Mike Brown: Hate Mail

Illustration: Jared Smith

Hate mail.  I don’t get nearly enough of it.  Unless you define hate mail as mail I hate getting—like parking ticket subpoenas (which mostly come from trying to park in the most frustrating lot downtown, the SLUG office lot, thank you very much) or credit card bills.  I don’t mind junk mail, although I’m not a junkie or coupon user, junk mail makes me feel special.  Like I’m somebody.  Out of all the people on the planet, this huge corporation took time out of their busy schedule to bombard me with shit I’m just going to throw away.

No, I don’t get enough mail, manifested physically by snail mail or digitally by e-mail in regards to what I write in SLUG.  People tell me that they think it happens all the time, but a written response to something I wrote is a rare treat.  Like caramel apples, or ecstasy or any other seasonal delicacy.  No one really writes me.  Boo hoo, poor me. 

I personally think the reason I don’t get any hate mail these days is because the current generation of SLUG readers are apathetic.  Texting’s way easier than writing a letter.  I’m working on a proposal with the SLUG editors where we can start a Dear Dickheads text line and you can just mobily express your hatred for SLUG.

The reason I like hate mail is it really makes me feel like I’m doing something right with what I write, right?  I finally got a duesy last month that ended up in Dear Dickheads.  Much to my chagrin, the author directed the letter at SLUG and not me.  So I never got a chance to properly respond. 

If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you pick up issue number 264 out of your bathroom garbage can and give it a gander.  I get accused of being arrogant, a grimy chauvinist, ridiculous, inappropriate, preadolescent, egotistical and ridiculous.  All true, and all compliments if you want to be an effective writer.  I can’t believe he or she (most likely she if I have to go all Dr. Phil on the letter) left out narcissistic and misogynistic in the barrage of beautiful nouns to describe me. 

I’ve been thinking about which ex-girlfriend I have who might have written that letter, seeing how she said that she’s met me in person before, or which underage broad it was who I wouldn’t let into Urban Lounge some night.  Or maybe it was actually Ryan Jensen.  His ego matches mine, but he’s got way more charisma than I do.  Either way, it means what I’m doing is effective—or at least it affected one person. 

I doubt it was sent in on a handwritten letter, though.  As you may or may not know, I have quite the fondness for handwritten letters.  There’s just something these days about someone who took the time to sit down and pull out the nice stationary, and scribble something nice just for me. 

I received a handwritten letter in regards to the article I wrote about boobs a few months ago.  The handwriting and spelling were worse than mine, and it came from Midvale, so I’m suspecting Juggalos, but I can’t claim that for sure.  Translating it has been quite hard, but basically it starts by giving me props for writing about tits.

Then it gets a little creepy and goes on to talk about his mother’s boobs, his mother’s shaved vagina (called a Wooget on the street, which I heard got its name from the weird Star Wars off-shoot movie with all the Ewoks and there was a bald Ewok named Wooget). He also writes about his first blow job. 

Now that I think about it, I’m a little concerned touching the paper that the letter is actually written on.  There might be jizz on there.  Oh well. Creepy or not, at least he took the time to express himself and how much he and I like boobs. 

I asked the SLUG editors why his letter never made the Dear Dickheads, and they just said they couldn’t transcribe it.  I think it creeped them out too.

The best mail we get in the SLUG office isn’t directed towards me, really.  By far it’s the prison letters we get from the folks “livin’ rent free in Bluffdale,” as my old man used to say.  The prison mail is amazing for a couple reasons.  First off, the penmanship is outstanding.  I’ve never been to prison before, nor do I want to, but I’d imagine these guys have a lot of time on their hands.  It’s like they spend a whole minute on each stroke to compose a three-page letter to tell us how awesome we are at SLUG.

I even wanted to start a Prison Letter of the Month column, to go hand-in-hand with the Serial Killer of the Month article we used to do.  It never got off the ground, though. 

The other thing I really like about the prison letters is that it’s never them bitching about the scene or how lame we are or how the CD reviews sucked this month, blah, blah, blah.  I have one simple response to people who complain about SLUG’s editorial content: SLUG is a community-based free magazine, so if you wish it was better, get off your fucking high horse and write something for us. 

Illustration: Jared Smith