A while back, I solicited letters of love, hate, and the thin line in betwixt from all of you, in the hope that one day I would be able to use the phrase "my mailbag." Well, that day has arrived! I can now proudly say that my mailbag exists! And not only that, but my mailbag rivals both People's mailbag and Interview's mailbag in terms of randomness and colorfulness of crazies (though not in terms of Taylor Hicks passion, and Old Hollywood enthusiasm–thank God). So, since I now have justification for using the phrase "my mailbag," I've decided to reach into my mailbag (this really shouldn't be this much fun to say) and answer a few pressing reader emails for all to enjoy/contemplate with a mixture of revulsion and pity:
Amelie, your words are so "perty." Does this type of language endear me to you? Do you think you might want to go on a blog-date with me sometime? My blog or yours? I can turn the privacy feature on….
—Mysterious creep who can't even use his real name
Dear Mysterious Creep, Hang on a second, I need to pick the shards of glass out of my hand after falling down inside your super shiny house of meta mirrors. Ok. There we go. I'm fine now. Anyway, it's not often that I encounter a perfect stranger who is making fun of me and himself and his intentions so much that I get dizzy from rolling my eyes so many times and fall down, hitting my head on meta blog jokes. I guess what I'm saying is: I'm confused. Congratulations! Also, no.
One of the more liberal sites I've stumbled on…what a joke you are! You need to rat on Ann Coulter, one of the most intelligent, opinionated and passionate FEMALE of our immediate time…I just agree with one thing: I'm a "HATER" too…of YOU!
Dear Amanda, Consider ME told. You know, I never really thought about it before reading your email, but I really shouldn't be making fun of intelligent, opinionated and passionate FEMALE in our immediate time. Males, sure. Those flighty lowercase females, absolutely. But FEMALE in our immediate time? Not any more. After all, what am I except a FEMALE in our immediate time, you know? From now on, I'm going to concentrate my efforts on making fun of smart, expressive and talkative LADIES in our far away past, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Gracie Allen. (Jesus, do they have it coming.) Thanks for the sound editorial guidance. By the way, since I didn't turn state's evidence on her, or tell the police where she buried a body, or place a rodent on her person, I didn't "rat on" Ann Coulter. I "ragged on" her. It's just a few different letters, but a world of difference in meaning. Sometimes a point can be artfully communicated or completely lost based on the most subtle changes…but I don't need to tell YOU that…
I have come to hate the phrase "Do you know what I mean?" I work as a closed captioner for a major TV network. I have realized that the phrase "Do you know what I mean?" has been adopted specifically by the hip-hop culture more as punctuation, like a comma, than an actual sentence meaning anything.
In one specific incident I can recall, I was transcribing an interview with Ice Cube, and he said "Do you know what I mean?" 13 times in less than 1 minute. I counted them up since I didn't think it possible. Granted the Trailer Park Boys made fun of this phenomena a while back, but I felt like I needed to vent.
Dear Bond245, Glad I could help. And I'm even more glad that you resisted the impulse to end your email with "Do you know what I mean?" But you're probably sick of typing it. In fact, you're probably sick of typing anything in general. If I worked as a closed-captioner, I wouldn't go near a keyboard or a computer unless someone was paying me. Also, I would constantly tell everyone I meet alarmingly accurate statistics about the speech patterns of celebrities: "Ice Cube once said 'Do you know what I mean?' 13 times in one minute." "Christina Aguilera said "uh" 28 times in 30 seconds." "That's cute," has been said on The Hills 1522 times to date." Anyway, that's just what I would do. I just felt like I needed to vent. I know you know what I mean. (Want to help my mailbag? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)