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More Angry Letters from a Crabby Old Man

Just because I’m retired, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a busy life.

In addition to blogging about damned young people I’m also an active member of the Pleasantville train spotting association, alternate bingo caller at the local seniors centre and write a minimum of one angry letter a week.

The letter writing is particularly important. I view it as my civic responsibility to voice my concerns whenever I see an affront to decency or common sense.

Below is my roster for the upcoming month:

Letter to all of my Facebook Friends

Asking why the hell everyone is always carping about privacy settings and carrying on as though they’re the keeper of the nation’s nuclear launch codes and Mark Zuckerburg is some form of KGB master spy.

Call me naïve but it seems odd to me that people who have no compunction about posting updates about their battle with constipation or photos of themselves in ill-fitting swimwear are somehow worried about the potential wide-spread distribution of their email address or home phone number. Frankly, you’d think they’d like the additional attention.

Trust me, most people feel they know too much about you already. If you really want privacy go home, dim the lights, pull your blinds and unplug your damned computer.

Letter to Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General

Clearly articulating my concerns regarding assisted suicide. Oh sure, on the surface it may sound like a reasonable idea but it seems to me that some people are a little too enthusiastic about the “assisting” part – especially as it relates to us seniors.

I don’t want to go to the Doctor for a mole check and end up being encouraged to take a flu “plus” shot just so he can thin out the crowd in his waiting room and make his 1 p.m. tee time. Likewise, I don’t want my greedy nephews thrusting a vial of cyanide pills under my nose every time my impetigo acts up.

This is a dangerous game and if we’re not careful it won’t take long before family are treating old people like household pets and having them put down as soon as they get cataracts, lose their appetite or soil the front hall carpet.

Letter to Cooper Toogood, Editor, Pleasantville Weekly Chronicle

This will be a wide-ranging tirade on everything from their ever-shrinking fonts to the tasteless placement of the obituaries in the “lifestyle” section to the meaningless trash that they try to pass off as news these days. Articles advising me that wallpapering my headboard will revitalize my stagnant bedroom have about as much in common with real news as Anderson Cooper does.

It’s high time they cut out all the damned fluffy bumph and returned to hardboiled investigative reporting of dockyard corruption written by whiskey-swilling reporters with decent names like Scoop Henderson.

(I’ll also be pitching my Abigail Van Buren style advice column entitled “Dear CrAbby” but given my laundry list of complaints I’m not expecting a favourable reply.)

Letter to John G. Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

On the issue of abortion. I know it’s a thorny subject but in my view it’s time to put this discussion to rest and start focusing our jurisprudence on more important senior’s issues. Besides, anyone with a lick of sense knows life really begins at 70.

Since the country is pretty damned split on the issue the obvious solution is to consider abortion an acceptable medical procedure from Monday morning ‘til noon Thursday and a morally outrageous crime against nature from noon Thursday through to Sunday midnight. It’s perfect – nobody gets what they want and everybody gets partially pandered to. It’s an ineffectual compromise; the cornerstone of any good democracy.

(As an added bonus, those with an interest in haranguing young people can still do so; they’ll just need to shift their focus on beating teenagers over the head with placards when they’re contemplating fornication – not when they’re trying to address the unwanted fall-out.)

Letter to Mayoral Candidate Roland “Rolly” Forster

I’ll be wishing him well in the upcoming election but recommending that he tone down his rhetoric on global economic reform, climate change and foreign policy and try to remember that he’s running for small town mayor. He may wish to remind himself that his sphere of influence is largely limited to choosing the prize pig at the Fall Fair and determining whether or not the library will get a new book this year.

However, if he is serious about snagging the coveted seniors vote I’ll suggest he forget posturing about the debt ceiling and look into implementing some tough new teen curfew laws, introducing mandatory drug testing in high schools and consider bringing back police brutality.

Letter to the Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary

I will be respectfully suggesting that if they intend to continue adding moronic words like “muffintop”, “LoL” and “OMG” to their once respectable tome, they free up some room by removing existing words such as “credible”, “meaningful” and “scholarly.”

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53 Comments leave one →
  1. 11:44 pm

    Here is my take on assisted suicide: If someone isn’t smart enough to commit suicide, then they should stay alive until they figure it out by themselves. I am tired of living in a society that rewards stupid people.

    • 11:58 pm

      Many thanks Ahmnodt,

      In my estimation, that’s a damned sensible point of view. If folks aren’t able to off themself, they can at least kill time while they figure out the mechanics behind the process. Very sensible indeed.

