From Airplane Food To Amish TV

Modern Mailbag graphic for Lloyd Garver's Modern Times column, roundup of reader e-mail, 6-21-02
I've received many e-mails from readers over the past few months, but I was surprised last week that I didn't get one e-mail that was upset because I didn't write about "Nipplegate." Apparently, readers feel that Janet Jackson's breast had too much exposure.

Here are some of the recent comments that you sent me:

Responding to the column on AIRPLANE FOOD:

LOU: "Great commentary on how traditionally bad things just seem to get worse!"

BRIAN (who is in the airline culinary business): "I would suspect that you have never experienced a meal flying first-class international. Is your article aimed at the entire airline industry or just what you see flying coach class (bus service with wings, ever get fed on a bus?)... I can assure you that... the front of the bus passengers continue to get good service."

In THE CADILLAC OF COLUMNS?, I wrote about how J.D. Power was not interested in rating columns in general, and even less interested in giving me an award.

GERALD: "Cadillac?... well, maybe a Volvo or a Saturn."

One of my all-time favorite e-mails was from MATTHEW. He actually went to the trouble of dummying up a phony J.D. Power award for me as - "The Best Column That's Usually Humorous That's Appears Online Weekly. On Wednesdays. In the Morning."

Responding to my YEAR-END RECAP column, LINDA wrote, "Thanks for the laughs. It is so hard to find them these days."

JAY wrote, "To be humorous and not offend anybody isn't easy."

Proving Jay's point, CHRISTOPHER wrote, "... Because things are going so well, it must be a dismal time to want to criticize this Administration. Gotta admit, though... you don't do so with the vitriol I've come to expect, and that is refreshing."

I got some interesting responses to my I'M GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY column.

TERRY ... only plays "twice a week, a dollar each time. What's another couple of bucks? Maybe someday I will be a winner, too.... But I would rather be remembered for what I gave rather than what I possessed."

Like many readers, BRIAN had one question for me: "Did 'ya win?"

As I reported the next week, for some reason, I did not win. This was surprising, since I thought I had played it perfectly. I wrote to the California Lottery Association, asking them to check to make sure that they hadn't made any mistakes. Surprisingly, they not only answered my letter, but responded with a sense of humor.

G. RUDY DI MASSA replied, "Despite the fact that it appears that you did everything right, we regret to inform you that no one won the January 7th jackpot and that you did not match any of the six numbers that were randomly drawn for that draw date."

Responding to my column about AMATEUR SUMO WRESTLING, PAM wrote, "It's a good thing (no Martha Stewart intended) you can't see what your readers wear or not wear while typing replies to you. A lot of us must be in training (for sumo) since we fit the bill, diaper or not."

JON wrote: "Well, finally a sport has arrived which is suitable to my current body shape."

IAN wrote, "Great fun!! I really enjoyed your column on sumo."

However, not everybody agreed with Ian. BOB wrote, "Just because you are near deadline, doesn't mean you should sell your credibility to write rubbish like this."

TALKING DIRTY IN CONGRESS, a column about one Congressman's bill to ban seven words from television, drew many responses.

THOMAS said, "Next they will try to tell us what to think!"

PAUL said, "You've succeeded again in raising important points in a comical way."

ROGER responded to the column by saying, "The same people that say profanity is okay are the same that declare we should let our children engage in premarital sex, embrace homosexuality as 'acceptable' behavior, believe abortion isn't murder, justify lawsuits that steal other people's money, and when their world crashes in, blame society for failing them."

MARTY didn't think I went far enough, and said, "You should have printed the bad words."

I received more responses to my column about the PROPOSED AMISH REALITY TV SHOW than to any column I've written in quite a while.

BOB wrote, "Everything TV touches it corrupts.... now they have to do the same with the Amish."

KEARNEY responded, "What's next? Sending hookers to a Trappist monastery to tempt the monks?"

MIKE felt that the show just might demonstrate the strength of Amish values: "Maybe it will teach all of us a lesson about what we give up by living this fast-paced lifestyle -- and what the Amish gain by choosing not to."

GARRETT said that he "... must disagree about your pointed opinion of trying to protect the innocence of the "Amish" people. Your obvious lack of exposure to deeply indoctrinated religion has given you a skewed viewpoint. These religions pound beliefs into their youth offering very little choice in a matter while growing up."

JOE, tongue firmly planted in cheek, accused me of "pandering to your large Amish and Hassidic audience."

Sometime in the near future I'll report back with some more readers' responses. In the meantime, I can promise you that even if Janet Jackson exposes the other breast, I won't write about it. I won't "sell my credibility" for that kind of "rubbish," even if I'm "near deadline." If she exposes both breasts, I make no promises.

Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.

By Lloyd Garver