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"Hecklers"

This column reaches a fairly large number of readers, 
between the Internet, email, newspapers, and even radio. 
Some DJ's read them over the air. 

I get feedback in the form of comments, public and private. 
Most of them are very nice, 
and I try to respond to them as time and my workload will allow. 

Occasionally there's an angry one 
when I step on a reader's opinion that he got from his momma, 
and he doesn't want it tampered with. 

Once in a while there is one that is not quite sane. 
Often this is  in the form of swear words. 
These don't bother me much because, as I've said, 
the larger the population, 
the more nuts we get. 
It a natural law I would like repealed. 

The comments that irritate me most 
are the incomplete ones. 
Those that make me say "Say WHAT?" 

Here's an example I'm making up for the occasion: 
"To Jack Blanchard: 
What do you mean by that?" 

I got one of those today, 
and out of curiosity I've scanned my most recent articles 
trying to find what could have gotten up this guy's skirt. 
I couldn't find anything on politics or religion, 
which are the usual suspects. 
My last few columns have been pretty much harmless, 
so what prompts a grown person 
to sit down, type out, and send a seemingly snide remark? 

Maybe it wasn't meant as snide. 
Maybe snide is in the eye of the beholder...me. 
Maybe it was just an incomplete compliment. 
Nah. 

This is sort of like being on stage. 
You are trying to show everybody a good time, 
but there's a guy in the back row 
who would rather heckle you. 

On stage it's easier, 
because we seasoned professionals have lines for hecklers, 
like these: 
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste." 
"Is that your voice or is our boat leaving?" 
"You should be on the stage. There's one leaving in ten minutes." 
"I thought I told you to wait in the truck."
"Why don't you climb up on your nose and give us the weather report?" 

That's all good clean fun, 
but but a columnist doesn't have a microphone. 
We have to carry on in our usual saintly manner, 
being sweet and trying to please everybody. 

I would like to thank hecklers everywhere 
for giving me the material for today's column.

Copyright  August 30, 2007 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission.

 

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