Dear Crabby,

You are my hero. This is a new experience for me — I have never had a local hero. This puts you among such heady company (in roughly chronological order) as: the Cowardly Lion, Fibber Magee (from an old-time radio show), Peter Sellers, Tommy Smothers, Monte Python and Tom and Ray Magliozzi (from NPR’s “Car Talk”).

Please advise me as to how I should venerate you. Please nothing so mundane as a bottle of whiskey, unless it is to be used to ignite some burnt offerings, etc.


An Avid Fan

Dear Avid,

I wonder if I’m being messed with a bit here. You’ve misspelled Fibber McGee and Monty Python, which would be an odd thing to do if they were in fact your heroes. Odder still: the fact that while some of your heroes are actual people, McGee and the Cowardly Lion are fictional characters and Python is an entire comedy troupe. So I’m not sure whether you’re on the level here. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re not.

Nevertheless, it’s nice of you to write in. (It should be noted that ol’ Avid here actually typed up a letter and sent it via regular mail, presumably as some kind of commentary on the ephemerality of digital-age communication. It should also be noted that he used a Danny Thomas postage stamp, which, when viewed in conjunction with his reference to “Fibber McGee and Molly,” could mean that there’s no such philosophical commentary implied and that Avid is just an old-school dude who doesn’t cotton to this whole email fad. More power to him if that’s the case.) You’re not the first Dear Crabby writer to offer some kind words. Normally I edit them out because it’d seem vain to include them, and I’m very vain about not seeming vain. It’s what David Foster Wallace called “second-level vanity.” So it’s nice of you to actually fold the praise into the question, thereby letting me off the hook, vanitywise. (Unless name-dropping Wallace makes me seem vain. It does, doesn’t it? Damn. No matter, I’ll just roll with that.)

Anyway, you’re wondering how you should venerate me? (In Southern belle accent: “Li’l ol me?”) Here’s how, Avid: Tell other people to read On magazine. It’s the easiest, best thing you can do for me. They don’t even have to live here; they can read it online. And while you’re at it, tell them to write Dear Crabby letters and emails. I’m running dangerously low on them at the moment. If they’re computer users, direct them to the On magazine Facebook-machine page. If, despite all evidence to the contrary, you are a computer user yourself, then share the Dear Crabby and Indoorsman columns on your own Facebook page. That’s what you can do.

And, seriously, a nice bottle of whiskey wouldn’t kill you.

Hope that helps.



P.S. — Peter Sellers really was a treasure.