Thursday, March 18, 2004

Democracy in Action
As part of a new series entitled “E-mails I’ve Received From Famous People, As If Anybody Cared,” I’d like to share with you, the reader, an intriguing correspondence I had with the Senior Senator from this sprawling state, one Dianne Feinstein.

This was back in the winter of 2002, and—concerned citizen that I am—I was peeved about some action or inaction on the part of President Action Figure and his Collectible Playset. So I dutifully fired off an e-mail to Her Royal Fein-ness requesting that she support the Clean Air Act or oppose the war in Whatever-istan or vote against a judicial nominee or give McCain a wedgie, or some other such idealistic crusade.

Lo and behold, not a day later my face lit up as I spied a fat, juicy reply message in my inbox—no doubt the Senator agreed with me completely, and wanted to hear more from me; perhaps she even wanted to hire me as a speechwriter or illegal housekeeper!

My pulse raced as I rushed to open and read the e-mail…

In the esteemed public servant’s defense, I got a more fleshed-out reply about a week later; but the simplicity of her message in the e-mail above, I believe, speaks to the issue more than any three-paragraph form letter filled with policy statements ever could.

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, WULAD Laid an Egg
Meanwhile, elsewhere about the internet, M. Smartypants does some web-footed word-weaving today on the subject of platypuses (or -pi). WULAD Wregulars may be aware that Ornithorhynchus anatinus is my favorite animal not living in my apartment; however, there is more to the story.

What even fewer initiates know is that, when your proto-WULAD lad was a sprightly 11 years old, he was the president and founder of the Platypus Lovers’ Committee (PLC, no longer listed on NASDAQ), an organization which at one time had as many as ten members (all officials and sub-officials of the Committee, of course), but now has only one—my dad. I know this because his membership card still barely clings to life in the deep recesses of his wallet, and makes an appearance on special occasions.

Am I proud that I devoted so much of my pre-adolescence to the appreciation of egg-laying mammals, at the expense of activities like learning to catch or to interact effectively with my peers? Absolutely.

Was it worth the beatings? Ask my quote-tennis instructor-unquote.