Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module

The Unpublished

All the letters to the magazine that were too good to throw away, now in print

For eight years, I edited this magazine’s letters to the editor, a fascinating glimpse into the gripes, prejudices, and obsessions of Chicagoans. Some days, I got four-page rants from prison inmates. On others it was achingly lonesome postcards from senior citizens. Poetry arrived in the mail, eulogies, and photos of busty women in black bras. Most of the juiciest stuff never made it to print—until now. Here I’ve included my favorite excerpts from the cutting room floor, divided into the eight basic categories of People Who Write Letters to the Editor.

1. THE HARMLESSLY ECCENTRIC

“Has anyone else noticed the resemblance between Bob Sirott and Sir Isaac Newton? Am enclosing two photos. . . . ”

“Regarding hot dogs, there are stands in Chicago. Granted, there is a technical difference between ’stand’ and ‘cart.’ But they are both outside and on wheels.”

“I have over 20 years of restaurant matchbooks. You are welcome to use them if you desire. If you think about it, it is a lot of matches.”

2. THOSE WHO HATE US

“You folks at Chicago mag must be after some sort of ignorant perverted caveman mentality. Well . . . you guys really nailed it.”

“If you do not print this, at least re-use the paper and wipe the dust off your Navigation GPS. The Western Suburbs do exist.”

“Is the magazine becoming a journal for the American Plastic Surgeons Association? Maybe you could place all their ads in a single pullout section that I could easily remove and feed to the fireplace.”

“I would assume the dean of your journalism school is embarrassed at the stupidity of your article. Maybe writing isn’t your forte.”

3. THOSE WHO HATE OUR SUBJECTS

“[Name Deleted] lamented on how everyone thought she was sleeping with their boyfriends. A natural assumption, considering she was.”

“My God, to place that ugly female on your cover is the dumbest move in the history of magazines in Chicago. She is terrible.”

“Your article about [Name Deleted] was quite fascinating. You should have titled it Mr. Lying Cheating Womanizing Cowardly F@#*head.

4. PRUDES AGAINST NUDES

“We are so dis­appointed in the slick shiny slutty smelly magazine that showed up.”

“My first web site search during a senior ‘how to use a computer’ group had me looking up Princess Diana. The next picture was the bare-bottom/breasts of Princess Diana, a stripper.”

“Write a letter to Larry Flynt and ask to change the name of your magazine to Chicago Hustler, because this is the only place an article like this should be printed.”

5. PRESUMPTUOUS AND CLUELESS

“i am looking for song from the movie called american sweethearts. i don’t know the name of the song but the course of the song goes something like this: ‘uuuu withched woman see how hi she fly’s’ if you have that song in ‘mp3’ format is it possible to send it to me thank you.”

6. THE VAGUELY OMINOUS

“Can you please reprint your June 1990 cover of a beautiful blonde-haired woman wearing a pink-and-black one-piece swimsuit playing volleyball and smiling? Please??”

“I have in the past shopped for lady’s undergarments, but have always bought a gift certificate and didn’t stay too long.”

“I told him to ‘go f@#* himself . . . if he was looking for someone to impale herself upon his grave, he had the wrong girl.’ That moment opened the gate to a long and deeply loving relationship between us.”

7. GUYS WHO USE WORDS LIKE “HOOOOODOGGIES”

“Thanks for the tip about [Name Deleted]. Hoooodoggies! I’ve been fortunate enough to date her quite a bit now and I’ve just gotta say: hooooodoggies!”

8. POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTORS

“I couldn’t imagine who would get into bed with [Name Deleted], a middle-aged guy wearing a stuffed squirrel on his head, unless he told her he was Davy Crockett.”

“Congratulations on your fine article about my sister. It was quite a shock to learn that she is an only child.”


 

Illustration: Susie Ghahremani

Share

Edit Module

Advertisement

Edit Module
Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Edit Module