      All the best and many thanks for sharing.

      Don

    • 7:56 am

      Rock on Dude. I love your comment.

    • 8:03 am

      But than again it is survival of the fittest. If some one is too stupid to off themselves, may be it would be doing the world a favour by doing it for them.

  2. 11:53 pm

    Since you are in communication with the Surgeon General, a Supreme Court Justice, and a potential mayor, you may want to find out their stands on a nice warm cup of tea and a comfortable sweater. If they can’t tell you their virtues they don’t deserve to be in public office.

    • 12:08 am

      Thank you bmj2k,

      Not to worry on that front. I have an entire questionnaire I send to potential political candidates (regardless of whether they are local, state or federal).

      It addresses the issue of sweaters on pages 34-37 and beverage consumption is covered under appendix B (which also includes a summary of their views on hairstyles, rock and roll music, polygamy, cryogenics, comic books, the designated hitter rule, Ben Matlock, catalytic convertors, lists, animal husbandry, dream interpretation and corn.)

      Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Don

  3. 12:12 am

    I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, I’ve said it a dozen times before, a literary agent will snap you up soon. I’m tempted to abandon my writing career and become one myself just to represent you. But I know by that time an agent will have already whisked you away. And I’m already angry over it.

    Since it is unlikely that I will be benefitting financially over your impending runaway bestseller, I just ask that you remember who loved you and believed in you, because this is the best damn post ever.

    • 7:21 pm

      Thank you very much, Tricia.

      Sadly, the only people who seem intent on snapping me up are the sales reps from the local funeral homes. I seem to be getting inundated with all manner of literature, phone calls and 2 for 1 discount coupons. I keep looking to see if there are vultures circling my house.

      As for remembering you – I don’t think there’s any danger of my forgetting. I’m still intent on getting you a decent set of fridge magnets (I finally found a decent printer). I make no guarantees however. My memory is a bit uneven. Just this morning I locked my keys in the trunk of my car, then forgot where I had parked my car and finally, when on the phone with the tow truck people, forgot my damned licence plate number. At least I remembered what town I was in.

      Thanks very much for the kind words, Tricia. I really do appreciate it.

      All the best,

      Don

  4. 12:27 am

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, said time and time again…(true non the less) Where can I pick up some of those nifty Donald Mills stamps?

    • 7:24 pm

      Thank you Peter.

      I’m still in discussion with the postal service. And by discussion, I suppose I really mean I’m sending them letters lobbying to have the stamps mass produced and they’re asking me to shut the hell up and go away.

      I’ll wear them down in time though…I always do.

      All the best,

      • Sedate Me permalink
        1:36 pm

        Sir, as much as I like the stamp of you, I was under the impression you had to be dead (or the Queen) to have a stamp made of you.

        Don’t tempt fate, sir.

  5. 1:06 am

    Hello Mr. Mills,

    I’ve added your bog to my blogroll and emailed a link to your blog to all the people I like enough to bother with.

    • 7:25 pm

      Thank you elroyjones.

      I appreciate your adding me to your blogroll and harrassing others on my behalf. Very kind of you.

      Warm regards,

      Don

  6. 11:23 am

    Perhaps the OED should go so far as to eliminate “English.”

    Fun posting. Thank!

    • 7:27 pm

      Thank you Elyse,

      I may just suggest that to them in my next letter. I’m quite sure, based on history, that this won’t be the last time I have cause to bend their ears.

      All the best,

      Don

  7. 11:57 am

    Very funny. I remember my Dad writing a letter to the Webster dictionary company when he was retired, detailing the mistakes they’d made and commenting on the unfortunate tail placement in the illustration of an Italian Greyhound. I think you and he would have been friends. Love your blog!!

    • 7:29 pm

      Thank you very much Heidi,

      He certainly sounds like my kind of man. I consider letter writing to be one of the real perks of retirement.

      Many thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  8. 12:11 pm

    You have a gift. Tricia is right. This your best post yet!

    • 7:31 pm

      Thank you Wendy.

      Very kind of you to say. I just hope the gift isn’t another “World’s Greatest Grampa” coffee mug. They have almost no resale value and are exceedingly difficult unload on other relatives at Christmas.

      All the best,

      Don

  9. 12:16 pm

    While I appreciate your civic involvement, please be careful or Mark Zuckerberg will no doubt send the Facebook SWAT team after you.

    • 12:27 am

      Thank you bigsheepcommunications.

