Monday, November 29, 2021

Columnist responds to e-mail from U

April 4, 2001

At the end of this column is a short byline explaining that, if you want to write to me, you can do so at

I’ve been writing this for a year, and in the process I’ve received close to 200 letters. Most of them are pleasant notes complimenting me on my work, some of them are well-thought-out explanations of why I’m wrong, and two informed me I’m the father of children in the East Lansing area.

But there are some that are so interesting, so provocative and so poetic I thought I would share them with you.

Boy, you’re ugly. I mean it, I put your column up and your picture scared my fish and now they just hide inside their little plastic castle. What are you, some kind of toady reptile thing? - Andrew

Andrew - I know they’re scary, but I promise that these changes are perfectly normal. This period of growth and development is something to celebrate - you’re becoming a man!

The bar scene isn’t working for me. Every time I try to talk to a girl, she can’t hear me, and I go home alone. How can I be more successful?

- Brett

Brett - As most bar-goers know, conversation is impossible at most bars. The trick to picking up members of the opposite sex is to dress exactly like everyone else there. By about one in the morning, people are so confused they will go home with someone who even vaguely resembles their date. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you’ll make a new friend. I suggest gel, a leather jacket and some khakis.

I’m thinking of applying to medical school. What could you tell me so I’m not surprised when I get there? - Steven

Be prepared to see your professors naked. As a consequence of my membership in a popular local athletic club, I’ve managed to be in the locker room at the same time as no less than seven of my teachers. I’ve started to keep a chart. So far, they’re all men, but I think a quick leg-shaving and a wig will even the score.

I don’t normally forward these things, but this sounds so sad


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