Central Snark

Dear Crummy Letter Writers by crummyjoel
Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 7:50am
Filed under: crummy letters

Look, I have just a little sympathy for those people who say crummy things. Saying something stupid that gets caught on tape is relatively easy to do, since a lot of times people just let their emotions get the best of them. Even when one has the distinct advantage of cue cards and/or tele-prompters, it’s easy to look and sound like an idiot. And those people who are unfortunate enough to have to “wing it”….ugh.

Writing a letter is different, however. When one writes a letter, he has the time to peruse it, edit it, consider its content, alter its structure, and generally think about whether or not actually sending the letter at all is a good idea. It’s not like speaking, where once it’s out there’s nothing that can be done. In writing a letter one actually has to lick the stamp (or hit the “Send” button), thereby denoting forethought and approval of the content.

So let’s address a popular crummy letter here: Stop writing emails telling me to not purchase gasoline on a certain day. I mean, seriously. Not only did somebody think this was a good idea to send out the first time, hundreds of thousands of people have found it a good idea to pass along since. Why will not purchasing gas on a certain day cause the prices to drop? Let me get this straight:

  1. Everyone in the country not purchasing gas on a certain day causes supply lines to back up.
  2. Supply backing up causes gas companies to lose money.
  3. Companies will have to lower prices due to supply backing up to “get rid of” the extra gas.

Here’s the thing: Oil company executives are lots of things, but “stupid” isn’t one of them. So we don’t buy gas for one calendar day…then what? Everyone who didn’t fill up will have to fill up the next day, so all we succeeded in doing was pissing the oil companies off by causing their supply to back up and then they actually decide to raise prices out of spite because THAT’S WHAT OIL COMPANIES DO….THEY RAISE PRICES ALL THE TIME FOR NO REAL REASON AT ALL, SO WHY THE HELL DO WE FEEL COMPELLED TO GIVE THEM ONE?


Supply and demand isn’t a difficult concept. When we all don’t purchase gasoline for a day we don’t increase supply nor do we reduce demand. Answer me this about all this “extra gas” that’s supposedly lying around after our brilliant ploy: When they drop the price on it and I can finally go on that gasoline buying binge I’ve been waiting for, where the hell am I supposed to put it all? Do I have to go buy an extra vehicle to fill up to take advantage of this bargain? Call me crazy, but I’d rather just pay extra for the gas then take on another vehicle note.

You see, we could all not buy gasoline for days at a time, and that would only reduce prices if and only if we never needed to fill up any of our gas tanks ever again. Eventually we would have to do things like work and drive to Starbucks and drag race our friends, and the gas companies know this, so they can just sit on their supplies and shove it up our @$$ with a price hike when we apologetically crawl back to the gas stations. Face it: We’re addicted, the oil companies know it, they can charge us whatever the hell they want and we’d pay it, so just be thankful that we’re not getting charged ten bucks a gallon and quit trying to rock the damn boat. Until a brilliant engineer at a car company manages to escape the black-ops snipers of the oil companies and actually produce a hydrogen cell car, we’re at their mercy. They win. Sorry to burst your bubble. Your brilliantly construed email campaign will not change this.

And I haven’t yet mentioned the idea that for this false hypothesis to even “work” it would require a critical mass of Americans to buy into it. And you hope to accomplish this by…spam email? I know in your perfect little suburban utopia everyone has email and everyone checks it all the time on their brand new Iphones, but the reality is that most Americans don’t check their email every day, and many don’t have computer access at all.

Nice try, though. Try emailing me back when you have an idea I can really wrap my arms around. Something about not ever watching reality TV so they all get cancelled…


PS: Humor-blogs.com would like to thank Diesel for this week’s crummy letter idea.


13 Comments so far
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FYI, not-not-NOT Crummy Joel: i cut ‘n pasted this wonderful letter onto a separate page so that i might mass mail it to a few thousand “close personal” friends. brilliant, just brilliant. and way too damn funny. as was, i hasten to add, that Charley Steiner clip. (too damn funny for words. apparently a problem he has, too, eh?) and thanks for explaining why the concept of NOT purchasing gas for a day doesn’t “help” consumers. that one never made sense to me, either. (ever thought about teaching economics? i’m thinking you’d be quite good)

once again, you’ve completely cracked me up first thing in the morning, which will, no doubt, help set the stage for a happy day. or at least one in which i shall “delete” all annoying e-mails with a particularly large dose of glee! ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by snuppy

Oh, yeah. That don’t-buy-gas thingie comes ’round now and then. Soooooo silly. But I hate all the e-mails that say “send this to your one thousand closest friends….”

