Friday, March 11, 2011

Notes From A Newsroom: Pt. 1

Hi All,
Tough day, the tsunami in Japan is horrifying. So I thought I would send out this post that should brighten your day a bit.

A few years ago I proposed writing a book with a good friend who was a producer for a local news station. (Local to New York City that is.) He worked on an advocacy show, one where viewers with problems would contact the station and if found worthy the station would try to find some answers or satisfaction on their behalf.

It was a good show and my friend had some success with it. But of course there had to be a flip side, which is that they received scores of emails from people who were, no other way to say it, bat shit crazy. Or deluded. Or simply angry with no way to help. Or too stupid for words. Or ... you get the idea.

Our idea, in turn, was to take some of the emails, format them, provide some snarky captions and put it out in book form. We sent it to a few agents, but no one bit. And my friend, in turn, had questions about whether the emails were even his to use.

But now a few years have passed and probably no one would care if I reprinted the old emails here, would they? If they do I am sure I will hear from them.

So, we didn't publish a book, but I will share with you what the book would have been. And if there are any agents who find themselves salivating to do this, well, shoot me an email. I am sure we can find a way to accommodate you.

Again, these are all true letters and emails from the public.



(Note: Our snarky captions are in italics below. I think you'll figure it out.)

I can see it now…”At 10:00 an important consumer warning for all you lonely women out there, your 9 volt lover might get you hotter than you want.”


I have a situation that I am at a loss for. I spoke to several attorneys and did not receive any luck…I was told it is far too extensive to proceed without costing me a lot of money…I feel now I have been through enough, being asked to go through this again is very difficult for me, and is now costing me to defend myself. This was very traumatizing for me, very emotional, and a very embarrassing situation.

A few years ago, I had a fire in my apartment, I did not have renters insurance, and took what was a severe loss for me. The fire had started from a battery operated device of mine. A vibrator. Smoke alarms in my building were not working at the time, and caused the fire to brew for several hours. The Ft. Lauderdale Fire Dept. did not want to get involved in a legal issue and refused to make a statement on that behalf. My neighbors stated they smelled smoke at 6pm, the fire dept. did not arrive till after 10pm.

The maker of the vibrator is Doc Johnson, and at the time of the fire, I had inquired to sue the manufacturer for a product liability case, but being told the cost of the case was beyond what I could afford, I put my head down, and proceeded to leave this matter behind me. The fire report humiliated me with my own words and took a great deal to recover from.

In my efforts to get over this, and move on with my life, I have recently been served papers for the damages to the building…I have searched for legal advice, my only luck was to hire an attorney in my defense of this case. Who then advised me I could write letters to the manufacturer, in hopes that they would not want to cause any hassels. Also being informed I might get a response or they might throw it in the trash. I don’t know what to do, and don’t understand why I have to go through this. On that note I came here to see if you have any further advice for me.


Watch out for that 4th step it’s a doosie!


Please help….A letter to the Long Island Rail Road

Tonight was the ultimate. I arrived home at the Lindenhurst LIRR station at 8:45pm to find two women placing police tape closing down a railroad stairway. They explained that the stairway was being closed because someone complained about the safety of the 4th step. What they neglected to expand upon (and I’m sure they didn’t realize they were speaking with a 4th step veteran) was that on the 4th step, and on the 4th step for the entire week before, was a huge pile of human feces. (I don’t think dogs would travel that high to alleviate their problems)… There are CONSTANT problems with the LIRR Lindenhurst facility…Any service provider who leaves an escalator out of service for an extended period while providing a stairway to customers paved with human feces for an extended period of time is asking for trouble. And you’ve found it.




Welcome to NYC, we have the Empire State building, Broadway, the Statue of Liberty and tax free crack!


I have a few things bothering me about my travel occasionally to the city; the subways have no bathrooms, many stations have no or inadequate seating. When you get to the city the bus stops have frequently no or inadequate shelter or seating. The parks are frequently dirty, filthy and foul smelling. The bathrooms rarely have tissue paper, never have paper dispensers, no soap to wash your hands. Your story about fining a store owner for selling lousy made me sick. The city fines a hard working store owner for making a profit on cigarettes and not paying taxes, but lets the pot and crack dealers work the city with impunity, how come I have to pay taxes and the crack dealers don’t have to?


You got the wrong guy for this one.


Help me I need a girl will you help me? Call me at 215-XXX-XXXX. Please help fast I need a girl to have sex with and pride my life around. You must help, or if you are gay just tell me I’m kinda gay too.


No kids, no laughing, no traffic, no cold weather, Gods’ not listening? Got it, we’ll get right on it.


I just wanted to congratulate you on your hard hitting exposé. Your report has truly opened my eyes to the injustices that are surrounding me in my daily life. The children in the park next to my apartment building must be stopped! They are so loud. Have you ever heard a group of children laughing? It’s enough to drive you mad. I also live a few blocks from the George Washington Bridge. The noise from the bridge makes it quite difficult to sleep. The city of NY has ignored my numerous requests to close the bridge during my normal sleeping hours. Please help! It has also come to my attention that New York City is sometimes far too cold. I have talked with God multiple times about this “situation” but have yet to receive a response. I truly believe that if you speak to God the way you did those scoundrels we can get this cold weather taken care of right away.


This story will probably not have a “happy ending.”

From: Stacey

my problem is that today I had an interview with this person about a body rub position ... that I found on . I met the guy at 52st and 8ave and then he met up with me and he brang me to his business apartment. . he told me about the position and that you give massage topless. . to the client. .I gave him a full body massage while he was nake. . but then the part was that I have to jerk him off at the end. . and that doesn’t seem like this is part of a massage policy? What do you think? And he say that I have to be nuke too but I told him I feel unconforable. . and then at the end. . he say that I don’t have to use my hands but to use my mouth to give a blow job... my question to you howard is do you think this not a real business? He say that his other girls that work here are nuke and give bow jobs. . this is a private massage business. . I think this wrong? What do you think? Don’t you need a license for doing massage?


Wait, why do you know this?

From: Yehuda

There is something going on at Delta airlines. When I call the 1-800 number for reservations and am put on hold, one of their hold music/advertisments “for switching to AT&T residential service and get Delta sky miles” has a guitarist playing the music of the NAZI National anthem, “Deutschland uber alles” in the background! This is a great injustice to all jews, and a violation of my civil rights every time I call that I have to hear this. Can you help?

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