Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thank You Note Poetry

As we all know, it’s polite to write thank you notes to everyone who sends you a gift. We also know that they’re a total pain in the ass! It’s not that I’m not grateful for the gifts; it’s just that I can’t think of anything to say.

You see, a typical thank you note has the following format:

Sentence 1: Greeting
Sentence 2: Mention gift
Sentence 3: Anecdote, preferably about gift
Sentence 4: Closing

My problem is with sentence three. Just how many anecdotes can you invent about something you just got? I used to agonize about this issue for hours. If you could have listened in to my thoughts when I was writing one of these notes, you would have heard something like this:

Okay, here goes.
Dear Auntie Muriel. Thank you so should I say “so” ah, why not? Thank you so much for the check for $100.
I used “for” twice in a sentence. Hm.
Thank you so much for sending the $100 check. Should I spell out “one hundred dollars?” Ah, never mind.
I plan on spending it to—
Er. I’m going to put it in the bank. I ALWAYS put it in the bank. I just can’t SAY I’m going to put it in the bank. What would I do with the money if I didn’t put it in the bank? Erm. Uh. Shoot. Food? Clothes? Stupid parents pay for everything! Maybe I’d pay someone to write these stupid thank you notes. Comic books? Nah, Iron Man stopped drinking again and it got boring. Toys? Too stupid. Video Games? Too expensive. AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Dear Muriel, I hope you die for sending me a present. I hope I never have to see you again.
If you ever send me another present I’m going to rip out your throat and sell it to a flautist to clean his instruments with!
Oh, shoot, I actually wrote that down. Now I have to get a new card.

On my last birthday I figured out a way of writing thank you notes much more easily. I write them in poetry. Four lines of verse are infinitely easier to write than the normal way. With poetry, my letter would have ended up like this:

Thank you Auntie Muriel,
For the lovely bank note.
It makes me sad to think about,
That time I tore out your throat.

See, much easier!

So, go ahead, write your thank you notes in rhyming couplets, blank verse, iambic tetraphlagamatere (I don’t remember poetic forms; I played D&D in high school), or whatever. Your family will thank you.

Hopefully, they won’t do it with a note.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More fun with Freecycle

I am trying to get rid of my old TV. Since my rebar post was so popular (all both of you read it) I decided to go the same route with my television.

20” RCA ColorTrak television NOT HAUNTED

A long time ago, I received an old television set from my grandparents. It was small and got poor reception but it was all I needed as a grad student. Then, one night, I woke up to see the television flashing at me and making a “Bermp, bermp, bermp” noise. Turning it off didn’t stop the “bermping.” It was only when I finally unplugged the television that it stopped, for a while. The “bermping events” happened several times over the years and I eventually reached the only logical conclusion: the television was haunted. Of course, the only people who had owned the television before me were still alive, so maybe it was aliens instead of ghosts. Or it had indigestion. Ooh! Maybe mermaids were warning me about the melting icecaps!

In any case, this isn’t that television.

This is a large stereo television I got at an estate auction. It was owned by people who lived in the middle of nowhere in Illinois. I actually bid on a smaller television but lost to an aggressive bidder. Then I bid on this one and got it easily. I think the guy who was stuck with the smaller television probably felt like an idiot. It’s one of my more fond memories.

In spite of the fact I got this television from a dead couple, it isn’t haunted. It never “bermped” or dragged my children into a nether world, or caused me any trouble. Well, it is poorly balanced and hard for one person to carry, but I doubt that has any supernatural cause. In any case, it works fine, but it isn’t compatible with the new digital standard, so I would like to find it a good home. I get emotional about my television that way.

Your television. Sorry. I get emotional about YOUR television. Your television that used to be my television.