      I’m not sure I find the notion of a Facebook SWAT team terribly intimidating. For some reason, I just picture a handful of acne-clad, mop-haired pencil necks in skinny jeans and turtlenecks banging on my door with their smart phones drawn.

      Still, I will try to be careful. It may not be intimidating but it would still be as annoying as hell.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        5:29 pm

        I am REALLY trying to avoid posting a 10,000 word rant on Loserbook here, sir. (I’ve started down that nasty road with a smart-but-severely-delusional acquaintance we have in common once before.)

        However, I must point out that Zuckerberg has already set up the single biggest, for-profit, spy agency in the history of the world. He has hundreds of millions of volunteer spies collecting intelligence of the deepest level on everyone they possibly can, especially themselves. The East German Stasi would have done anything for mere a fraction of Zuckerberg’s espionage successes. So, with that clout, it isn’t much of a leap to think he has a “blacker-ops” division as well, perhaps including a team of assassins.

        But don’t confuse them for the kind of losers you would find on Loserbook. Sure, most of them will defend any abuse Zuckerberg can fathom and come back begging for more. They are as annoying as hell, but not very dangerous. However, because corporations are so eager to pay big bucks for the “trivial” information he collects, Zuckerberg can easily afford to retain a full-time squad of the best killers in the business. Certainly, his ego is certainly big enough to rationalize any action he can think of.

        Do be careful, sir. This clueless generation needs your guidance.

  10. misswhiplash permalink
    12:54 pm

    Gosh Man, if only you were President..maybe then things would get moving.
    But if you really do not want to be President of USA then come to England and be prime Minister cos the one there at the moment is making a real jack ass of himself and bringing the country to ruin.

    Start the campaign DON FOR PRESIDENT !!!

    • 12:38 am

      Thank you misswhipliash,

      I appreciate the thought but I’ve just signed for another 2-year term as alternate bingo caller and wouldn’t want to leave my senior brethren in the lurch.

      Always a pleasure to have you stop in.

      All the best.

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      5:34 pm

      Besides, Canada has dibs on him should he not be interested in the US job. (I called it.)

  11. 1:32 pm

    Don,

    I read a lot of blogs, and I try to concentrate on ones that are both thought provoking and humorous. If I don’t get a little humor to mitigate the provoking, my blood pressure spikes. Yours is the only one I read that consistently makes me wish that I had written it myself. This one is a fine example. I especially like the entry about the local mayoral candidate who thinks he needs to weigh in on big issues like the debt ceiling and climate change. Nice work.

    • 12:39 am

      Thank you Jonah,

      Very kind of you to say. I appreciate that a great deal, lad.

      Best regards,

      Don

  12. desertman permalink
    12:43 am

    why is it yiou do not date your web? Or have you forgotten the date and the ECF (extended care facility) staff will not humor you?

    You could have died and I would be reading deadmans stuff.

    • 2:01 pm

      Don writes better dead than 97.8% of bloggers do alive and kicking.

      • 12:56 am

        Thank you pegoleg….

        I like to think that I do more dead than most people do by noon.

        All the best,

        Don

    • 12:52 am

      Thanks for the question, desertman.

      It’s a shame you didn’t leave this comment earlier. I could have used it as an example of what I had in mind when I pitched my “Dear CrAbby” column. Could have been a damned pithy exchange on the subjects of time, respect for one’s elders and the conventions of humor in an institutional setting.

      But since I mailed that letter yesterday (whenever that was) I’ll give you the short version.

      I took the dates out because I didn’t feel like they added anything. But, you can still see the date of publication in the web address line thing in you’re interested. Just look up.

      All the best and keep the questions coming. But keep them clean. I may be pitching again to Teen Beat in the fall.

      Don

  13. 4:54 pm

    It bugs that crap out of me when people think that using Facebook will reveal deep, deep secrets about them. Nobody cares and Facebook only knows what one allows it to know.

    • 12:55 am

      Thank you Scholar Mel.

      I fully agree. And based on what I’ve seen – I can’t imagine there would be a much of a market for those secrets anyway.

      Nice of you to stop in. I trust you’re well.

      Best,

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        5:48 pm

        I’m very sorry to say that you are wrong, sir. (Bronze this post, Mr Mills, because it’s that rare.) Zuckerberg didn’t get this rich by offering up secrets corporations aren’t willing to pay big bucks for. That’s his only product and clearly somebody is buying.

        One sensible, rational, person’s “useless, attention seeking, garbage” is just another delusional capitalist’s “data-gold-mine worth triple the asking price”. Information, even useless information, is power these days and that’s what the buyers are seeking.

