What did we do before we invented electronic mail?
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What did we do before we invented electronic mail?

OK, so I think it’s about time I open my email bag and answer some of the questions I’ve received in the last few months. It’s how I spend hours each afternoon—reading and answering

Dear Jim (that’s me as my twin brother John),

So what’d’you get me for my birthday? I hope it’s expensive.  I really love shiny things.

Signed, John (as me)

Dear John (as me),

I got you the gift of your dreams and it cost me more than that cheap gift card you always send. And thank you in advance for always sending the gift card and birthday card late! It’s OUR birthday, you know. It’s the same as YOUR birthday.

Signed, Jim (as John)

Dear Professor Wilcox,

I’m a new student at SNU and want to tell everyone how I appreciate all the kindness I’ve been shown since I got here from Gore, home of the Gore High School Lady Bulls. Can you pass this appreciation on to everyone? One day, as I was jaywalking to chapel, a gust of wind blew my Lady Bulls cap off my head. A fellow student picked it up and handed it back to me, saying the kindest words I’d heard all day. “Here you go, chap. Oh, and there’s no such thing as a Lady Bull.” I was so touched.

Signed, Cow Man

Dear Cow Man,

I’d be happy to pass on your happiness, but I want to tell you it’ll never last. Just watch “The Bachelor” some time. Those people are laughing at the beginning and then crying like babies at the end. It’s ridiculous. Don’t waste your time on that stupid show. Then there’s “Duck Dynasty”: it was funny at the beginning of the series and then one of the old guys said something stupid and nobody watches it anymore. But I think they’re crying all the way to the bank. Those duck callers were raking it in. If you really want to see how fleeting is happiness, read “The Grapes of Wrath.” A simple camping trip turns into a journey through the jaws of injustice. What a downer.

Signed, Prof. Wilcox

Dear Prof,

About that package of grammar exercises you passed out last week—why do you insist on lying to us. Yesterday you said something about the “have” form of the verb “lie” is “have lain.” That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Who says, “have lain”? I’d be slapped in the face if I ever said that to anyone in my hometown. And on Monday, you told us that instead of “loan” we should say “lend,” as in “Will you lend me your earbuds?” instead of “Will you loan me your earbuds?” And then, “You didn’t return them the last time I lent them to you.” The only “lent” we ever talk about in my hometown is that stuff in your navel. How do you even keep your job here, lying like that? Or I suppose it’s “laying like that”

Signed, Tired of It All

Dear Tired,

How do you think I feel, girlfriend? Going around every day, correcting people at Home Depot, church, Five Guys Burgers. It never ends. You should see their faces when I tell them that the plural of Dr. DeVries’ last name is “DeVrieses,” as in “I think the DeVrieses live here.” Or if I reveal that Jesus doesn’t meet them where they’re at, rather “He meets them where they are,” they’re like, “Oh, now you’re just misquoting the King James.” Happens at Home Depot all the time.

Signed, Prof

Dear Professor,

OK. Let me give it to you straight. Women are utterly baffling. I wouldn’t understand them if they came with a manual. My girlfriend, let’s just call her the “X-Factor,” doesn’t want me to keep telling her how much I love her. “Two weeks is too soon for that sort of talk,” she tells me. She says, “I love your car” and “I love how you cry at movies,” and she’s known my car and seen my tears for only two weeks. So what’s with the ban on loving her?

Signed, Baffled in Bethany

Dear BB,

Two weeks? You’ve been “dating” for two weeks? That’s about two dates, right? (Going to church together doesn’t count.) You don’t know squat about love, Dudley. It takes at least 12 weeks, maybe 11, to discover love. X-factor is likely scared to death when you talk about love. I think you might have seen “Sleepless in Seattle” one too many times. Trust me on this: sew your lips shut and be a real man until somewhere around Christmas—and that’s assuming your relationship gets through Homecoming Weekend—then tell her you think you’ve fallen in love with her eyes. She’ll be swooned into submission. Count on it. Women are all about the eyes…and nice cars…and man-tears.

Signed, Professor Harried

About The Author

Prof. Jim Wilcox, Guest Contributor
Prof. Wilcox has taught at SNU for 35 years and still loves it. Seriously.

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