That’s right. Joel Stein, general funny guy and frequent contributor to Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and a number of other A-list publications, reads this blog. The Joel Stein. Or possibly The Guy Who Responds To Joel Stein’s E-mail (let’s call him “TGWRTJSE”). Now, I would love to tell you that TGWRTJSE just happened to hear about MuchAdo while standing around the writer’s workshop (that’s a thing, right?). Or that the internet buzz about MuchAdo has reached a fever pitch. And I would really love to tell you that I did not, in an act of supreme douchery, write to The Joel Stein simply because his e-mail address (or rather TGWRTJSE’s e-mail address) is prominently displayed on his website, www.TheJoelStein.com. Sadly, that is exactly what I did.
Unfortunately, not being an e-mail-a-celebrity kind of guy, I had very little that I actually wanted to say to The Joel Stein (or to TGWRTJSE). However, it occurred to me that given his penchant for the funny, The Joel Stein might actually send a funny response to an e-mail from a random stranger (is there any other kind of stranger?). Or that he might be prone to hire someone who would send a funny response to an e-mail from a random stranger. (What is the opposite of a random stranger anyway? A particular stranger?)
I suspect I would feel like far less of a tool had I written what I imagine is the standard fan letter. (“Gee, Mr. Stein, I think you’re super neat.”) Instead, I proceeded to tell The Joel Stein (or TGWRTJSE) that after a week of writing a blog I was prepared to stand in for him should he need a week off from Time Magazine. I may also have implied that doing so would be a major step back in my career (which is to say that I said exactly that). But, TGWRTJSE being the class act that he is, responded with the following message:
I enjoyed your site. It’s full of stuff about art and photography and smart people stuff. Therefore, I will not let my editors know about you in case they want to replace me with something smart.
Decidedly nicer than, “Dear Condescending Ass, Your writing is amateurish and formulaic. Joel,” wouldn’t you say? I won’t fault TGWRTJSE for not getting past the home page of MuchAdo (let’s just say that the traffic patterns of MuchAdo are not all that hard to divine at this stage of its development). I’m just happy that he stopped by, read a few of the category topics, and sent a nice message. And I choose to believe that The Joel Stein, either as a result of having one too many margaritas or because he lost a bet with TGWRTJSE, will visit MuchAdo (again). So, Joel, if you’re reading this, thanks for the nice message. And the offer still stands, I’d be happy to stand in for you any time. I promise not to write anything smart.
[Note: The Joel Stein’s new book, “Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity” comes out May 15th. You might want to buy a copy.]