Dear Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal

9 Nov

Dear Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal,

Matthew.  Hi.  Wanna be friends?  I went to the Oatmeal’s “About” page and I read that you’re from Seattle, Washington, and I’m from Seattle, Washington!  And isn’t that a coincidence.  A happy one, because I think your website is funny, and that (I think) means that you’re funny. Maybe you aren’t.  Maybe you suck in real life.  The internet lies sometimes.

I’m going to risk it because we have similar worldviews on the important things.  And I want to be in the internet club of funny-people who care about grammar with you and Allie of Hyperbole and a Half and whoever else is in the club.  I was the kid on the playground who never knew how to just join in on the damn kickball game already, so instead this is my nerdy-kid strategy of using my words to ask politely.

I would draw you a picture as a friendship offering but I can’t draw.  When I pick up a pencil, all my manual dexterity goes into hiding in some deep place in my stomach and screams “Nonononono no crafts! You can’t make me!”  It’s like drawing is science and my hands are George W. Bush.

Crafts stress me out.  I think it’s a combination of not having any natural talent at crafting and being a perfectionist.  My sister loves crafts.  She can pick a piece of glued paper off of another piece of paper without ripping either.  I mean, seriously.

Rainy days in our house involved a lot of frustrated forehead scrunching on my part and noises like “mregh!” and “grafrthge.”  While symphonies played over my sister’s head and little tiny woodland creatures applauded her even lettering, I had black smoke pouring out of my ears and grunge metal inside my craft-hating heart.

I still participated because I’m a sucker for competition and maybe this time my natural-born talent would decide to show up.  I’ve spent my whole life hoping I was secretly a child prodigy at something (if I am, it’s a really, really well-kept secret).  Just to shame me, there are two paintings we did as kids hanging in our kitchen: my sister’s is some sort of Jackson Pollack swirl of mixed color and multimedia modernism.

Mine looks like somebody pooed on a rainbow. An off-center pooed-on rainbow crammed in one corner of a large piece of paper.  Like I’m not only bad at drawing but also blind.

I guess I’m assuming that, like everybody else in this world, you don’t mind being friends with people who are not as good at you at certain things.  It makes us feel superior.  We like feeling superior.  It’s why we love it when people post crap on Facebook that makes them look crazy (you call them “the passive aggressor”).  So maybe you’ll want to be friends with me precisely because I can’t draw.

Anyway, let me know if you want to be besties, or even just casual internet acquaintances (that sounds weird) and say hi to my home city for me.  I recommend the chocolate croissants from Besalu in Ballard if you haven’t been there.

And thank you for making me laugh.




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