Crank it up!

What the hell is this stuff? I did not give permission for this! Image found on themetapicture.

What the hell is this stuff? I did not give permission for this!
Image found on themetapicture.

When snow and ice hit hard and keep me from taking care of what I need to, I tend to get a little cranky (if just at the yowling of the furry one when I won’t open the door to the unheated back room … because he has important staring out the back door to do, you know). When computer problems at home and work hit, well … the language gets awfully colorful at times.

Not Texas-born grandma colorful, but colorful nonetheless.

Combine the two and you have the makings of another round of letters I really shouldn’t send. I shouldn’t have to say this, but remember that my tongue is firmly in cheek.

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My dear Mr. Sourpuss, I am so sorry that you are offended by the presence of opinion that doesn’t conform to yours, not just on the Voices page, but in the world in general. I know it must be difficult to go through each day knowing that there are people out there who are just wrong, simply because they don’t believe what you believe. And all those facts? Clearly made up to back up whatever the “mainstream media” wants you to believe. Reality? Overrated!

And if you're not nice to me and do everything I want, then you're biased too! Editorial cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant.

And if you’re not nice to me and do everything I want, then you’re biased too!
Editorial cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant.

No, you and your compatriots are obviously correct that we print every liberal letter while subjecting conservatives to strenuous “fact-checking” (which is just code for I don’t like you). It has absolutely nothing to do with facts or the possibility that you may libel someone. It’s not like you’d convict someone in print by calling him a criminal/murderer/rapist/whatever when that person hasn’t been convicted by a court of law, much less charged or arrested.

Oh, wait, you could, which is why we don’t allow you or anyone else to knowingly make such allegations or repeat stories proved false. Politics and ongoing criminal investigations are often libel suits waiting to happen, especially when emotion and ideology cause people to spread wild stories before any resolution is even close to happening.

Yes, sir, I'm aware you're in desperate need ... Strange Brew by John Deering.

Yes, sir, I’m aware you’re in desperate need …
Strange Brew by John Deering.

False stories spread like wildfire when no one is willing to stop them. Just as there are myths about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that haven’t been printed, there are often-tall tales about Tom Cotton, George W. Bush, Donald Trump and others that we haven’t published. We’re equal-opportunity annoyers here; just ask Stephanie, who does most of the documentation for the letters.

Facts don’t have a party leaning; they just are. But sure, go ahead and keep sending in those wild, usually false and/or exaggerated stories, especially if they’re accompanied by insults and thinly veiled threats. They won’t be printed, but they just might paper my walls.

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Just ignore that zipper on his chest, 'k? Thanks! Image found on World of Weird Al Yankovic.

Just ignore that zipper on his chest, ‘k? Thanks!
Image found on World of Weird Al Yankovic.

Dear “Quoteaholic” … please “pardon” me for being confused by “your” strange compulsion “to use” quotation marks in the “weirdest places.” Since we check quotes, “it makes it hard” for us “to” find your “quotes, which means we” have to ask “you.” That makes “Steph and me” just as “grouchy as it” does you.

And by the way, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington most likely didn’t say those gun quotes you keep citing, so you might want to check them against actual records rather than taking others at their (often spurious) word. In general, if the quote is just too perfect, it’s probably not real.

Just as irritating are quotes that have been rewritten or paraphrased but treated as if they’re the actual quotes, complete with quotation marks. Quotes should be just what was said, free of your injected opinion or added flourishes. It’s sloppiness in this regard that results in Martin Luther King Jr. and others “saying” things they didn’t actually say.

I'm suddenly afraid of what TJ might be referring to ... Image by DefinitelyRealQuotes.com found on USAToday.

I’m suddenly terrified of what TJ might be referring to …
Image by DefinitelyRealQuotes.com found on USAToday.

Now excuse me while I get the quotation-mark key replaced. I think I wore it out.

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Dear Single-minded: I truly admire people who are highly devoted to their causes. However, getting the same three or four letters (Seriously. The. Exact. Same. Letters.) over and over can try the patience of the most righteous saints (no, I’m no saint). Sure, I still have short-term memory problems every once in a while, but seeing the same thing so many times has the tendency to stick, especially when the same debunked quotes are used.

You’re not seriously trying to drive me crazy, are you?

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Uhhhhh ... I think your cover's blown ... Image found on funnyjunk.

Uhhhhh … I think your cover’s blown …
Image found on funnyjunk.

Dear Know-it-all … I’m thinking I should buy you a dictionary. As Inigo Montoya said, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I’ll even very helpfully highlight words like “verbatim,” “national socialist,” “socialist,” and “civil rights” since you seem to be confused about them. Wouldn’t want you to be embarrassed, after all.

You’re welcome!

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Dear Truther, thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure that the “truth” is revealed about 9/11; Benghazi; gun control; Barack Obama’s … well, everything; Planned Parenthood; Sandy Hook; fluoride; vaccines; and just about anything else that’s ticked you off today.

And we know what you read on the Internet is always true ... Image found on Digital Lifestyle.

And we know what you read on the Internet is always true …
Image found on Digital Lifestyle.

I regret to inform you, however, that most if not all of your “unassailable” sources (which you don’t appear to want to actually cite) seem to have an axe to grind and a less-than-full relationship with facts/physical evidence/peer-reviewed studies.

Therefore, I fear you’re only tilting at windmills; careful you don’t fall off that horse you rode in on.

Feel free to try again once you find something real that makes your case or when you decide to name those “unassailable” sources so the rest of us can check them out … unless you don’t really want that … surely not …


This is your brain on nip and little purple fishies.

This is your brain on nip and little purple fishies.

All right, the crankiness has been bled off a little, so with any luck I’ll be a bit more cheerful in time for the next very cold snap (which will not be this week, it looks like … yea!).

When I’m less perturbed, I’m far more likely to find the furry one’s antics absolutely adorable, especially when he decides to pull a Sesame Street flashback on me. You’re right, Luke, that catnip mouse you threw off the bed so dramatically is not like the three catnip fish you kept.

By the way, what did you do with my butterfly socks? And why is my newspaper shredded?



Speaking of cranky, you’ve likely heard by now that beloved actor Abe Vigoda, 94, died Tuesday morning in his sleep. Though I was very young when Barney Miller was on, I loved Fish. In that role and others, Abe always made me laugh (except when he wasn’t supposed to). In his honor, a few of the funnier tweets I saw after his death (this time for real) was announced:

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6 thoughts on “Crank it up!

  1. Abe was so good as Fish that I could later forgive him for betraying the Godfather. I forgave him, but Michael on the other hand . . . Not a forgiving kind of guy. If the Godfather sends a letter, Brenda, just print it.

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  2. Morning Brenda…

    Sorry to say it has been some time since I have stopped by but after reading your column this morning I just had to make a stop just to see the graphic accents I know you can always be counted on to incorporate here. Loved the piece! Well, no, actually I loved your article. Don’t even know why I said ‘loved the piece’. Don’t even know what that means but I’ve heard it before – probably on Fox News.

    Anyway, love it when you talk smack. One can only hope those the article is dedicated to are listening… 🙂

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    • Long time, no hear, Alan … glad to see you back! I need to come by your blog to see the redecorating.

      I have a feeling there’s probably an email waiting for me from the primary offender mentioned, saying yet again that it’s because I won’t print negative letters about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. He apparently doesn’t actually read the page. 😉 I think I can count on one hand the number of positive letters about Hillary.

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    • Some people must have a file on their computer that they cut and paste from … but they just can’t be troubled with checking if the stuff is true, no matter how many times they’re rejected. If only they could hear my eyes rolling 😉

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