I came up with a handy multiple-choice form letter for personal attacks: "I was (somewhere/nowhere/in the middle of the desert/on the moon) with (everyone/no one/someone I hate). This person said (he/she) had once (eaten a bowling ball/made love to Pol Pot/wanted to kill all bunnies). I thought other people should know about this." So what do you think? - GadflyWith such a variety of options, Action Line is inclined to (ignore the question/drive like a New Mexican/build a bridge to nowhere).
Your letter brings up some interesting (possibilities/cases of pertussis/plans for artificial turf).
However, without any clear focus, it's impossible to (answer your inquiry/find a downtown parking space/repair Florida Road).
This appears to be a not-so-subtle instance of (mudslinging/alternative high schools likely to fail/the county's inability to create a basic land-use plan).
In the future, it would be more helpful to (be more specific/eliminate train smoke/buy more open space).
Letters like this (don't belong in the newspaper/keep real estate agents awake at night/fill up the Wal-Mart parking lot) and (fail to contribute to civil dialogue/encourage nonprofits to have another silent auction fundraiser/infuriate artists who think they deserve a better review).
So let's just (stop it/steal stuff from rec center lockers/allow dogs to run loose) and keep (politeness/lycra and fleece/abysmal snow plowing) in our community.
I saw that virtually the entire staff (with the inexcusable exclusion of yourself and Mrs. Martinez, my loyal carrier) won "top media honors" in the 2008 press awards. With the number of "winners" from our small daily, it seems as meaningful as my grandson's Little League trophy extolling him as a "participant." I know the media is a difficult business these days. Could it be the industry is trying to make everyone feel good? - Ken LeRoyIn a nutshell, yes.
But there's nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs an atta-boy accolade.
If there ever were a time to help people feel good, that time would be now.
So what if three different distinguished panels of out-of-state judges failed to appreciate the serious intellectual discourse and journalistic contributions of Action Line?
Those nonlocal judges mispronounce Florida.
They don't know where Elmore's is.
And they probably think "ancestal Puebloans" is a much better term for Anasazi.
And who wants an award plaque, anyway? Plaque is something the dentist scrapes from teeth. We don't need no stinkin' plaque.
Getting snubbed three times is no big deal. Nope. Happens all the time. Chin up. Chest out. Cowboy up.
"Getting people to laugh on a Monday morning is the best reward," reminded Mrs. Action Line. "I think you deserve a Pulitzer Prize."
Unexpectedly the next evening, she roasted a plump chicken for dinner.
"Ta-da! It's a pullet surprise," she exclaimed.
We celebrated the successful avoidance of victory with tasty poultry, garlic mashed potatoes, a fresh salad and a zippy bottle of wine.
Life is good.
The Mea Culpa Mailbag contained the funniest note from ace physical therapist Stephanie Roberts of Peak Physical Therapy, who treated Action Line for a painful bout of Achilles tendonitis.
Steph offered pre-emptive medical aid in response to Action Line's recent not-so-well-thought-out promise to perform a celebratory gymnastics maneuver.
"Just wanted you to have my business card on hand for when you do cartwheels down the new extension of the Animas River Trail!" she wrote.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you (run for City Council/rescue the melodrama/drill for gas in the HD Mountains).