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Thursday, February 08, 2007

when cynics mourn

So far, in my office, I've heard the following comments regarding Anna Nicole Smith's death.

1. Did her boobs explode and kill her?
2. Wasn't she made out of plastic?

In other news, the phone calls have begun from readers offended by this year's love and sex cover. One woman found it tasteless and degrading and offensive, "especially to men." (What?) I have learned, over the years, several things about phone calls of this nature.

1. People who are mad about content related to sex can not be reasoned with. Ever.
2. There is nothing I can say that will make them feel better, except, perhaps things I am not willing to say, such as:

"You are right. I am a dirty, dirty girl and should be flogged. I am going to resign immediately. And, as a bonus, you can have my job."

3. I am very bad at calming down angry people.

Years ago, our publisher, who is very good at calming down angry people, tried to counsel me that the way to do this is to not assert an opinion myself, but to ask questions instead. This just doesn't work for me. Case in point, my last phone call:

ANGRY OLD SOUNDING WOMAN FROM ELDORADO: "This cover is particularly offensive to men."
DIRTY TASTELESS EDITOR: ""Why is it particularly offensive to men?"
AOSWFE: "Oh you know why. Showing a dog humping a pillow. That's not love and sex."
DTE: "You thought the dog was humping the pillow?"

Needless to say, I did nothing to calm her down. But here's a question. I KNOW there are lots of young, fun people who thought the cover was young and funny. And it is funny. I mean, ya know, not hysterical but it's just cute. So many people have told me they thought it was cute. Will they write letters in response to the angry "you're tasteless" letters? Also, is this what life has in store for me as I age? Getting more and more angry and offended by everything I see? And, if so, should I cancel my HBO subscription now?