Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Letters of Apology I Probably Should Have Written a Long Time Ago

As my first post on this future money making empire, I would like to clear the air with some people I may have wronged in the past.

Throughout the course of our lives we all have experiences we look back on not so fondly, whether at home, in the workplace, or even in our personal lives. Too often, we simply let these slide by, realizing we screwed up, but not taking to time to either admit or apologize for it. So, much like an alcoholic in a 12 step program, I will try, in my own way, to make amends for instances in my life of which I am not very proud.

Dear Sir or Madam who lives at the corner of McDowell and Fontaine,

Hello, how are you doing? You probably do not know me, but I live a few blocks up from you at the corner of Catalpa and Fontaine. I think you may be surprised to find we actually have something in common, our interest in politics. No matter the time or election, we both like to show our support for our particular candidate by placing signs in our front yards. The difference, however, is I am a Democrat, and you are a Republican. You probably think I am some sort of communist who hates America and wants to ban God from our schools. I am not. I am simply the guy who peed on your “Bush/Cheney” sign during the latter part of summer in 2004.
Now, most of the time, I am all for everyone freely expressing his or her own opinion. I am one of those “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” kind of people. But, at 1:20 AM as I was walking back from an evening out, I could not help but show my displeasure for your choice in the Mayoral race by urinating on Bush’s sign. To be honest, it felt good, both physically and philosophically, but looking back I realize it was, possibly, a tad immature. You will be glad to know that since that night, I have resisted the urge to show my displeasure for your choice in candidates in this way. Although, I did bet my friend Dave $20 that he would not take a dump on your sign. You will be happy to know, he turned down the offer.

Yours truly,

Your relieved nieghbor

Dear Sir or Madam who lives on my street with the decorative Christmas front yard,

First off, I would like to thank you for the Christmas spirit you bring to our little street. Considering the number of “rentals” that live on the even side can be lax in the holiday spirit, it is nice to see the “owners” on the odd side pull more than their full share. The lights, the inflatable snowman, and the wooden reindeer leave no one in doubt that whoever lives at this house LOVES CHRISTMAS.
Before I continue with my apology, I have a quick question. What do you find funny? Are you a Woody Allen type with a sophisticated wit? Or maybe a crude/juvenile/fart joke type? Me, I am a little of both, but later in the night, I tend to lean toward the crude/juvenile/fart joke side. That is why I would like to apologize for placing your reindeer in what should probably be called a “compromising position”, but is more commonly referred to as “humping each other”.
Although I feel bad, you have to admit, that is kind of funny. Even now, thinking back on that night, I am laughing to myself. In fact, when I left my house the next morning to drive a friend home, they were still “going at it” so to speak and I had to pull the car over we were laughing so hard.
I understand you take Christmas very seriously and I am sorry I mocked your efforts to bring the spirit of Christmas to our street. But, look at it this way, it could have been worse, for instance, simply ask the lady with the Republican street signs that lives at the corner of McDowell and Fontaine.

Yours truly,

Your Christmas loving, but not as much as you, neighbor

Dear girl I did not call back, after I told you I would call back,

This is actually a two part apology, consisting of not calling you back and also my reaction upon the next time we saw each other. For the first part, to be honest, I try to carefully watch what I say in these situations. Being an English teacher and having several friends who are lawyers, I know the power of phrasing. You may have thought I said, “I’ll give you a call”, but it is more likely I said, “I’ll give you a call, sometime or later”. You see, “sometime” and “later” are the key words in this phrase. Those words are loopholes, giving me an infinite amount of time to call you. In fact, I could be calling you right now. But, I’m not. Anyway, the point is that I did not want to go out with you again, and this seemed like the easiest way to do it. Is it the most considerate? Not really, but then again, I don’t want to go out with you, so why should I worry about being considerate? To me, it is the best of both worlds, we don’t see each other again, and I am able to avoid what could be a messy confrontation. And to answer your question, yes this has happened to me before, but I didn’t sit around and cry about it, call someone’s house repeatedly and hang up, or bad mouth them to my friends. I simply filled up my time with political statements and Christmas decoration.
Now the second part of the apology is for those instances when we do see each other again, at a bar, restaurant, or a faculty meeting at work. You might think this would be awkward for me, but it actually is not. The conversation usually goes something like this…
You: “hey”
Me: “hey, how are you” (surprised)
You: “So why didn’t you ever call me back”
Me: “I did. You didn’t call me back”

Do you see what I did here? Pretty underhanded, but you would be surprised at its effectiveness. The conversation will go back and forth until you walk away, either doubting yourself and re-thinking the nasty things you said about me or calling me an asshole. Either way, we are not going out again, which is the important thing.
For both of these, I am sorry. And, for the record, you didn’t call me back, so quit whining about it.

Yours truly,

The guy who YOU didn’t call back (See I did it again!)

Dear diner at Ruby Tuesday’s,

Wow! It has been awhile since I worked Ruby Tuesday’s, and probably longer since you ate there. But I’m sure you remember the moderately priced chicken fingers you enjoyed in our friendly and casual dining atmosphere.
Before I continue, let me ask, have you ever worked in a restaurant before? If you haven’t I heartily recommend it. I think everyone should wait tables at least once in their lives so they understand what it is like for the server. If we all did this, tips would be much higher. Also, you would understand certain “rule” we in the food service industry live by. Actually, they are more like “guidelines”, but I think you will get the idea. For instance, if we forget to ring up something (like a bowl of soup) or screw up a special order (like leaving off tomatoes) we will simply blame it on the kitchen. If you have ever yelled “I said no tomatoes!” or “This isn’t medium rare!” at your server their response was probably as follows. 1. Look shocked and surprised 2. Segue into frustration and finally 3. Look knowingly at the customer and assure them that you punched it in right, but the kitchen must have screwed it up. This usually works, and the kitchen people are most often none the wiser.
Another little guideline we have is the “5 second” rule, although depending upon the evening it can be extended to the “7” or at the extreme “10 second rule”. The way this works is if I drop a piece of food on the floor, for example chicken fingers, and I can pick it up and place it back on your plate under the 5, 7, or 10 second time limit, than the food is OK. I am not sure what sort of magic or science goes into this, but it is a well established rule existing at restaurants all over. Although I cannot be positive, I would imagine a certain amount of scientific research went into this rule’s creation.
At this point, you may be wondering which of these rules pertain to you and your dining experience. Well, I am happy to tell you it was the “5 second” rule. You may be pleased to know that on the night in question, although we were operating under the “7 second” rule, I had those chicken fingers back on your plate in 4.2, 4.5 seconds tops. And yes “fingers” does mean more than one, but you probably do not want me to bore you with details.
Suffice to say, I would have mentioned something sooner, but I have been busy doing my part to hold down the Republican Party, creating Christmas pornography and avoiding girls who may or may not be your daughter.

Yours truly,

A man who no longer has to wait on tables

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