There are various ways in which people express disappointment with my columns, articles, political views and blog posts. Some readers still mail letters to magazines and newspapers, then editors forward them to me, and I hold my breath when I open them…
Because Anthrax. That’s why.
Some register complaints with a comment underneath the post. Others troll my now-defunct social media accounts.
The classy ones email a properly punctuated, curse-word-free letter to the editor that actually gets published. Two thumbs up for that guy.
Then there are readers so pushed over the edge by what I’ve written that they lose their minds. They send hate mail and texts that swing from mean to insane. They insult my appearance, intellect, and over-reliance on snarky metaphors.
Lots of columnists deal with this every day, especially those of us who dare to express an independent thought while possessing breasts and a vagina. This really seems to bother the unhinged among us.
A few threaten to take it to the next level, hoping for the kind of stardom only insecure people strapped with body cameras and simultaneously uploading to Facebook and Twitter can find.
This kind of creeps me out.
I’ve actually had gasoline-soaked tennis balls fired at my house and verbal attacks from whack-jobs near the frozen food aisle in Publix.
There are better ways to get dates, people.
Before becoming dangerous, and not in a smoldering hot way, but in a rape-y and murder-y way, do these instead (added benefit: none are felonies):
(20) Acquaint yourself with the sun and how the world revolves around it, not you.
(19) Shave your beard, take a shower and get rid of your Wilco collection. Seriously. Your neighbors will thank you.
(18) Stop watching Taxi Driver.
(17) Start watching The Big Lebowski.
(16) See that little “x” in the top corner of every article you hate? CLICK ON IT.
(15) Seek professional help.
(14) Ask your higher power, the one who’s on your side, to take care of me for you. He won’t get arrested because that sort of thing is in his job description anyway.
(13) Repeat after me: “Why do I care what Catherine thinks?”
(12) Brush your teeth once in a while.
(11) Take a long look in the mirror. THAT’s why not.
(10) Think about it. There’s technology that can correlate your IP address with that X-rated pic you sent to another “fan” who didn’t ask. Clear your history and get some church.
(9) Volunteer or adopt a dog. Be someone’s hero. Your karma is begging you.
(8) Pat yourself on the back, because yes, just about every idiot these days can have a column. Please send me a link when yours gets published.
(7) Buy a thesaurus.
(6) Adjust your attitude or when those UFOs come back, they’re going to leave you behind. Again.
(5) Put the vodka down and step away from the laptop, Dad.
(4) Open your blinds and let in some light. That’s right, I know where you live.
(3) Do what you’ve got to do. I always wanted a school or scholarship named after me anyway.
(2) Catch up on old reality television shows, so you can get on with new ones like, “Mouth-Breathers vs. Shifty-Eyes” or “Republican Lawmakers Debunk Science with Jesus.” Anything but keyboarding. Please. You’re like that drunken heckler during a stand-up routine: a) Nobody thinks you’re witty and b) YOU’RE NOT HELPING THE SHOW.
(1) Get over yourself. I will stop when I’m damn good and ready. Not a minute before…and nothing you write or text anonymously from your grandmother’s garage will change that.
Catherine Durkin Robinson co-parents twin sons, organizes families for advocacy purposes, writes syndicated columns, mentors kids, runs a few races, and refuses to be intimidated by people who can’t properly spell nauseated. Column courtesy of Context Florida.