While I Am At It, I Also Recommend The Chicken!
Around this time of year, I am always approached by people who want me to write letters of recommendation for them. Why anyone thinks that I am important enough to write a letter of recommendation sort of defies all understanding, but I am guessing that those unfortunate people who do approach me with this request are, at that point, desperate, and have whittled their requirements down accordingly. So, instead of, "I would like a letter of recommendation from a well-respected scholar or legal professional" (and I am not a member of that group), they have now settled on, "I will happily accept a letter of recommendation from anyone with a pulse, and who is not addicted to heroin, please God." Now, this second group -- Group Two -- this is the category I fall into. As do kangaroos, Bo, and probably most contestants on Deal or No Deal. This does not say very much for Group 2.
(Also, now that I think about it, maybe it is getting harder to find people who can write you letters of recommendation and do so in complete words and sentences, rather than filling the recommendation form with a dissertation composed in the perplexing language of myspace text-speak, i.e., "Jane v. smart & u shd let hr in yr skool 4 law." Although, now that I have actually typed that out and sort of half-assedly finished the thought, it occurs to me that, wouldn't that...kind of rock? Seriously, wouldn't it be kind of awesome to get a recommendation letter written in textspeak? If I were in charge of the world (see: evil master plan), I would admit the person as a matter of principle. But, I kind of imagine that this is not what the recommendees are hoping for, so I guess I am going to have to restrain myself. And it is hard. And I am, shockingly, totally off my original point, which I shall now attempt to remember.)
But, anyway. So, Spam, who is the man who is married to Cookie, and who is also the man who came up with the Viking Funeral idea, has decided to go to law school, where he will gleefully set his opposing counsel on fire and toss them in a cooler out on Lake Lanier. Because at least some of that sentence is true, he needs some letters of recommendation, and he asked me to write one. And that is no problem, because I like Spam, and Spam is smart, and it is not difficult to write a recommendation for people who (a) I actually know, (b) I actually like, and (c) are actually smart. Those recommendations are easy pants! On those recommendations, I can actually think of things to say other than "His tee-shirt collection is both extensive in number and unparalleled in variety," or "I am pleased to report that recently, this candidate has apparently been showering more frequently."
But, I got to thinking when I started writing Spam's letter, and I started to wonder how, exactly, one could compose a letter or recommendation that actually served to un-recommend someone, but which did so in a way that made it kind of hard to tell, on first glance, that the writer kind of thinks that the person is a twit. Anybody can write a letter that says, "DUDE, Bob SUCKS, his work SUCKS, he smells like a TIRE that has mated with a wet DOG, and he spreads a pestilence of evil wherever he GOES." It takes something more, I thought, to write one where the twit reader says, "Huh...okay, good, I guess!" but anyone with at least a mild IQ is laughing uncontrollably, and thinking, "Dude, that guy must be a total fucking asshole. I am going to burn his application as an offering to the gods."
Anyway, I was sort of inspired by this thought, but I was ten times more inspired by the thought that, hey! I spy an opportunity to fuck with my friend Spam! Because, seeing as he is not an idiot, he will read the letter and know it is not nice, but he will also wonder if I have actually sent it off and now he is stuck with a recommendation that makes people want to shower after reading it, and HA that is funny to me, particularly when it is really, really late at night. Which it was, when this idea was conceived. ( Which I know comes as a total shock to everyone, seeing as I have apparently given up sleep for the duration. Hi!)
So, as soon as the actual, glowing, compliment and accomplishment-filled letter was actually written and mailed, I sat myself down and wrote a second letter. And then I printed that letter on professional letterhead, made a copy of it for Spam, and sent it home with his wife, along with the message that I am always happy to help a friend in need, because I don't know if he knows this or not, but evidently, I am some kind of saint.
Now, I have to say -- I liked my fake recommendation letter. I liked it kind of a lot, and so I got to thinking (again, with the "got to thinking" crap! What is with me today? Either I'm stuck on writing in legal mode, or I'm talking like I don't wear me any shoes) that there were probably other people in this world who have faced the predicament of being the non-recommendy letter writer, and maybe they need my help, and hey, MAYBE that is the thing I was put on this earth to do, is help those people by giving them an example of a professional-sounding, but wholly meaningless, recommendation letter. And because I am not someone who likes to fuck with Life's True Purpose (although, did I ever tell y'all that one time I decided that my Life's True Purpose was to get a tattoo of Johnny Cash on my backside, only I would get the tattoo of a young Johnny Cash, and then as I wrinkled, he would wrinkle, and we would grow old together in harmony? For about sixteen minutes in 1999, this seemed like the best idea ever had by anyone at any time, even better than the wheel or Oreo cookies, and thus, I concluded it must be my Life's True Purpose, but then I called my dad to inform him of the path God and Johnny had chosen for me, only he threatened to have me written out of the will, so instead I went to law school, the end), I hereby share this letter with y'all, the people who join me, kangaroos, and Bo in the illustrious Group 2, and who just can't find a professional way to communicate the fact that the guy you're writing about has the IQ of a spatula. You are my people, and this is for you, so allow me to present:
MISS DOXIE'S HANDY NONSPECIFIC LETTER OF NONRECOMMENDATION
(Names changed to protect innocent people who set babies on fire for fun)
Members of Some Fancy Ass Committee
Code of Zip
RE: Letter of Recommendation for Spam Babyburner
To the Members of the Fancy Ass Committee:
I am writing this letter at the request of Spam Babyburner, who has applied for admission to your law school. I hope the following proves helpful as you undertake the difficult admissions process.
I have known Spam for some amount of time, and I can honestly state that, if you are looking for a student like Spam Babyburner to attend your school, then Spam Babyburner is your man. He will absolutely meet your expectations for someone with his qualifications. Furthermore, the abilities and skills he possess will satisfy any requirements you may have for those particular skills and abilities. In addition to everything else, Spam has both interests and hobbies, which he enjoys on some occasions. And, in some limited ways, those interests and hobbies could potentially help Spam to increase in both skill and ability, thereby enriching him as a person.
Spam has numerous accomplishments, including some attendance at both educational establishments and in the professional world. In both places, Spam was continually well known for his various attributes, and clearly met even the lowest expectations for success. I don't think anyone expected less of Spam!
To conclude, having known Spam for an amount of time, I can tell you that there are few people like Spam in this world. As such, Spam is a unique individual, and a far cry from other people who are not precisely the same. I am sure that his uniqueness will make quite a difference at your school.
For the above reasons, I again offer you this letter of recommendation, and I thank you for your time.
P.S.: Spam sets babies on fire.
(If you did not guess, the P.S. is both optional and awesome, and absolutely present on Spam's letter. Probably it will not be so applicable to the rest of y'all, unless there is something very, very bothersome that you have not been telling me.)
So, in sum: this may only be funny to me, but the next time someone asks you for a letter of recommendation? You just might thank me then. Or maybe, you will still not think this is funny, in which case, please blame it all on exhaustion and we will just forget that any of this ever happened.
Except, of course, for Spam, who is not likely to forget that he now owes me Reprisals. So, tune in soon, Tokyo, so we can all find out whether Spam set me on fire in a styrofoam cooler. And until then, everyone have a good day! GRP 2 4EVR!