A spit and polish

The letter request:

The head of the school – a professor, they tell us – is an utter buffoon. Every now and then he sends out a group email to congratulate someone who has decided to jump ship. This is a reasonable thing to do. However, what drives me nuts, and also makes me feel sorry for him in a you-have-toilet-paper-poking-out-of-your-pants kind of way, is his tendency to use question marks at the end of rhetorical questions that pertain to his capacity to do something. Can you help me encourage him to consider the danger his question marks are putting him in?


The letter:

Dear Professor,

Do you know what an eroteme is? You probably do, being a professor and all. I have to admit that, until I looked it up just now, I did not. I don’t mind telling you that. The best way to improve oneself is to allow that we all have surfaces that could do with a spit and polish. Nobody’s perfect, right? We all have room to grow.

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All salt and no pepper

The letter request:

Late last year my husband and I went on an overseas holiday, we spent all year saving and had a great time. On the way back, however, we were not seated together on the plane. The lady who checked us in at Hamburg mentioned this in passing, but then told us to speak to someone in Dubai about getting our seats changed. In Dubai we spoke to at least five people but… nothing.


The letter:

Dear Emirates,

I’m hungry. Hear me out. I’m hungry because today I went to my favourite dumplings restaurant for lunch and they gave me a single chopstick to eat with. What what? Crazy, I know. I couldn’t eat a thing. Everyone knows that chopsticks come in pairs and that a lone chopstick is as useless as an umbrella in a hurricane.

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Knock me down with a feather

The letter request:

Could you spell out to Qantas that if they are going to make me spend the whole day waiting outside the airport with a dog because a bird has suicided into their plane they should at least give me a free meal when they squish me onto a red-eye.


The letter:

Dear Qantas,

The idiom ‘You could have knocked me over with a feather’ means that when someone is shocked or in some way unstable, they are easy to knock over. The imperative part of this being that the issue arises before the feather but the feather is not the issue.

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Feral children

The letter request:

Kids playing in communal driveway/garage and waking me from my afternoon sleep, Sunday morning sleep-in or interrupting good television watching time! Kids scream/it’s dangerous as they are playing on a DRIVEWAY/ they may scratch my car with their skipping ropes, tennis balls, etc. I’ve attempted to confront parents of annoying kids but parents are just as annoying. Parents stand at one end of the driveway screaming ‘Aaaa – bbeeee’ to their daughter Abby.


The letter:

Dear Body Corporate,

I spent my first 18 years living on a main road. I have also lived on Temple Bar. I am the eldest of 32 grandchildren on my mother’s side and I have worked at Centrelink for ten years. This demonstrates that I am aurally tolerant – be it with traffic sounds, people puking outside my bedroom window, children screaming or adults abusing me.

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The alcopops stay in the fridge

The letter request:

Virgin Mobile keeps sending me bills for $0.00. I’ve called them several times and they’ve confirmed over the phone that I have no outstanding payments due, but the bills for zero dollars keep coming. Now they’ve sent me a final notice which threatens to cut off my service if I don’t pay them… nothing. Please help.


The letter:

Dear Virgin Mobile,

The history of numbers goes back a long way. I saw a documentary about this once – it was really interesting despite the crappy re-enactments. It’s pretty complex but, in a nutshell, the earliest known base 10 system (they system we use today) dates back to 3100 BC in Egypt.

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Crops in Tuvalu

The letter request:

I just had the most bizarre experience with the dry cleaner, could you write to tell him that he’s an idiot?


The letter:

Dear Drycleaner,

I write in relation to our recent altercation. I’ll remind you of who I am because I suspect that you are the type to have altercations with customers so often that they all become a blur.

Me (pretty lady with long eyelashes)You lost my belt? Really?
You (grumpy man with bad attitude)- Yep.
M- Oh dear. What are you going to do now?
Y- Wait a week or so and see if it turns up.
M- Well, I can’t wear that coat without a belt.
Y- (Bored yawn)
M- I catch public transport so I need that coat this week.
Y- Have you searched your car?
M- No. You already said that you lost it. (getting a little angry by now, I must admit) What will I wear to work? I only have one coat.
Y- Hmmph. I don’t believe you only have one coat.
M-  I do only have one coat!
Y- God, if this is stressing you, you must lead a pretty charmed life! Why don’t you turn on SBS tonight and have a look at people who have real problems.

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