I love the letters I get from my weekly Sunday Times column from the really, truly, wildly offended.
Like this guy:
27 January 2013, at 15:56
Subject: Enough already!
I sort of half scan your column each week as I head towards the soduku and crosswords and normally just shake my head and move on. This week’s offering was the pits. Apart from the racist undertones in your article (Hey! Why not do one on thick lips? Fuzzy hair? Slitty eyes? Fat bums? Plenty of material if you think about it and you can break all THOSE down by race and nationality – I don’t think!), it was just plain bad journalism – or feature writing if you prefer – which, on top of shamelessly punting your books as you have done in recent months, does you so very little credit.
You are coarse, crude and downright vulgar, so in terms that you seem to enjoy, will you please see if you can get more powerful batteries for your vibrator or find someone who can give you a really good shag on a regular basis and just move on, rather than exposing your inadequacies and frustrations to all and sundry!
Get some class, Babe, you’ve got a great job writing in a “Sunday”. Try harder and appreciate
the incredible fortune you have. I know scores of talented writers who would
kill for your job, yet can’t get a look in.
You wonder what I wrote about that upset him so much?
Conflict in the Middle East (which is really just a combination of religion and politics)
Or maybe I said something mean about his mum.
Nope, it was a column based on a survey which compared the size of men’s penises from different countries around the world.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt writing for the Sunday Times, there’s nothing quite like a penis column (he he he penis column) to make a certain kind of guy really angry. It’s like he thinks I was talking about his penis.
Pens Behaving Badly, a book of columns and the letters they inspired, like this one, will be out on Kindle and Kobo on 15th July.