All right. Which one of you sent this in? I mean, this has GOT to be a joke. If not, it’s a horribly true tale in the making.
I just received my first three pieces of hate mail concerning my page Horribly True Tales From The Drunken Trucker. It appears that a mom and her kid were surfing the web at 3 a.m., a couple nights back, did a subject search on truckers and happened upon my page. Not usually a bad thing, except mom is apparently the wife of a trucker and evidently she made a few massive assumptions after reading only the TITLE of my page, became enraged and began firing off angry one-sentence missives to me concerning her perception that I’m somehow badmouthing truckers. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the end results of her mistaken perception are pretty funny. These are possibly even better than the angry letters I got from a nine year old WebTV user condemning my old cat games page.
Here they are verbatim, albeit with slightly altered email addresses….
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:00 AM
Subject: y u talkin bout truckers
it ain’t true abot truckers cause they are true 2 the fact
Not exactly sure what Horseyfied feels ain’t true “abot” truckers. My guess is she thinks I’m calling them all a bunch of drunks since the page is titled Horribly True Tales From The Drunken Trucker. An honest mistake, I suppose, assuming she read only the title and NOTHING ELSE ON THE WHOLE PAGE. If she had read further, she should have noted that truckers are barely mentioned and never disparaged. They only turn up in The Secret Origin of the Drunken Trucker section and in The Talkin’ Utter Desperation, Bent Turd, Blue Tub Blues, and in no way are they ever called drunks or even accused of drinking at all. What I actually said is that many JOURNALISTS are cranky and have alcohol problems, and that some of them used to be drive trucks BEFORE becoming journalists. But I clearly make the distinction that they didn’t actually become drunks until they quit driving trucks and took up the journalism. (And this seemingly exaggerated claim is based on actual research revealed unto me during Bob Arnett’s HISTORY OF MASS MEDIA class, at MSU circa 1990, which stated that the profession with the highest number of alcohol-related problems in the United States was that of newspaper editor. Didn’t say nothing abot no truckers drinkin’, though. In fact the whole trucker angle came about after a fellow journalism major, one David Smith, drove a truck for while before landing his first journalism job. Last I heard, he’d given up the profession to become a youth pastor.)
One message from Horseyfied was not enough, however. Her second follows…
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:03 AM
Subject: truck driver
my husband is on the road plus he’s always a #1 dad always try that
Oh, great. Not only has she sussed out that I’ve called her husband a drunk, but now I’ve evidently called him a bad father to boot. I’m foreseeing an ass-kicking in my future. (Crap! I didn’t put my home address anywhere on the page, did I?)
I swear, some folks just WANT to get upset regardless of whether anyone’s given them a valid reason. I mean, even if she had read only the title, it still doesn’t even say anything bad about truckers in general. The page is called Horribly True Tales From The Drunken Trucker, not Horribly True Tales From All Truckers Are Drunks and Bad Fathers.
I, of course, would never jump to massively incorrect conclusions based on scant amounts of information and proceed to make an ass out of myself as a result. (Have I mentioned October is National Sarcastics Awareness Month? Oh, cause I thought I HAD!!!)
Next up, I get one from her son, Jaren…
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:04 AM
Subject: this is jaren
my dad mite be on the road but he’ ]s always on the phone & e-mailing us 2!!!!!!!!!!!
Oy! Now I’ve upset the kid as well. Probably caused irreparable damage to his psyche requiring years of therapy. Check the time code, though… I’d probably think my dad was pretty cool too if he let me stay up til 3 a.m., surfing the web on a school night. When I was a kid, if my butt ever got caught up at 3 a.m., the house had better have been on fire. Maybe Horseyfied woke him up to come defend dad’s good name. Who knows?
At any rate, they certainly told me off but good. I feel all guilty, and stuff.
So let me just state for the record, in case there are any more doubts, that I in NO WAY think truckers are a bunch of drunks who are not #1 dads not, nor do I think they neglect their children and don’t call or e-mail them. From all I’ve heard about truckers, they are indeed true 2 the fact. (Newspaper editors, though, I’ve got your number.)
Now, normally I don’t respond to the few items of hate mail that I get. (For instance, I didn’t respond to the 9 year old WebTV cat-lover after her savage review of the Cat Games page, not only because she was 9 years old but also because picking on WebTV users is like making fun of the handicapped.) However, when an adult takes the time to wildly misconstrue something I DIDN’T say in the first place and send me three angry e-mails about it with more exclamation points than are absolutely necessary, I feel a polite response is required. Thus, I have replied with the following:
Dear, Horseyfied and Jaren,
I’m a little taken aback that you seem to have been offended by my page, Horribly True Tales From The Drunken Trucker. You seem to be under the impression that I have something against truck drivers. This is not true.
I hope by now you have actually read a bit further down my page and have seen that it is actually a collection of humorous tales about my life and not a condemnation of truck drivers. Beyond the appearance of the word Trucker in the title of the page, truck drivers are hardly even mentioned and, when they are, are not accused of any wrongdoing. In fact, in one of my stories I actually point out that it was a truck driver who once gave me a lift to the nearest phone after I had been stranded on the side of I-55, after my car overheated and its improperly self-repaired radiator blown up during a 104 degree summer in Mississippi and without his assistance I might have suffered heat stroke and died. He might have saved my life, so I’m really not sure why it is you seem to think I’m making fun of truck-drivers.
Now, if you had been angry at me for making fun of journalists, Maury Povich, rock `n’ roll groupies, telemarketers, or employees of Delta Airlines, the Tombigbee Electric Power Association, Federal Express, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or the Skyline, Mississippi, Volunteer Fire Department, I might be able to understand as there’s plenty of that to be found on the page. But by and large, I’ve nothing bad to say about truck drivers. As far as I’m concerned, interstate commerce, as assisted by the truck driving community, is pretty much the backbone, or at least a vertebrae, of the United States economy. Without truck-drivers, our system of life would break down, Wal-Mart would close and we’d all be plunged into a new era of misery and feudalism in which we could not get a decent Quarter Pounder With Cheese.
In closing, I have nothing against truck drivers.
ERIC “Juice” FRITZIUS
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must
begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
— Benjamin Franklin