Oh. My. GOD, you guys!
Okay, here is what happened...
I was having a normal, run of the mill bachelor evening (READ: Watching Metalocolypse and playing video games in my underwear) when I decided to dig a bit through the Birmingham Weekly archives to find some older apocalyptic tales I'd unleashed upon you, my loyal readers.
While doing this, I began to notice the occasional comment attached to some of my articles. As I've stated before, I often forget that there are people out there that read these things! People stop and tell me in the mall sometimes but it still hasn't registered to me. I write alone at home, I send it in, I read it sometimes on Thursday, and I start writing again. But YOU guys are why do it! When I'm reminded that I can occasionally move you guys to comment, it does my heart good.
ESPECIALLY the hate mail...
Now, I don't want hate mail. Even though I suppose I have a tough exterior I just want everyone to be happy with what I'm giving them. I don't NEED everyone to be happy, but I would like it to be true. But sometimes I get a piece of hate mail that is so off the mark and so incredibly hilarious that it makes it all worth it.
I'm never gonna write for Steve Martin, I'm never gonna date an Asian co-ed, and it's possible I may never win a CMA- but that's all okay when I think about the misplaced anger my goofy scrawling here in the back of the paper can cause. I only wish I had a mustache I could twirl ever so deviously. I'm using all of my willpower to try and grow that mustache as I type this...
SO, I'm looking through old articles and I come across one from February 4th of this year entitled “The King of Rock: No, not Elvis”. You can go and (re)read it, but I'll sum it up here: I complain a lot about things that don't really matter to anyone but me and during this standard rant I mention that Elvis was a redneck that stole music from colored people.
Let me be quite frank, I knew when I typed the sentence that it was a sin to besmirch the name of Elvis Presley from this side of the bible belt. But I did it for one simple reason: Elvis was a redneck that stole music from black people. Then he died on the toilet. And with all the things I've said about all the things I don't really care about I never, NEVER thought that making fun of the King of Easy Punchlines would cause- well-
Let me back up.
Believe it or not, I was a bit of an outcast in elementary school. I was an artist and comic book collector with the occasional bout of depression so of course I had to take the allotted number of sucker punches before I learned to defend myself. The one thing that made it all worthwhile, though, was reading time. It never failed: the meaner the bully the worse he would do during reading time. It would do my geeky heart well to enjoy session of tough guys stumbling through fairly simple passages in Moonbeams and the Weekly Reader as I recovered from the gut punch they'd given me earlier. Watching the bullies flail and fail- this was the ultimate payback.
This brings us back to Saturday night and my bad-mouthing the “king” of Rock and Roll.
I present to you, now, the comment that I received due to my column. This is presented to you EXACTLY as it was submitted, with every wonderful typo in place:
There are African Americans and there are Nig.ers in this country. After reading your thouts in the article, I give 100% you belong to the sad 2 category.
Elvis is the redneck but he made houndreds of millions people happy. People still remember him..and when you die, who would remember you cheap articles. NO ONE! Maybe your big black mama! Good Luck!
You guys...You GUYS!
I'm so incredibly happy right now. When I read this, I could barely contain my joy. I swear, I nearly cried. Now, My Birmingham Weekly partners in crime Madison and Matt saw this comment and backed me up by pointing out the obvious yet clumsily executed racism but I didn't see this- for 4 months! It's like finding a Christmas present in April because it was mistakenly pushed underneath the couch!
Please join me, won't you, as I address this Comment one uneducated bit at a time...
First of all thank you, Horrible Writer, for reminding us all of what is possibly Chris Rock's most famous routine. I find it odd that you are even aware of it. I guess it makes sense that you know about it, seeing as it was written by an African American and not a Nig.er. Though, if you recall the entire routine, Mr. Rock mentioned that “Reading/Books was like like Kryptonite to Nig.gers”. Using my expert deduction skills, I think that the since I own many books bound in fine leathers and you obviously can't read- this would make YOU the Nig.ger. Any “thouts”?
Quick side note: I wish to God I knew whether or not the spelling of Nig.er was yet another typo or the writer's attempt to censor himself. I hope it's not a typo. Dear Lord, if I should die before I wake PLEASE take my soul and tell me he (or she) did this in an effort to make the letter LESS offensive! “I don't want to offend any Niggers here. Hmmm-- I better drop the center “G” lest I come of as droll or uncouth...” Magnificent!
I have to commend you for using “Houndreds” instead of the more commonly used and recognized unit of 10, “Hundreds”. Delicious! I assume you did this to remind us all of the song Hound Dog, another song that Elvis DID NOT write- although, I guess it would be fair to say he covered it. You win this round.
But, yes, Elvis made H(o)undreds of millions of people happy. One might say even even managed to entertain Eleventy-Seventy Katrillions of people! And, yes, people still remember him. So do I- I remember that he didn't write his own songs. Certainly, one would be able to write his own music before he'd accept the crown of King!
Next, you state that perhaps not as many people will remember me as they do Elvis. I have to say you are probably right. I hope that a small group of friends, fans, and loved ones remember my dignified and non-drug filled autopsy report with the occasional reading of one of my many cheap articles by candlelight. Because I do my own writing, you see. Are you getting my point? Good- This would please my black ghost more than you will ever know.
Lastly, you end with a “Big, Black Mama” joke. You try to school me on race, then you call me a Nig.er and make a Big Black Mama joke? I'm sorry, Hemingway, but to borrow a set-up from famed comedian Jeff Foxworthy “If the only thing you bring to a debate is the “N” word and a 'Yo Mama' joke... you MIGHT be a Nig.er”! You have basically just stolen the ammo of every black 4th grader that I ever knew! Much like Elvis, you just can't write your own stuff, huh? That's okay though. We were entertained...
Oh, this was great. I am a happy African American, friends. And please, please don't let this tirade keep you- my more literate readers, from writing me even if you disagree with me. I welcome it. I only ask that you arrive with some idea of what you're talking about, a working spell-check, and an idea of how the English language works.
To everyone else- if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the back of the paper! Good Luck!