Saturday, January 15, 2011

Newspaper Columnist Gets Tasty Letters

HARBESON: Your letters are like a box of chocolates

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — I often feel like Forrest Gump when I open column e-mail responses because I never know what I’m going to get. But this week, I truly did feel like Forrest because I actually received a box of chocolates!

They came from a reader who appreciated the column titled “This is water torture,” which was about Charlestown’s water situation and the treatment some concerned citizens received from government officials.

The chocolates look delicious but I can’t figure out how to download them for eating. I’m going to have to call IT support, which means I’ll never meet my deadline. So let’s hear what some other readers have sent my way.

After writing the column titled, “Why is there Wi-Fi welfare?” about Jeffersonville’s government-funded wi-fi zone, I received a very interesting response. However, this person wishes to remain confidential, so I can’t tell you what he said. No, really I can’t.

OK, I’ll tell you one piece of information. This person signed off as Deep Throat, so you know he or she gave me some juicy information. But sorry, I can’t tell you what it was. I promised. And since I’m not a politician I keep my promises.

The column “Sex Sells, Roger Says,” was enough to actually get Roger to phone me. Sorry, I can’t tell you about that either. The paper won’t print the conversation.

The column, “Not all jobs are created equal,” responding to a remark made by economist Morton Marcus produced several responses.

John was fairly succinct, “EXCELLENT article on Job Creation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

If only jobs were as easy to create as exclamation points.

And Thomas had this to say, “Way to smack ’ol Marcus around!”

But Terry wasn’t so crazy about it, “Dear Debbie, I generally stay out of the opinion fray mediated by The Evening News. However, I do read what others are thinking — or read that they obviously are not thinking. Most often I appreciate your humor and quandary over the state of politics at all levels.

“But your article for Thursday, Oct. 28, struck a nerve with me. Now, I don’t know Morton Marcus, but the IU Kelley School of Business is one of the nation’s best. A Ph.D. economist who has been a faculty member there most likely knows his stuff. So, you had better have some real ammunition at hand before calling out someone like that. I haven’t gone back to read his latest article, but you provided the quote you assaulted.

“Here are some arguments that indicate you are wrong:”

I of course quit reading at that point. No, really we had a nice e-mail exchange and I think both of us learned a lot. For example, he learned he was wrong.

Tom was concerned about the rash I contracted after attending the local political rally and offered up his home remedy: “I sure hope your rash clears up soon. I’ve heard that a good cure for political rash is to apply liberal applications of disbelief and skepticism to the affected areas multiple times daily. [grin]”

I’ve been doing that but it’s not working. I think it’s the liberal part that’s the problem.

Another regular reader is also concerned about my welfare. Mike writes, “Hey!! I haven’t e-mailed you in a while, but rest assured I read your column every week. I had to write you today to warn you about messing with Mayor Hall and Mayor Galligan. If you persist in your actions, they are gonna come by your house and pour a bucket of Charlestown water on your car. And you know it contains manganese.”

The fact that readers are so concerned about me may be better than the box of chocolates. But I won’t really know until I can download the stuff.

— Sellersburg resident Debbie Harbeson wasted her time with IT. They recommended burning to a CD and everyone knows that melts chocolates.

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