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Hemmingsen: An Icy Chill Falls Over The Mailbag

January 14, 2005, 5:51 AM by Steve Hemmingsen


It must be the cold and snow, as my emails have taken a nasty turn. One suggests that I hush up and stop doing those self-serving commercials and First Monday. Another is convinced that I'm a big fan of Dan Rather's. I never have been.

Since the election, the "fan mail" had been running mostly complimentary and volume has settled back to the normal handful a day. Some say I should stick to the facts about things like Randy Moss. One guy didn't like the comparison of my abilities to get under people's skin like Randy Moss does. Well, I must have gotten under his. This is a column, a think piece, an opinion piece, just like when readers tell me to hush up and really "retire, retire, RETIRE!"

It's not required reading. There is no test. I'm not trying to convince anybody to do anything. At least I can't be very effective at it or several major events in the last few months and years wouldn't have happened. I'd specify, but I don't want to corrupt your mind.

Sometimes I'm actually a force for good. I don't plan it that way, but I am. One woman not only liked my idea of selling school sponsorship to corporations, but she's thinking of selling advertising space on her robes and walker to raise a little extra money. With our aging demographic, think of the advertising blitz a company could buy for the price of a couple of prescriptions.

Another writer pointed out that those pop commercials featuring the old MAD Magazine Spy vs. Spy characters is going over the heads of the current generation. Yeah, it's too bad they missed that whole Cold War thing. Nobody seemed to care that I think President Bush, Prince Charles and even Tom Daschle have a "What? Me worry?" look about them.

An Air Force navigator pointed out my momentary confusion in one article about the solstice and the equinox. I meant to say the shortest hours of daylight, not equal day and night hours. That, unfortunately, is still a couple of cold, snowy months away. Be grateful that he's flying the planes and not me.

I got several notes on the story about the vandalism of the Singsaas church near Hendricks, Minnesota. Several of them...signed Singsaas...pointed out that I misspelled Singsass in the first story. That's what they needed, me to vandalize the name, too.

Ruth Lenning points out that I omitted Toronto from the list of schools that make up Deubrook in my story about the girls' basketball game, which was a metaphor I used to illustrate an inane consolidation scrap. Oh, there he goes again!

A reader of my "Beset by Bowls" article about football bowl games alerts me to the Toilet Bowl in Harlan, Iowa. Every New Years Day the men choose up teams...The Flushers and The Plungers...go to the school football field and slug it out. She tells me it's been going on for years, for decades. If you already have the headache what's a little more pain among friends?

That's a pretty good cross section of the mail. Again a reminder that this is a column and apparently, not very clearly written. Quite often I'm accused of saying things I didn't say at all, being cheered for supporting things I thought I was against, and against things I thought I was for, which is fine. I intend it to be more interesting than informative anyway. Judging by the email I have hits, I have homeruns but often I fail at being either interesting or informative.

Do you realize you've been putting up with this nonsense for over a year? And people say I should find something else to do? Hey, I'm retired!

Flood Steve's Inbox

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