girl in a weekly free magazine which she ain't even going to read, let alone use as kitty litter for the two cats she undoubtedly owns.

And really, you don't NEED to know her name. What would that accomplish — so that you could imagine it in sunburst colors breaking out of a silver-lined cloud, and say it sweetly to her with an overdone "Thank you" next time you've taken half her job away?

Now that you've stood on a box to deliver that nauseating ritualistic "It's a wonderful life" puff piece, just man up and give her something that really says thank you. She'll probably take cash. 

T. Clark


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