        Either way, clueless idiots volunteering to be abused still doesn’t justify the abuse and the precedent it sets. This misbehaviour is a slippery slope that will take us further downhill than it already is.

        • 11:09 pm

          Thank you Sedate Me,

          Perhaps I’ve been somewhat glib when it comes to the ability of Facebook to scour its website for personal information but I think that’s only because I still find the whole concept something of a head scratcher. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area (nor do I want to be) but I still don’t understand why people are so up in arms about it.

          If I’m foolish enough to indicate that I “like” Corn Flakes on the world wide web I don’t see what right I have to demand that information remain confidential. If I really didn’t want Facebook or Kellogs or anyone else to get hold of that piece of information I likely should have kept it to myself. (In fact, I likely should have kept it to myself regardless).

          To be honest, I don’t see the harm. All anyone is going to learn from me is that I like cardigan sweaters, Matlock and The Red Badge of Courage. And based on what I’ve seen on-line, the most you’re likely to learn from anyone under 30 is that they like death metal, being nekkid and partying hard. Toss in a couple of email addresses and it looks to me that all any Ad company, marketing firm or multinational is going to learn is that old people make sensible choices and young people are morons. Not breaking news in my book and hardly worth millions of dollars but it’s an odd world at times.

          I could be wrong about all of this, Sedate Me. As I say, I’m no expert and really just reacting to what I found to be rather amusing panic in the facebook community from people who really don’t seem inclined to be private about anything at all.

          I’ll be sure to read up a bit on this subject. You’ve certainly piqued my interest.

          All the best,

          Don

        • Sedate Me permalink
          5:52 pm

          Sir, the more I read up on the topic and the further down this rabbit hole I go, the more revolting it all becomes. (For example, how can your skin not crawl watching this blonde sociopath have an orgasm while describing how she preys upon defenceless children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMDPql6rweo )

          But I do agree the Facebook espionage phenomena is puzzling and somewhat ironically funny. Sometimes you have to laugh to stop from crying.

          Just when did capitalist corporations turn into Eastern Bloc style Big Brothers, collecting and storing every personal detail they can? For some reason, they think it will sell more products. I guess the plan is to psychologically dissect everyone, so they can learn how to control us. Once they know our weaknesses, we’ll be unable to resist.

          They engage in all these expensive, underhanded, high-tech methods to strip people of their privacy and read their brains like chicken entrails. But what ever happened to the old standby of making good products people actually need and letting them come to you? Why must they insist on trickery and force feeding? Ah, but what do I know about capitalism? I’m Canadian. (American Translation: Commu-fascist) But I do know they won’t be satisfied until even Donald Mills eats a breakfast of deep fried butter wrapped in chocolate and dipped in Baconaise, has parachute pants hanging around his knees, uses the latest $1,000 phone and sports a tramp-stamp. But they need to know everything about you before they can break you.

          And then there’s the pathetic retards on Loserbook! The are the thirsty water-buffaloes who inadvertently jump into the mouths of waiting crocodiles. They go on these social networks desperate to get the entire world to pay attention to their every move, but get upset when the attention isn’t all positive. They are addicted to an ego-centric illusion that the Facebooks of the world have constructed around them. Most are too emotionally needy or stupid to understand or care, but when some of them finally figure out that Soylent Green is made of people, they complain. But, for some reason, they laughably think Mark Zuckerberg will listen and say “Baby, I promise I’ll never do it again.” These retards don’t realize he’s a fox and Loserbook is the hen house he built to trap them in. To borrow a line from The Amityville Horror, the best advice with regards to Facebook is to “Get out! Get OUT!!!”

          Ultimately, nothing good comes from holding an Open House on your life. Although, in fairness, most Loserbookers lack the cognitive function to comprehend the risks of this rather unimpressive “free service”. All they understand is that they can fill their empty lives chatting with their “friend” in Azerbaijan about the un-aired BayWatch pilot. It’s easy to say “they asked for it”, but their uninformed consent still doesn’t excuse the Zuckerbergs out there. Stupid people walk the downtown streets and get murdered all the time. Just because they were so stupid as to actually expect to be safe walking around in public, it doesn’t mean their murders should go unpunished. (This isn’t murder, but it may qualify as mental statutory rape.)

          As our fathers always told us between beatings, “It’s wrong to take advantage of the retarded.” Things like Loserbook are created to take advantage of the feeble minded and they get rich doing it.

