It happened. It finally happened, not in the way I had hoped. Just the same, it happened. My column caught the eye of a big-wig. Okay, so it wasn’t Mr. ABC Television Executive, but it was a senior executive in charge of blah, blah, blah who was offended by yesterday’s column, Don’t Forget To Flush and Wash Your Hands. You remember yesterday’s column, the one about toilet paper? Well, as it turns out, this senior executive, let’s call him HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, happens to be employed by COMPANY X, the makers of the toilet paper BRAND THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED that I featured in my musings yesterday. You know, the new and improved BRAND THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED that somehow simultaneously gets your bottom clean and keeps your hands free from the typical spectrum of contaminants associated with wiping oneself. As luck would have it, his wife, we’ll call her MRS. HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, is a loyal Just Another Ordinary Day follower (by the way, thanks, keep reading and no hard feelings). MRS. HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED forwarded Don’t Forget To Flush and Wash Your Hands to her husband, HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, which in turn prompted him to email me. I offered to print his email in the comments section. Since I have not received his permission, I’ll simply include my reply. It’s only one side of the interaction, but you’ll get the picture. I’ve made a few editorial changes to my original reply, but only to protect the privacy of HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED and COMPANY X. Otherwise the content and message is essentially the same. Here it is.
Dear HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED,
Thanks for your email. WIth the exception profanity, I do not censor comments left by readers, so with your permission, I would be happy to represent your sentiments in the comment section of my blog page. With all due respect, the television ad at issue really did strike me as funny. I actually laughed out loud. The act of wiping oneself with toilet paper is contaminating in and of itself. The implication that any measure of toilet paper strength helps to keep one’s hands clean seems ludicrous to me. While I am flattered by the thought of it, I hardly think the musings of an ordinary housewife viewed by less than 100 or so people a day is going to cause the price of COMPANY X stock to plummet. Likewise, I doubt my 610 word essay is going to have an impact that will cost any of the 45,0000 people employed worldwide by COMPANY X their jobs. If my investigatory skills served me well this evening, your title at COMPANY X is Senior Vice President – BLAH BLAH. I can’t help but wonder. Are you suggesting that I libeled COMPANY X by making my opinions public in the manner in which I did, or are you simply offended by my insensitive comments? I admire and respect the pride you take in your company and your loyalty to your fellow COMPANY X employees. Please let me know if there is something you would like me to do. I’ll admit I was not thinking of the people behind the toilet paper when I wrote this piece and I certainly am willing to consider making editorial changes if you have some reasonable suggestions. On a side note, one of the things that I strive to do in my pieces is to point out the humor in the mundane things that happen in the course of ordinary every day life. With that being said, I would bet I’m not the only person to be struck by the irony of the new and improved BRAND THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED ad campaign. It’s just funny, but maybe that’s what you were shooting for. Thanks again for your feedback.
So there you have it. You might say HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED handed me a good old-fashioned slap on the wrist. I admit, it was insensitive of me not to think about the 45000 people behind (yes, pun is intended) the toilet paper and the impact my comments might have on their livelihoods. What is left for me to say? I am sorry? I always say actions speak louder than words so after hitting the send button on the above email reply, I promptly tucked my tail between my legs and skulked off to edit and repost a new, kinder, gentler version of Don’t Forget To Flush and Wash Your Hands. I replaced the actual product brand name with the BRAND THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED throughout the entire story, did some secondary tweaking, and you know what? I like the new version better! So, HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, it seems I owe you a debt of gratitude! Perhaps you might consider emailing a similar reprimand to your ad men. Who knows, you just might ignite a similar creative spark in them too.
Yes, indeed it happened. Just Another Ordinary Day caught the eye of a big-wig. Okay, so it didn’t happen exactly as I’d hoped it would, but still it happened. Maybe next time around I’ll discover I’m separated by six degrees from Mr. ABC Television Executive and maybe this ordinary woman will get her chance to dance among the stars after all. It could happen.
Till tomorrow… Good night. Sleep tight.