When I get two letters of complaint, I see a trend


March 22, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:

Murf Kief, Whiteford: I read your commentary about General Motors and its dispute with NBC over those exploding gas tanks and agree with you 100 percent that NBC did not kill anyone.

But what about The Sun? Is it killing anyone?

After reading your commentary, I turned the page and saw a full page advertisement for Marlboro cigarettes.

Is The Sun killing people?

COMMENT: A good question. I do know for sure that The Sun has never attached toy rocket engines to anybody's head and set them off, but after that, the issue gets murky.

But let's try to consider this dispassionately:

On the one hand, cigarettes are legal and cigarette advertising helps pay the obscenely bloated salaries of our columnists.

On the other hand, cigarette smoking kills more than 1,000 persons a day in this country.

So I see this as a balance of fundamental rights.


Irene Morgenstein, Baltimore: Why don't we see the kind of column that so many of us enjoyed reading? Have you become a political commentator?

Too little humor. Too bad.

COMMENT: I think you are forgetting I am not the only source of humor in The Sun. Have you ever read our editorial page?


Jocelyn Timothy, Editor, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England: It is my pleasure to be able to send you this personal invitation to have your biographical details included in the Fourteenth Edition of the "International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory."

You make a vital contribution to the world of music.

COMMENT: I do? You mean all those years of singing in the shower have finally been noticed by someone other than the neighborhood cats?

Or is it possible, Jocelyn, that you are confusing me with Paul Simon, who is either one of America's most creative songwriters or else a bow-tied senator from Illinois?

In any case, I am enclosing all my biographical details and should either the Queen or Princess Di wish a command performance from me, I take a shower every Saturday night.


Carolyn Crittenden, Elkridge: This isn't a complaint exactly, but I have been wondering: What happened to the former Roger?

Lately, in fact for the past year or so, your columns have reflected a decidedly political beat.

Gone are the columns filled with trivia and frivolity.

Your columns still contain a smattering of wit and/or irony, but they have become as substantial as a hot oatmeal breakfast instead of as light and airy and refreshing as lemon chiffon pie.

I counted on you to bring a bit of humor to the ugliness.

Guess I'll have to turn to Dave Barry, although I am still your faithful reader.

COMMENT: What's wrong with hot oatmeal? If it weren't for hot oatmeal, some children would have no reason to hate their parents to this day.

But I can take a hint. When I get one letter of complaint, I dismiss it as the act of a lunatic. But when I get two letters of complaint, I assume it's an overwhelming societal trend.

So except for Dave Barry -- whoever he is -- you can't find any real humor in your favorite daily newspaper? OK, try this:

Through an unfortunate accident, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton find themselves standing before the Pearly Gates awaiting entrance to heaven.

God begins the questioning by asking George Bush why he should be admitted.

"Served in Congress, headed the CIA, was envoy to China, vice president and then president," Bush says.

"Very well," God says, "you may take the seat beside me."

Then God asks Bill Clinton why he should be admitted to heaven.

"Served as governor of Arkansas, got elected president, helped revive the economy and gave people new hope," Clinton says.

"Very well," God says, "you may take the seat on the other side of me."

Then God turns to Hillary. "And can you tell why you deserve to be here?" God asks.

"Before we begin," Hillary says, "aren't you sitting in my seat?"

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