Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond
Send your nonfictional open letters to email@example.com.
An Open Letter to the Guy Waiting in the Corner of This Comic Book Shop.
Listen, I know you won’t speak to me but just come over here and let me bend your waxy ear for just a second. Don’t wait for my colleague to come back from lunch so you can ask him about that Green Lantern comic. I work here too. I know I’ve got two tits and Lord knows what else but I understand comics too. I can name the capabilities of each differently hued power ring. I’ve got my indigo ring on, I know compassion. Let me help you.
Ask me. I’m just sitting here saying these words to you in my head, gazing at your dandruff over the backissue bins. You know, comic book guy in the corner, it’s sexist to think I won’t know the answer to your questions about the motivation of relatively minor characters in Transformers, but hey: I am being totally judgmental about you here too, so that is fine.
Don’t be proud of the fact that I remember your name. I know everybody’s name, dude. I have to type it into our computer system, which you may have noticed works on DOS. I have to type your name in, plug in your terrible order, and when I’m done I have to type E-X-I-T. Time moves slow here in the past. I’ve got lots of time to think about things, which is why I want to help you. Yes, you in The Walking Dead T-shirt. Shamble over here a minute, would you?
I’m referring specifically to that one time you inexplicably came in with that unbelievably acceptable girl and you just stood there at the counter saying nothing, just waiting while practically glowing like Dr. Manhattan with sheer ridiculous pride that the girl (this girl) in the comic shop knows your name. I tried to help you that time by “not knowing” your name. Remember? I wanted to give your impressively human possible-girlfriend who we never saw again the impression that you’re not here at opening time every Wednesday morning, that you don’t spend your entire Saturday here in the basement over there in that corner. Please let me help you get laid. Have you ever seen Ghost World? Let me be your Enid, Seymour. Let me be your Enid.
Oh, hey. Wait. I know they end up doing it at the end of that movie but let’s just back it up a second. That ain’t gonna happen: you like Rob Liefeld, I like Chris Ware. That’s just the way the shit splatters. It would never work, but what I’m trying to say is: use me. I am literally paid to be nice to you. I am like your free conversation prostitute. You’re wasting this opportunity, here. Try out your new material! Hit me with some lines, man! Get used to saying them to a face that is not your own in the mirror.
I’m here to help. I know you paid $54.43 on eBay for that blue ring you’re wearing there. It won’t work unless you have hope.
Call me. At work. I’d get fired if I did not answer.
— Hayley Campbell
SUGGESTED READSList: Real Notes Scribbled In Books Still On The Shelves At Borders Books and Music
by Bob Sassone (2/23/2000)
List: Things Customers Have Said after Asking Me Where All the Oprah Books Are Located and I Point over Their Shoulder, Saying, “Six o’ Clock.”
by Evan Robb (9/3/2001)
Issue No. 3: Update, Details, Excuses
by McSweeney's Editors (8/25/1999)
RECENTLYThe Pagan Origins of Valentine’s Day
by Kathryn Doyle (2/12/2016)
List: Some (More) Things That are Worse Than Being Alone on Valentine’s Day
by Ali Garfinkel (2/12/2016)
Inside Witnesses: One Crime’s Many Narratives: Chris Loses Kevin Outside
by Marti Jonjak (2/12/2016)
POPULARJamie and Jeff’s Note to the Babysitter
by Paul William Davies (1/13/2016)
List: Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face
by Susan Harlan (1/25/2016)
Eight Excuses I Have Told My Son to Use for His Failure to Hand in English Homework, Excuses I Have Learned are Acceptable During a Thirty-Year Career in Journalism, Books, and Film
by Nick Hornby (2/5/2016)