It#039;s time to check the mailbag

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2003

Ahhhh, technology.

Every morning I come to work and the first thing I do -- after looking under my desk -- is check my e-mail.

Never mind the telephone or face-to-face conversations. E-mail is the anonymous way of communicating.

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And selling.

Every day I check my e-mail messages and what do I find? I find "spam" as they call it. Advertisements for generic Viagra, sexual performance enhancers, diet supplements, credit consolidation, home mortgages, toner cartridges, e-mail filters, scams from Nigeria and other places and sex. Lots of sex.

Apparently, they know I would delete the messages so they attempt to disguise them with innocent names like "Joy" or "Chastity."

Is it any wonder I still prefer a good phone call or face-to-face conversation?

Let's open the mail bag and see what's going on:

Dear Big Lee: What gives with the city of Austin? Is it true they're willing to pay $250,000 for that tiny piece of property next to the fancy Chauncey Apartments, just so some people will have a good view? Don't they know we got a financial crisis in Minnesota and they're cutting programs, services and jobs?

-- Irate on the East Side

Dear Irate: I think it's another example of voodoo economics. (Or is it who do economics? I'm not sure who's responsible for this fiasco.) The Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority is prepared to offer $250,000 to buy a small parcel of property from a well-known auto dealer. (I can't say who, because it will only make matters worse: I have to walk by the place on the way to the courthouse every morning.) If they buy the property, they want the auto dealer to promise he will spend the money in Austin to relocate his business. If that's what this is about, I say pay the guy in Chamber Bucks. L.B.

Dear Mr. Excitement: Where do you get off thinking you're a ladies man?

-- Charming Chuck in Grand Meadow.

Dear Chuck: You may be right. The other day I had three grandmas following me as I pedaled my bike home from work. When I got home, I discovered somebody had pasted a yard sale sign on my fanny. L.B.

Dear Fellow Journalist:

Recently, a New York Times newspaper reporter was fired after he admitted plagiarizing material, inventing fictitious news sources and making up quotes. Have you ever been accused of doing that?

-- Clark Bent, Lansing.

Dear Clark: Four score and seven years ago, I was tempted to steal material from another source, when I was suffering writer's block. In the beginning God created heaven and earth, but no cure for writer's block. So I asked Harley Farquart, a CIA agent, what to do. He said I should ask not what my country could do for me but what could I do for my country. So after that, I never yielded to the temptation of making up stuff.. L.B.

Dear Concerned Citizen: Just whose side are you on in this Austin teacher-versus-administrator controversy?

Dear Concerned: Are you kidding? Teachers teach. Administrators administrate. I got a soft spot in my heart for elementary school principals, but who would you want opening your child's mind? Protect education at all cost, I say. L.B.

Dear Handsome: How about that new concealed carry weapon law? Are you going armed and dangerous?

-- Lula McGuire, Elkton.

Dear Lula: I'm already armed and dangerous. Call me. L.B.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at