I correspond with a high school classmate
Olga [all names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty] is a good friend and was a high school classmate.
She works at the school my step-son will be attending next year.
Consequently she sent my wife and me a letter inviting us to attend an orientation evening. Nothing too unusual, except for the fact that it was addressed to "Hugh Caldwell." Caldwell is my wife's ex-husband's name, and thus that of my step-son as well. Obviously, this was a naming determination made by someone other than Olga. So I decided to have a little fun and e-mailed back.
With regard to this invitation you recently sent me -- at least I assume it was I you were addressing -- I will not be attending. However, please note that when I married Roslyn, I did not take on her ex-husband's surname. Please change your records to reflect my true name, as shown below, rather than "Hugh Caldwell."
Here's the reply I got back:
Sorry about any confusion. Actually, it is the
secretary that organizes the mailing to the parents,
and I'm not sure why your name was included in there.
I will try to be a detective and find out how you got
in there with a name change. Sorry again. This sounds
a little odd--like some clerical glitch.
Fearing that she was taking me too seriously, as happens all to frequently out here in cyberspace, I replied:
I was only teasing you. It's so hard to put tongue in cheek over the Internet. No need to waste your time tracking this down since I really don't care. I was included because Ros's son will be a freshman next year and the letter was addressed to both of us.
The laugh was on me!
Dear Mr. Hyatt--
As you may know from your years of association with
the <name of school>, we don't "do" humor. We
regard individuals who indulge in so-called "teasing"
as those in need of spiritual therapy. We have the
Rev. Cal Snarkrom on retainer, and perhaps you may wish
to consult with him about your problem with levity.
Not having this problem, I don't understand whence you
Yours sincerely, Olga. A. O'Price. [note the period after each!]
I laughed out loud and thought, "That would be cute to post on my blog."
So I e-mailed again.
You're a hoot! May I quote you? Anonymously ["a <name of school>
Came the final reply:
Dear Mr. Hyatt--
I don't know what communication you are talking about.
I have never spoken or written to you in my life. Any
further pursuance of this alleged comment about humor
will be referred to a lawyer, or perhaps I'll get Jaws Sammel [another and a notorious classmate] to pester you.
Olga O'Price, BA, MA, Grandma (ain't it great?!)
No wonder I've always enjoyed her so much!
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