This Ought To Get Their Attention

My Secret Identity ™, which can be found on the sidebar at right, doesn’t circulate much these days — she wrote two cheesy mysteries of which the last was published in 2006 — so she, and I, were a bit vexed to find she was receiving regular updates from a mailing list on which genial, churchy people discussed what everyone was bringing to the congregation’s next potluck and who was in the hospital for bypass surgery and needed prayers. Apparently someone had associated her user-name with the wrong ISP, or any one of a hundred other understandable e-mail blunders.

Her first attempt to stem this flow of almost unbearably folksy, middle-American, humidly kitchen-scented conviviality fell on deaf ears, so earlier this evening she tried another tack:

Folks,
I have been getting mail from this list for several weeks and tried to contact you once. J—–@gmail.com is not the J—– you all seem to know, and therefore she is not getting your mail, and I am getting it steadily. I am a mystery novelist living in Arlington, Virginia.

(This is a bit high-flown, but the point was made.)

This isn’t really a giant problem for me, but it does mean that a complete stranger is receiving all your personal news and activity updates, and the person you want to include is presumably missing them. (Don’t worry — nothing will go into my next novel!)

It did the trick: an alarmed response appeared within half an hour, promising to purge the mailing list tres vite.

Nothing like the spectre of being written into something scandalous.

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8 thoughts on “This Ought To Get Their Attention

    • The subject lines were exquisitely boring — all I could think of was Garrison Keillor’s remarks about the Lutheran Church Basement ladies, queens of Red Jello. But the two folks who got back to me after the second mail were very nice, and one wanted to know about the mystery novels. I worry they might be shocked, as they are rather gritty and noir and some characters swear a lot (though the first person hero is a nerdy little guy who never utters a bad word until his head is thrust under a wide open washtub faucet in Chapter Eight).

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