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Letters to the Editor, June 2002


This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for March 2002.

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From: Charles Hitchcock
Date: 06/07/2002
Subj:
Giorgio

According to Catholic mythology that trick works only with patent leather, which I wouldn't expect in $300 shoes....

I dunno, the thing with $300 shoes may be that you shine them up to be even shinier than patent leather shoes.
(And then there's the idiot assistant principal in California(?) who recently got fired for making the girls coming into a prom show that they were wearing "decent" panties instead of thongs....)
Was he being respectable and checking by touch rather than by looking?

... continued on next rock ...

I thought the point about patent leather shoes was that they were unnaturally shiny....

You may well be right. Still, in the days when I spit shined shoes, I could put a mirror finish on them. Which reminds me - in the Georgette Heyer novels, gentlemen prided themselves on their shining boots. The secret ingredient used in the superior shine is often suspected of being champagne. All things considered, it was more likely to have been gin.
No. She was requiring the girls to show (i.e., expose -- and not in private) what they were wearing. (This sounds incredible, but it's certainly more than the typical urban myth -- the story in the GLOBE had names and quotes; the NEW YORK TIMES has a summary identifying the school and the vice principal, although they're quoting "reports".)
It's the sort of thing that has to be true because it is too inane to be made up. Maybe she just thought she was being considerate to the girl's dates.
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From: johnwford
Date: 05/08/2002
Subj: Your site

Dear Richard;
I just found your site and am enjoy the humor section very much, thank you for the laughs.
---an Old Seadog--

I'm glad you like it. The URL will probably change in the next few days - I will let you know what the changed URL is.
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From: Charles Hitchcock
Date: 05/15/2002
Subj:
May editorial (where's the fat?)

Have you been following ANSIBLE? Moorcock was talking about auctioning a couple of amputated gangrenous toes as relics; perhaps authors could do the same with fat? (I'll say it for you -- "supply is no problem, there are plenty of fatheads in SF.")

All of which brings up thoughts of liposuction of the brain, which in turn brings up the movie version of Starship Troopers. If we run out of fatheads in SF, we can always make do with directors. Don't even think of Hannibal Lector.

I am quite sure that I do not want to know what sort of person would purchase a Moorcock gangreous toe as a relic.

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From: Charles Hitchcock
Date: 05/15/2002
Subj:
May editorial (lights)

Do you read Charlotte MacLeod? The Peter Shandy mystery series started with an excessive set of Xmas lights....

No such luck; I've never read her stuff. I am puzzled though. How can there be an excessive set of Xmas lights?

... continued on next rock ...

A set that requires running an additional electric feed from the local line to the house, for instance. (Although it isn't just lights; power was also needed for the motors for the animated displays and the sound system that can be heard throughout the faculty crescent.)]

Now that you mention it I remember reading somewhere about a Texan suburb where people hired lighting display consultants for setting up their outdoor lighting. Someone who merely put up a string of lights were looked upon as the equivalent of chaps who have rusted out Ford Fairlaines in their front yard.
The Peter Shandy stories are worth reading in small doses -- lightweights set at a rural agricultural college somewhere in New England. (The Max&Sarah mysteries are also entertaining, if you like to snicker at pompously ingrown New England families.)
As to pompously ingrown New England families it is always a decision whether to snicker or to cluck pityingly.
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This page was last updated June 19, 2002.
It was reformatted and moved November 29, 2005.

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