Sometimes you just gotta mail it in …

You know what’s fun about being a writer? Fan mail.

At least, that’s what they tell me, since I’ve never actually received any fan mail myself. (A dubious record such as this sort of makes me the Hue Jackson of writing, does it not?) If you consider the notion that up to now, I’ve had to settle for profanity-laced tirades aimed at eroding the few shreds of dignity that still comprise my ego, I am pretty much a Hue Jackson clone, no?

But what the hey, at least I can say that because of those expletive-laden “suggestions,” I’ve added a number of new words (most of which cannot, since this is a family publication, be repeated here) to my vocabulary, right?   

Besides, I remember a radio shrink a few years back saying something to the effect of, “It’s not good to be hated, but it’s better to be hated than ignored.”

I try to keep those words in mind every time a reader tells me what to do with my pen – and believe you me, the suggestions are often painful (painful to read, but even much more painful to implement). Maybe I need to embrace the criticism rather than try to avoid it. Or maybe I just need to find a different radio station. 

I had one person write and tell me (anonymously) that my sports columns were actually ruining sports for them, and that I should try writing in another genre – and while I was at it, preferably doing it in another city.

The viciousness of such a harsh appraisal hit me like a stiff uppercut to the solar plexus, so I sought out the advice of a close relative on how to deal with a hater like that.

Didn’t I feel silly when I found out the advice was submitted by the same anonymous close relative, whose name I shall not reveal as it would be folly for me to stoop to that level. Besides, she says that if I “try anything stupid” she’ll divorce me. 

Hey, that makes me wonder … If I were to write 24 lousy columns in a row, would the Observer throw a “perfect season” party for me? Would Westlake/Bay Village residents line the streets 6 or 7 deep to celebrate my ineptitude – the likes of which they may not see again in their lifetimes? They just might, so I think I’ll give it a shot. 

After all, I do have momentum on my side.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 9:55 AM, 07.17.2018