We Get Letters

If you work for a big organization that lots of people believe can actually influence public policy, you're gonna hear from lots of people. Many of them are rational thinkers. Their letters are cogent and often inspiring, but are usually not interesting or funny.

You're also gonna hear from the irrational thinkers, the flipped-out, the kooks, and the just-plain-weird.

In my years at the National Education Association, I was privileged to bump into a few of these. One dazzled lady appeared in the doorway of the NEA Research Department. They paid me to be nice to these people, so I did my best.

She started out with something like "Have you heard the word of God today?" I listened for a bit, then started asking questions.

"Are you a teacher?"

"No, I'm a librarian. I work in a school in Waterford. Have you heard the word of God today?"

A year or so prior, I'd worked with a man whose wife was a librarian at a school in Waterford. The chance that those two women didn't know each other was nil. I wanted to say something like: "Well then you must know Mrs. X. As a matter of fact, I had an affair with her husband a year or so ago and we had ever so much fun."

While I mentally toyed with ways to distract the lady so I could get back to work, Aurora, the office's administrative assistant, came to the rescue. "I haven't heard the word of God today. Why don't we go down to the cafeteria and you can tell me about it." Aurora is a far better human being than I am.

Other input arrived by the U.S. mail. Links to the best in show appear at right.