Thank you!


If you’ve received this email, I owe you a big Thank You!

As part of my RA (Rudeness Anonymous) 12-step program, I am apologizing to you now for my past rude behavior, and thanking you for all that you’ve done for me. Or to me. Or is that the rudeness speaking?

If I’ve said something to hurt or offend you, I didn’t mean it. Well, I meant it, but I don’t mean it now, if you know what I mean. If what I said rang a bell or struck a nerve, I apologize. It’s hard enough being ugly or dumb or an ass without someone like me rubbing it in.

To taunt me, instead of the other way around, simply reply to this email, although RA does not approve of taunting. RA considers taunting to be rude. I myself have  given up taunting, except at sporting events and in arguments with my children.

Remember Jane Smith? That kind-of-shaky, mousy little thing in Accounting? My group called that bullying, what I did. Jane is past all human caring now, but I’m thanking her in my heart. Bully me back if you want to. I spend Friday nights at Budd’s Bar. I’ll be sitting on the last stool to the right. I encourage those I’ve bullied to stop by and give it back to me in spades, from 10 P.M. to 11 P.M. After that, I’ll be too drunk to appreciate what you’re doing and to thank you. In fact, better come between 9 P.M. and 10 P.M. Or earlier.

A special shout-out to those to whom I was obstreperous. I’ve come to hate obstreperosity. I wouldn’t want someone to become noisily aggressive with me, for sure. I laughed at first when the RA group pointed out that I was a very obstreperous person. I thought that they were talking about a disease of my private parts or something! But the joke was on me. Everyone in the group turned on me that night and had me in tears. Tears of laughter at what a bunch of clowns they were, but still!

Mom and Dad: It’s true, what you told me a thousand times. I was born rude. Born with the family rude gene. Lucky for you, that it skipped your generation. You did the right thing, sending me off to “private school” in Wasilla at the age of two, the second you recognized that I had it. But not too soon for me to get in a few zingers before you shipped me out, ha ha! But I’m sorry.

Myrtle Smith: Hi. I’ve been reading over the minutes from your first RA meeting.

   You: Hello, I’m Myrtle. I’m a rude person.

   All: Hello, Myrtle!

   You: I don’t really want to be here. The judge made it a condition of my parole. Looking out over your faces, I see… Hey, that guy is sticking his tongue out at me!

   Me: No, I wasn’t.

   You: How long have you been in this program? Did you just get here, too? Because you’re very ru… Hey, I heard that!

   Moderator: Can we just let Myrtle introduce herself, please?

   You: That little twerp. I thought I was rude. Who’s his sponsor?

   Moderator: I was going to ask you to do that.

   You: The first thing I’ll do is punch him in the face.

   Moderator: Sounds like a good start.

I guess you could call that a “meet cute,” huh, Myrtle? Anyway, I want to thank you for that first punch, and all the punches that followed. Thank you for being there for me at my sister’s wedding, when you knocked me out before I could respond to that “Speak now, or forever hold your peace”  thing. Thanks too for that shot to the head you gave me at my Dad’s funeral. I wasn’t at my best that day. They still won’t let me back in the cemetery to visit Pop’s grave.

To the doctors and nurses who participated in my rude-gene replacement therapy, hey, it was a long, hard road, during which, yes, I harassed a few of you, and nagged, and waxed vituperative, and lacked restraint with respect to raspberries and derogatory, racist, sexist, ageist, and anti-religious remarks, together with generally awesomely bad behavior, but I guess we can look back on it all now and laugh, huh? I’ve only been able to cadge the email addresses for three of you. Please pass these thoughts along to the other forty-eight involved in the project. Getting that damned gene out of every strand of DNA in my body, especially from all those billions of neurons in my brain, what a slog! Oh, and I want to thank the thousands of rude rats and mice who gave up their lives in our nation’s top laboratories to make the procedure possible. And remember: if I hadn’t been as rude as I was, I might not have accumulated the billions of dollars required to cure me. So cut me a little damn slack! Especially you, Nurse Ratchett, you know who you are. Take off that uniform and go find a job as a domatrix somewhere. Just kidding.  🙂

To all my RA friends, thank you and goodbye. Now that I’ve been cured of my rudeness, I’m off to CSNA (Can’t Say No Anonymous), which meets upstairs in the church rec hall.

And finally, a reminder to all of you that annoying is not the same thing as rude.