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Preemptively presaging reader remarks

Paul Dunn

As I grapple with life’s riddles, I often seek advice from my buddy, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.

I found particularly helpful an excerpt from his Aug. 30, 2002, presentation before the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City:

“It is by no means evident to us that we currently have — or will be able to find — a measure of equity premiums or related indicators that convincingly presage an emerging bubble. Short of such a measure, I find it difficult to conceive of an adequate degree of central bank certainty to justify the scale of preemptive tightening that would likely be necessary to neutralize a bubble.”

Loosely translated, this means: “The ducky goes quack, quack, quack, quack, quaaaaaaaaaack …”

And there’s this: The baseball playoffs are in full swing, so I’ve been wondering about those pitcher/coach conversations at the mound …

“How ya feelin’, Lefty? You walked the last five batters, beaned the bat boy and brushed off a lady in the second deck. I thought it might be time for a chat.”

“Well, coach, I’m worried. You know that ‘bubble’ Mr. Greenspan was talking about? It’s just hard to concentrate on striking guys out when I’m presaging emerging preemptive trouble, and …”

Which brings me to today’s subject: e-mail etiquette.

Received a note from a fan last week concerning my Friday column on choosing a president:

“Your recent article in the paper this morning, was this some kind of attempt at …….. humor? Please, don’t give up your day job. Are you fresh out of high school? Do us all a favor and try to concentrate on getting the paper to us on time, and leave the humor to actual funny people.”

Loosely translated, his note means: “Your UN-funniness made me VERY angry — and furthermore, the piggy goes oink, oink, oink, oink, oooiiiinnnkkkkk …”

This is disheartening: I thought I WAS leaving the humor to actual funny people. That column was meant to be dead serious.

Getting back to the e-mail: I was always taught to take the high road in my relations with other humans, so if I had sent the e-mail I would have couched it in slightly more flowery language:

“Mr. Dunn: You’re a MORON! If I had a lit match right now, I’d burn the eyes out of your mug shot!

“I’ve had gall bladder surgery that made me laugh harder than you do!

“And about your day job: Quit! Try standup comedy. I’m POSITIVE you’d do great! We’d miss you at the Tribune, though …

“And one last thing: The cow goes ‘mooooooooooooooo.'”

Note to readers: Sorry your Friday papers were late, folks. We’re correcting the problems.

Paul

— Paul Dunn is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8047 and pdunn@tahoedailytribune.com.


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