"Were They Be Hero's"... An Internet Cautionary Tale...

Real Estate Agent with I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group

Hi All,

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!


Comments (14)

Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Tisza:  Sometimes it might be a better idea to let an email sit for awhile... perhaps even over night, and then re-read it before you click send.  I have had that happen several times... and I have been glad I did.  Thanks for sharing.

Aug 12, 2008 06:34 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi Karen,

Yep, that would have been a good idea, but then I would never have been inspired to write this and what fun would that have been? :-)

Take care, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Aug 12, 2008 06:37 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Tisza, I am definitely it the let-it-sit-over-night camp (except of course for this reply:)  I am always amazed at what I see in the AM that eluded me in the PM.  Of course when I write something in the Am and wait till the next AM----the same dang thing happens----go figure.

Aug 12, 2008 07:17 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi Charles,

I think I still kind of go with "Why put off till tomorrow what you can REALLY screw up today".  Thanks for stopping by & take care,


Aug 12, 2008 07:49 PM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

Tisza, I really had to laugh at this post.  My husband reads what I post and of course many times there are typos or words left out... aargh.  However, I am in good company since I often notice the same thing on the posts of others.

Aug 12, 2008 11:44 PM
Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV

This is too cute Tisza.  This late night blogging/e-mail writing has got to stop...it's going to make us look like English/Grammar nitwits.  It's bad enough to miss one or two mistakes....which I usually do when I don't read over a dozen or more times!

Aug 13, 2008 01:38 AM
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTORĀ®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

LMAO Tisza! This is my ultimate nightmare and I admit it - this has happened to me far too many times. I blame it on Draft mode, and the fact that my computer (and my phone!) are the snarky Hal9000's in my life nefariously re-writing my carefully concocted "sonnets" :)

I had a writing professor tell me that composing is merely foreplay while editing is the Big O! He's oh so on to something there.

Aug 13, 2008 06:07 AM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Shirley - Glad you enjoyed it.  It is somewhat comforting to see that my errant fingers and fumbling brain are in good company as well.

Mary - I agree.  Of course it is kind of sad to realize that I have sacrificed the advantage of the written word - the ability to edit ones thoughts before someone else actually hears them by doing in print what I do in life - run off at the fingers whilst sometimes having to choke down not just my foot but my entire leg as well.

Jennifer - Hysterical response and I think your writing professor is right, which does explain why I always want a cigarette (and I don't even smoke :-) after crafting, editing and posting my missives.

Take care, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Aug 13, 2008 10:41 AM
Inna Hardison
ha media group - Orlando, FL
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group

Tisza, I am sorry to say I laughed my butt off reading this exceedingly well-crafted post. I guess we've all been on either side of this fence, but just to imagine the type of letter an editor could draft to someone like you (or me) burning the midnight oil...

Thank you for the laugh and a scare!

BTW: - you are a fantastic writer... I would hire you in a heartbeat if I was still working as an editor, typos and other late night mishaps and all.

Aug 13, 2008 11:47 AM
Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

Oh Tisza, you are precious for sharing this mortifying story!  We have all hit "send" and wish we hadn't, but you make a great point about not writing after midnight. And I know that you were not chemically altered...unless Diet Coke can somehow be blamed. But truth is, you write very well and obviously, if this could happen to you, we are all deeply at risk.

I will vow to not hit "send" on any email with any significance after midnight either....

Aug 13, 2008 03:30 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Inna - I am glad you had fun reading this and appreciate the compliment.  If you know anyone who would like to hire me to write, feel free to put me in touch. 

Mary - Fortunately, I was and am still able to see the ultimate humor in the situation and in my family we really do live by the credo "It's All OK As Long As Its Funny".  Glad to see you here and congrats on getting featured!

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Aug 13, 2008 05:41 PM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I sure know that one. My most famous trick is deciding to write something, being in outlook, then compsing from another Email. I put the new address, someone else, in the top window, and off it goes. Then I realize I left in the tail of the previous Email from someone else. That can get you kind of red in the face too. When I write late at night, I trust spell check and it often tricks me.

Aug 21, 2008 09:29 AM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

"Were they be hero's" they wouldn't be "compsing" from another e-mail.

I'd bet we'd all like to see that fifty-seven word sentence.  I know I would.

Just for giggles and grins.

I'd be happy to share some of mine but they were so embarassing the ions they disturbed were sent off into space, never to be seen again.

Aug 22, 2008 03:05 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Steven - Sorry for the delay in responding.  Unfortunately, I can relate to that too.  Or, how about this one, you write something more intended to be a rant than a post and accidentally make it public - whoops!  Unfortunately, been there and done that, but no t-shirt... yet :-)

Erby - I will try to find the original letter that inspired this post.  I've switched computers since then and it may or may not have been preserved for posterity.  But, fear not, I am sure that there are more whopping long sentances where that one came from!

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!



Aug 22, 2008 08:01 PM