Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
"Dear Sad in Savannah: I'm sorry your nephew didn't send you a ‘thank you' card for the graduation present you gave him, but male teens aren't genetically capable of being courteous, so I'd lower my expectations a few notches, if I were you. However, maybe your nephew's mom wrote a letter for him, and someone in your neighborhood stole it from your mailbox. Go to the hardware store and get one of those new ‘theft-proof' mailboxes and a few bags of concrete. Dig about five feet down to give it a solid footing. Let the concrete cure for 24 hours. That should stop those mail thieves."
"Dear Vexed in Valdosta: If no one commented on your dinner party, maybe you're a terrible cook. Consider hiring a caterer next time. Also, you should check for any other problems. Maybe your guest bathroom toilet is leaking. That's pretty gross! Take the lid off the tank and look in there. Make sure you jiggle that little round float to see if it's the culprit. About 80 percent of the time, that's the problem. Go to the hardware store for a replacement float, and pick up a new air conditioner filter while you're there. No one will enjoy a dinner party in Valdosta if your air conditioner is acting up, even if you do cater in the food and fix the can."
"Dear Short-Changed in Sandy Springs: Dude! Did you really send me a letter on ‘Hello Kitty' stationary? Who cares what your wife said about your mother? She's probably right. Just race down to the hardware store right now! You need to start some kind of home repair project before it's too late for you. And don't send anyone a letter on your daughter's cartoon stationary, ever again! Seriously."
OK, those are all the letters for this week. If this catches on, I might do it regularly. I've got the knack!
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.