The nicest fan mail I've ever gotten - April 28, 2008

(Reconditioning Batteries)

I usually get emails that say things like "You asshole, I'm going to kick your ass for fucking my sister...in the ass", "Ur writting is fukking gai!!!" or "Michael, it is not OK for you to put AIDS in your roommate's shampoo bottles", so it's a refreshing change of pace to get a nice, normal letter from a fan. Seriously, this one made me a little misty. This email couldn't have been nicer if the author attached the tracking slip for a new Nintendo Wii and Mario Kart to it*. Actually, maybe I should start publishing more of my emails. You guys would get a kick out of them.


Hi Mike

I have no idea whether or not you regularly check your messages here or on your main site, but I thought I'd throw out a note on the off chance you'll read it one of these days.

I've been reading your posts since I discovered you through tuckermax. com, and I have been consistently impressed -- no, that's the wrong word. I've been writing for years and have constantly struggled with the great Catch 22 of writers everywhere -- making money versus doing what you're driven to do. I know good and damn well that writing in any capacity, be it prose, poetry, music, whatever, doesn't pay the bills unless you happen to be very talented and very lucky. I just spent the last five years in university for an English degree because I hoped I would be able to delude myself into believing that a professorship would provide for me the best of both worlds -- the ability to be on stage in front of an audience (my first love), the ability to write and effectively be paid for my writing, and the ability to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach. More recently I've come to the realization that all of my work in the last five years more or less amounts to cognitive dissonance on my part -- I have been following this path to please other people, and not myself. I love to write; I want to write and perform for a living, and the more distance I gain from my soul-crushing experiences in academia, the more I realize that I'm called to a path that doesn't conform to the standards of normalcy and responsibility embraced by those around me.

Your work: the honesty with which you present yourself through your prose, the unflinchingly expository nature of your serious writings and the hardened (and hilarious) cynicism of your humourous work, and the sheer fact that you're actually DOING it (probably despite the "better judgment" of those around you) has provided me with a lot of inspiration and a lot of hope for my own potential career.

I'm sure you hear this a lot, and undoubtably it's all deserved praise, but I wanted to express how much I've gained personally and professionally from reading your work and following your exploits throughout the last couple of years. I'm deeply indebted to you, and even if you never read this message, I hope you will come to realize the positive effect you have on people like me the world over.

I wish you all the very best in your endeavours, and please (if you'll forgive the cliche) keep up the good work.

* = Seriously, one of you needs to buy me a fucking Wii. I'm not even joking. You're all going to be bummed out when I go to jail for starting a meth lab and I can't write anymore, just because I wanted enough extra money to buy a silly little video game system. None of you would be able to live with that guilt.

Posted by KungFu Mike at 4:45 PM

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How are we meant to purchase you or donate to you if you haven't provide a way for us to do it? ;)

Posted by: James at April 28, 2008 06:55 PM

I think James is going to send you a Wii.

Posted by: Wayland at April 29, 2008 02:23 PM

I just made an Amazon wish list. If one of you people is crazy/saintly enough to buy me a Wii, I'm not going to stop you.

Posted by: KungFu Mike at April 29, 2008 03:36 PM

Actually, based on James' statement, it sounds as though he wants to purchase his very own KungFu Mike. I wonder if PayPal allows for human trafficking?

Posted by: Al at April 30, 2008 04:29 PM

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