Charley Steiner is a hoot. Carl was so off key! Heck even I can sing that well.

Comment by tlp

Logically and well laid out post, unlike those emails. But thank you not-Crummy-at-all Joel, as I will bookmark this post and forward it on to the next person that emails me the “don’t buy gas on Friday” missive. I think actually I am really going to do that – so thanks. I can’t catch the videos from work so later.

Comment by Lampsha

Well said. I haven’t gotten one of those e-mails yet, I guess that’s one of the advantages of living in Europe. Although I’m sure it’ll eventually happen here too; we always end up getting everything you have over there (good and bad) sooner or later, and with gas prices being what they are here, I’m figuring it’ll be sooner. Hmmm, maybe if everybody stops buying chocolate for a few days…gotta go, I have an important e-mail to write.

Comment by Theresa

Hmph! I have received everything from viagra emails, to penis enlargements (I’d have to get me a penis first but do they tell me how to do that? NOOOOO!), to indecent proposals and whatnot but I have yet to receive the gas email… what am I? Chopped liver?


I admit to this being the first time I have had the good fortune to sit down and fully read a post of yours (life and moving and whatnot has gotten in the way before) and I LOOOOOVED it oh-so-new-and-so-NOT-crummy new amigo! Bohemians loooove you, especially yours truly for a fellow ranter is a chico after a bohemian’s heart FO SHO! *swoon*

Bitch and moan away amigo… I am not one to stop a fellow ranter and pssst… *whispers* it’s ok to say “ass”… but maybe that’s just me… a crass bohemian ‘n all! *sigh* ๐Ÿ˜‰

Looking forward to more rants and until then…

BoheMia OUT!

Comment by Catty Yummy Mummy

Is this like, a chain mail that’s going around? If I haven’t gotten it, is it because my friends are too cool to forward such nonsense, or is it because I have no friends? I vote the first one, RIGHT?

Comment by Lisa

Yeah, it’s one I get every two or three months, usually forwarded from a friend.

All righteous indignation and wide-eyed optimism: If we really take a day off of buying gas, the prices will have to plummet!!


Comment by crummyjoel

Oh yeah, answer only Lisa why dontcha? What? Are the rest of us chopped liver then? Geez! Maybe you are affiliated with that email and respond only to those who’ve received it? Dios mio!


Yep… bohemians in the midst will pick on you FO SHO!

Comment by Catty Yummy Mummy

Sorry, CYM, I was in the middle of an online chat for….um…one of my school classes. Yeah, that’s it. A chat for my school classes…

OK, here goes.
Snup – I’m a math teacher, so that’s pretty close to teaching economics, right?

TLP – I only send those things to my enemies….

Lampsha – forward at will. Maybe I’ll be as effective at stopping this email as I have been at stopping Crummy Church Signs.

Theresa – I think it might work with chocolate! Just not gas.

CYM – Ok, I’ll say ASS from now on. I try and keep it fairly clean in case one of my students’ parents puts two n two together and figures out that’s their kids 7th grade math teacher ranting on and on….

Sorry for the delay, folks. Busy day with that “chat” and all.

By the way, CYM, feel free to catch up on my previous posts, if you like…they’re under the tag “Crummy Letters” Glad you enjoyed this one!!

Comment by crummyjoel

Great post! I’ve also gotten messages about boycotting certain service stations-another mythical idea.

Comment by actonbell

Yeah, that one about boycotting certain gas stations so that they’ll have to lower their prices and all the other stations will have to follow suit is even dumber. Like the other stations really need to worry about competition from a station that nobody is buying gas from.

All I know is, if you folks every get your act together and decide what day you’re not buying gas, let me know. I want to go when there aren’t any lines.

Comment by Diesel

Joel- just wanted to keep you posted- every day, concerned webfolk are visiting my site. It will be good for the blogosphere because then my rankings will improve and will be displayed above the “FUNNY AND SEXY VIDEOS” sites crowding the top of the “humor blog” charts. Just thought, as a fellow internet user, you’d want to pitch in and do your part. Power to the people.

Comment by the frogster

People like to feel theyre doing something, without actually doing anything.
What better way to feel like your good deed is done for the day than by clicking “fwd” to an email?

Comment by The Bagel of Everything

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