The Internet is a bad thing. A very, very bad thing.
Since the advent of email communication the opportunity to make a fool of yourself, has now expanded to a global scale.
Case in point: I was reading a national magazine recently and came upon a story that demanded my rebuttal. It was late when I found the article, later when I read it, and later still when I was inspired to compose my opus.
I searched for the email address of the editor to send this epistle as rapidly as possible, lest delay defuse its impact. With dreams of literary glory clouding my vision, and lack of sleep addling my brain, I began my immortal composition.
I poured out my soul while envisioning my acceptance letter for the job offer that was sure to follow after they received my heartfelt sonnet. I painstakingly searched for just the right words to state my case and then read and reread the finished product. I smiled to myself as I contemplated my forthcoming Pulitzer, and considered nudging my husband awake so that he could help me start planning where to put the vacation home we would purchase with the prize money.
With one last perusal, I confidently clicked “send” and fell into a satisfied but exhausted sleep, dreams of glory and book-tours to come, floating brightly behind my eyes. I happily woke early the following day, the Scarlet O’Hara "morning after" smile playing across my lips, and eagerly grabbed my laptop, prepared to impress and regale my hubby with the wonderful thing I did the night before whilst he slept innocently and unproductively on.
I opened my email and searched through the “sent mail” folder to locate the letter. I proudly, (but with suitable modesty and humility), began my reading, all the while readying myself to graciously accept the compliments that were sure to be forthcoming.
Things started off well enough and I had every expectation that they would continue in a similar vein when I came upon this sentence: “I am guessing that their people weren't in such great shape either after what they had been through either.” Well, I reasoned, it wasn’t Shakespeare but it basically made sense and I was certain that the overall beauty of the words and elegance of the prose would carry me through. (Maybe we would have to be looking at a beach condo and not a Malibu compound but still…)
As the gentle smile that had played across my husband’s face when the reading began slowly developed into a full blown grin, I mistook his look for encouragement and gamely continued. I was reasonably certain that my faux pas was virtually unnoticed and unnoticeable, when I encountered this literary gem: “Were they be hero's for caring for these animals in their time of need. Absolutely!”
The explosive laughter which greeted this turn of phrase was my first clue, albeit a large one, that all was not nearly as well with this product of my creative loins as I had assumed. The 57 word (yes, you read that right, fifty-seven) sentence that followed was truly the icing on the cake, the cherry on the sundae and possibly the final nail in my coffin where this publication was concerned.
I began to envision what was happening somewhere in New York where some hapless soul was about to read this gem of a letter, this pearl of wisdom, this carefully crafted catastrophe. First they would scan the letter for content and then would stumble not once, not twice but repeatedly and with considerable force upon my written roadblocks.
I feel fairly certain that somewhere in some far-flung cubicle, there printed out for all to see and admire is the phrase “Were they be hero's” along with the notation to never read another letter sent by this person and furthermore, if they have a subscription to the magazine that it should be canceled. I am henceforth planning to have my friends mule copies to me lest they have also banned my reading it.
Much like the alcoholic who vows never to drink again after a particularly bad hangover, I have vowed never to write another letter to anyone after midnight. Failing that, I will at least not send it until the clear light of morning falls upon my screen.
I have decided that it is all the Internet’s fault. Easy access to information and readily accessible addresses with almost instantaneous delivery is to blame. Surely it can’t be me.
Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!