Monday, April 23, 2018

Missing Teeth

Chocolate Flecked Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Out here in the gig economy, we're scrolling through online job sites, taking cake orders and editing jobs, and buying lottery tickets because you just never know. I do know there are Russian bots out there and enormous intrusions into my privacy and yours, so I probably deserve every bizarrely targeted ad I get, but I'm mostly intrigued and sometimes thrilled by the random shit that finds its way to me. I can't help thinking that something good and lucrative will surely land on my lap and all my troubles will be over. Nearly every day, I get a slew of requests in my email box to interview promising writers of upcoming books with titles like Finding Your Wow or The New Discipline: Building A Tiny Home for Time-Outs. Money is never mentioned, though, and I honestly can't bring myself to tell them that my audience, while faithful, is more devoted to learning about the intersection of politics, disability, parenting, poetry and mermaids than how to explore inflatable zones. I removed the link from to ensure that you aren't projected into some kind of alternative universe, although there's a fair argument to be made that we're already living in one:

Hello Dear,
I am Ellen from
We just found your articles on your blog were attractive. I think your style of writing is quite good and fit to introduce my company's products. We are looking forward to establishing a cooperative business partnership with you on the basis of equality, mutual benefit.
We would like to sincerely invite you to cooperate with us.

Back when many of us thought Bush was the worst President in all of history and couldn't understand why our fellow countrymen would vote for the guy they "most wanted to have a beer with" yet still felt somewhat connected to them as human beings (unlike today's clusterfuck of living amongst seeming aliens who voted for and still defend that POS running the kakistocracy), I got this request:

Dear Elizabeth,
Can I write an article for the a moon, worn as if it had been a shell? It would be regarding Danney Williams, the man who says he is the son of Bill Clinton. 
Let me know if you want to chat about this. 

Reader, if there's one thing I know, it's that laughter is good for the soul, that having a strong and dogged sense of humor and absurdity will save you from all manner of insanity and despair.

Dear Poet / Writer,

Greetings! Hope this letter finds you in a cheerful mood !

As well known to the intellectual world The Home of Letters (India) or
HOLI is engaged in literary, publishing and socio-cultural activities for
the cultural uplift of man. It acts like a platform to exchange sublime
ideas between the poets, writers, scholars and the intellectuals of the
world through its various publications, books, anthologies etc. It is a
House which organises small seminars from time to time (depending upon
finance) where poets, writers, scholars and the intellectuals discuss
various educational, literary and socio-cultural topics. It also awards
individuals for their high level achievement in personal or professional
life / for outstanding accomplishments in the literary, intellectual or
academic realm / for outstanding contribution to the fields of art, culture,
education and society / for their commendable contribution in promoting
world peace and universal brotherhood with humanitarian ideologies. Since
1997 HOLI has been playing a very significant role in the above fields.

You will be pleased to know that we
would like to confer upon you “MATTHEW ARNOLD AWARD" for sweetness and
light in creative writing.

The multi-colour certificate (20 X 14 inches in size) is beautifully
laminated on
WOOD and photo-framed (for
hanging on wall / for
placing on table or shelf), which will be sent to you by Regd. Airmail.
name will be published in one of our publications in future.

If you are interested to receive this WOOD-LAMINATED citation you may
send USD 150 (as
administrative, processing, packing, postal charges etc.).

*Mode of* Payment : Bank Wire
Transfer (please ask for our SWIFT bank details)

The universe is abundant, no?*

Are you still with me? Do you need to order a cake, maybe? I'm obviously not doing anything constructive today.

What about the title of this blog post? You know, Missing Teeth? Here's today's email, a request for me to interview a dentist acutely aware of the missing teeth problem in America:

Dr. Shamblott is available to discuss why there is a significant high percentage of American with missing teeth even when there are a variety of options to prevent tooth decay and to replace missing teeth.  If you’d like to schedule an interview with him, or having him write exclusive materials for your publication, please let me know, I’d be happy to coordinate all the details.

Reader, is it condescending to email this public relations firm back that my services as an editor might be a better idea, starting with the subject line?

Expert Discuss Missing Teeth in America

*No, I'm not really going to accept my Matthew Arnold award for sweetness and light by wiring $150 US dollars to The Home of Letters. Don't worry.


  1. While I agree that you are all sweetness and light, I think perhaps the HOLI people have missed some of the sarcasm and biting wit you display. Maybe it's a language barrier. In any case, you do deserve an award and a fabulous job offer, so I'll be putting that wish out in to the universe. May it come from someone who doesn't require you to pay them for the privilege. XO

  2. oh boy, you do get quite the requests! Good for a laugh at any rate.

    I would love to have one of your cakes, alas, distance prevents it.

    Good to get an explanation on "Missing Teeth." I was quite alarmed when I saw the titled, and thought, "Oh Gawd, WHOSE teeth?!"

  3. Could you please send me more information on "Finding your Wow?" I have lost mine, and I have no idea where it could be. It might be in the dryer's lint filter, but, well, I'm not in the mood to look there today.


  4. "We would like to sincerely invite you to cooperate with us."
    Why does this sound like a threat?
    You know how I feel about all of this. SHOW ME THE MONEY!
    I mean, there might actually be a price I'd be willing to discuss the Inflatable Zone for.

  5. Matthew Arnold has a twin brother who very kindly offered me an honorary professorship in WTF a few years back. It included an award ceremony in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, five course dinner, all expenses paid of course - by me, and the certificate laminated beautifully etc. etc. etc.

    I wrote to the prince in Nigeria who had promised me a share in an inheritance (or something) earlier that year and invited him along.

    Somehow, nothing came of it.

  6. You are funny, Elizabeth! I can think of so many awards you deserve to win, but somehow sweetness and light seems, well, too saccharine and lightweight maybe. You are made of sterner, more brilliant, and yes, often hysterically satirically funny stuff. Tell them to do their research and try again. I adore you, friend.

  7. I almost peed my pants after reading this!

  8. from a silent reader here.... YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!

  9. Hey, how come I never get these wild come-ons? No one ever offered ME a Matthew Arnold award!! Can I have yours? :)

    (And what would Matthew Arnold think, I wonder?!)

    Seriously, this was hilarious. I do remember the days when I thought George W. Bush was the worst it could get. Boy, was I wrong.

  10. Too funny. I love the picture of Mona:)



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