Friday, May 27, 2016

"Unanswered Questions"

I have been remiss in responding to “Readers’ Questions”. 

Although that is basically your fault.

How is it your fault?

Watch this.

On Redirecting Responsibility

Since the “Readers’ Questions” I receive are so few and far between, lacking an appropriate format for handling the virtual trickle that comes in, I simply forget about them and they consequently all go unanswered.

You see how that works?  Not enough “Readers’ Questions”, so I do not answer any of them.  Indisputable Conclusion:  It’s your fault.  

Maybe it isn’t. 

Anyway, the perceived consequence of my neglect is that it appears that I don’t care. About the questioner or about the story itself – leaving the impression that it was something to write about at the time and then I casually moved on.

In practical terms, however, how do you answer one question?  (Unless it’s a question that triggers an entire blog post.)  I guess I ought to save up the individual questions and publish a “compilation post” when there are enough.

Which is what I am attempting today. 

(Though I did not collect them.  I am responding to past questions that I remember, or to the stories that were left carelessly unresolved.)

Okay, so here we go.

“Random Responses To Scattered Inquiries and Unresolved Narratives”

Catchy title, don’t you think?

After three-and-a-half months, I got my car back – seriously damaged when my 1992 Lexus SC400 was crashed into on the dealership lot as I drove in for the installation of a replacement door handle – the unfathomable delay explained by a dawdling insurance company and the difficulty of locating the necessary parts to rehabilitate a twenty-four year old vehicle.

The returned car looks mostly great, although some of the new paint job is deteriorating and, when I put my foot on the brake – not always but sometimes – my car shakes – and it did not before – like a pulsating clothes dryer.  I have been told that, should this prove to be an “engine mount” problem, the requisite parts to correct the problem are no long available. 

I have now given up complaining, and when my car rocks, I rock along with it, hoping the unmoored engine doesn’t explode through the hood and fly through the windshield of my car into my face.  

But hey, I got my car back.


I know nothing about how things are today, but in my time, “getting letters” invariably meant trouble.  Some outside “Pressure Group” objecting to the show’s content or perspective – often without even seeing it – mounted substantial letter-writing campaigns, demanding that the show they object to be summarily cancelled. 

Fearing advertiser defection, due to the fear of consumer boycotts of their products – there is a lot of fear in this business – the networks responded with overseeing “Standards and Practices” departments, a P.R. gambit assuring the “Pressure Groups” that they were assiduously “on the case.” 

That was the arrangement.  The “Pressure Groups” threatened networks revenues via punishing boycotts of their sponsors’ products, leaving network “Standards and Practices” departments counting the “hells” and the “damns.”  God forbid, you say anything about… I’m afraid to mention it. 

I’ll get letters. 


No matter which way I proceed on my beach walk – left to grungier Venice or right to boring “Tapiocaland”, my invisible Mariachi Band remains omnipresent, arrayed along the horizon offering songs of spiritual uplift and philosophical comfort, their polished Mariachi boots never touching the surface of the Pacific.  My musical “support system” is ubiquitous.  Wherever I go, that’s where it is. 


The Internet outlet that said Whole Foods carried Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax Cereal was mistaken.  In my experience, they don’t.  Imagine, the Internet getting something wrong.  Could these possibly be the same crack reporters who gave us Ted Cruz’s dad consorted with Lee Harvey Oswald?

“We deal in conspiracy theories and cereal deceit.”

I don’t know.  What’s involved is probably further research.  And being in no way a problem solver but rather a problem discover – and the world needs both, one to uncover the difficulties, the other to do something about them – I will probably not bother.  

Although I really hate Rice Chex.


(For now, but I shall be more considerate of “Readers’ Questions” in the future, though I may have possibly made a similar promise in the past.)

Concerning a writer named Rob, whom, while responsible for Major Dad staffing, I replaced at the last minute with another writer and I neglected to connect with Rob directly about my decision…

Rob and I enjoyed an extended lunch together, discussing, among other things, his formidable resume, the current actitivities of mutual acquaintances, “talking comedy”, and I apologized.  Twenty-seven years late, but better than never.  I owe thanks to the readers for encouraging me to do what was necessary and correct. 

I invited Rob to weigh in with his perspective concerning our encounter. 

I hope he does.

Okay, that’s it.  I’m off to Toronto and New York. 

I encourage you to continue submitting your questions.  I shall make greater efforts to respond in a timelier fashion. 

If I can think of anything to say.

Which, on not infrequent occasions, I can’t.

You see?  That’s your fault as well.

Asking me questions I can’t answer.

I am tellin’ ya… 

You guys got a lot to answer for.

Postscript:  While I am being relatively thoughtful, a big thanks to Mike T. for explaining inflation in a matter I came this close to understanding.  I'm going to read it again.


JED said...

In my experience, when a car vibrates when you put on the brakes, it has nothing to do with the engine mounts. It's usually a problem with the brakes or an alignment problem in the front wheels. I am not a professional mechanic - but even I could have fixed your car sooner than three and half months. These guys want to sell you a new car.

Thanks for the insight on "getting letters". I wonder if all the letters looked the same when they came from the pressure groups.

Your mariachi band sounds like an updated version of the Greek Chorus offering encouragement, warning or explanation to the proceedings.

I'm glad you and Rob got together and I congratulate you on apologizing. It is never easy and takes a strong person to do that. It seems to be going out of style.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Really glad to hear you and Rob worked things out. Absurdly, since I'm unlikely ever to meet either of you (despite a walk through Santa Monica in November).


Fred from Scarborough said...

Wendy, you have to stalk him on his Thursday coffee run.