  14. 8:55 pm

    I’m a little bit excited about the addition of ‘OMG’ and ‘LoL’ because I’m always getting stuck with Os and Ls while playing Words With Friends. This should help me out considerably.

    • 11:19 pm

      Many thanks Luda,

      I’m not sure what Words with Friends is but I’ll assume it’s a form of Scrabble. Personally, I’ve always liked having lots of Os and Ls.

      Here are some good words for you next time you get stuck

      Lollygag
      stool
      fool
      school
      loon
      drool
      gobbledygook

      and, of course, OLD.

      All the best,

      Don

  15. 6:30 am

    I’m especially intrigued by that last item. Are they seriously adding such terms as “LOL” and “OMG” to the Oxford? If so, that’s outrageous.

    • 11:21 pm

      Thank you Scott,

      I’d encourage you to look it up. The words that have been adding at the OED over the course of the past few years are quite astonishing (actually I believe astonishing was removed to make room for gnarly).

      Best regards,

      Don

  16. 9:51 am

    Don, I couldn’t agree with you more. I played golf with an ancient retired newspaper editor in a city that shall remain nameless due to the fact he’s still alive, and any reference to him by name, state or city could put his life in jeopardy, and I don’t mean the show. I asked him how many, and where the, bodies were buried, and he told me back in the day, the reporters would chase them down with a vengeance not seen since Davy Crockett chased down that bar when he was only three. Now if they can’t tweet it, they make it up. So much for real reporters.

    • 11:23 pm

      Good to hear from you Jammer,

      I’m not in the least bit surprised. Nevertheless, it’s depressing as hell.

      All the best, lad.

      Don

      p.s. you still golfing? I may have a niblick you might be interested in. I don’t use it for anything but whacking the heads off dandelions these days.

      • 8:45 am

        As you can see by my slanted gait, my golfing days ran out. Now I just cuss at the TV screen whenever some golf yokel misses a three foot putt.

  17. 8:38 pm

    Ah…. a post slagging off the morons who plaster facebook with self-promotional tosh, and a dig at the pondlife who runthe OED for including OMG, LOL, etc. Whatever next – FU2?

    You are, Mr.Mills, a man after my own heart.

    Just so long as you aren’t after my own wallet, we shall continue to get along favourably.

    • 12:04 pm

      Good to hear from you NobblySan,

      Sadly, I suspect I’m as guilty as most when it comes to using Facebook for self-promotional tosh.

      You needn’t worry about your wallet, lad. I do have my eye on your hips, however. Mine are showing signs of wear and I’m always on the lookout for a replacement set.

      All the best,

      Don

  18. 4:00 am

    Mr. Mills,

    I applaud you on an especially crabby post. As you are not concerned with Facebook security, I’ll take the liberty of sharing this. After I post about my recent bout with the stomach flu, of course.

    • 12:05 pm

      Thank you momfog,

      I hope the tummy is on the mend. Stomach flu can be a nasty piece of work.

      Best regards,

      Don

  19. 3:49 am

    Donald,

    sorry to reply so late, but with the riots in London and my subsequent arrest …. ( I had mistakenly grabbed my sons hoodie instead of my cardigan sweater). to say the least all hell broke out !

    where was I…oh yes , Its good to see you are still on the forefront of the angry letter writing , it truly makes me feel better about the world around me ( just remember, I did send you a cow on farmville ) so those pictures on facebooks are clearly photo shopped or something..right?

    anyway , its good to see you again Don , I will visit sooner, I promise ~ David Henderson ( probably related to Scoops….unless he owes money )….~Dave

  20. 9:20 am

    Is it too late to co-sign your Letter to the Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary?

    I LOVE THIS POST…

    Lots of love. A young person (with an older state of mind)

    Sometimes :P

  21. 9:43 am

    :lol: love your letters. I should perhaps have hired you are senior correspondent when I was writing letters to all and sundry!

  22. 12:57 pm

    Love this blog! I am unfortunately apart of this generation you speak of, I wish I wasn’t. I hate young people, and completely agree with what you say about us because it is so true. I have sent links to all my friends who really could use the advice to smarten the hell up!
    Thank you for providing interesting, clever, humorous and well written articles for us literate and reasonable-comedic-appreciation (none of this weird and foul ‘comedy’ young people love so much) lovers :)

  23. 6:41 am

    I am in complete agreement about the dictionary conundrum! They are not words, they are merely the lazy person’s way of removing letters from words to make them easier to remember for those with a 0.02 second attention span. Any dictionary that recognises them as words should be collated, placed on a wooden raft, set alight and set out to sea.

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