Drop #84: Cutting the Fat

I wrote a thank you email:

 

Dear Hubert,

Thanks so much for dinner on Saturday. The food was excellent and I had a great time. It was wonderful to see you again after such a long while.

Please do stay in touch.

All the best,

Your friend, Tony

 

I sat back to read it over, as I did with even my simplest communications:

Dear Hubert – OK

Thank you so much for dinner on Saturday – fine, except the ‘so much’ is unnecessary. I wasn’t that thankful.

The food was excellent – this was an outright lie. The food had been average at best, but I could hardly put that in the email; nevertheless, I was sick of writing plain untruths in my communications, so I decided to just take it out.

Moving on: and I had a great time – another lie. It had been boring. The conversation tedious, the restaurant bland. Nothing vaguely interesting had happened in the two hours. I scrapped the line.

It was wonderful to see you again after such a long while – it hadn’t been wonderful it all, and it hadn’t been such a long while; actually, it hadn’t been long enough. If seeing Hubert again had been wonderful, then so had my recent dentist visit. Now intolerant of dishonesty, I scrapped this line too.

Please do stay in touch – what for? I couldn’t have cared less if I never heard from Hubert again. Line gone.

Your friend, Tim – in no way could I describe my relationship to Hubert as friendship. Your acquaintance wouldn’t really do though. Another lie of a line to simply remove.

I sat back and looked it over again. Though a skeleton of the first draft, there remained one change I had overlooked so I went on to exchange the ‘Dear’ in Dear Hubert, for a simple ‘Hi’. There was nothing dear about him. He was not a precious commodity in any sense of the word.

The letter now read:

 

Hi Hubert,

Thanks for dinner on Saturday.

Tony

 

But there were a few further redundancies I could remove (Hubert obviously knew when the dinner had taken place), leaving the final version to read as follows:

 

Hubert,

Thanks for dinner.

Tony

 

Perfect! I hit send. I felt good, having willfully refused to perpetuate the world’s redundancy and dishonesty. Even if it was a small victory, like cleaning garbage off one small section of one small beach, I felt like I had accomplished something.

Afterwards, I wrote out the original letter’s mutant cousin, just for a laugh:

 

Hubert,

Thanks for serving me dinner on Saturday even though the food was average at best. I was bored the entire time. You are an annoying person and your stories are tedious.  Seeing you again was an utter waste of time.

Please do not stay in touch.

Tony

 

But, of course I wouldn’t send that. No need to be mean, right?

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

12 Responses to Drop #84: Cutting the Fat

  1. legionwriter says:

    Oh, the world could always stand to do with less dishonesty. Very nice.

  2. B. says:

    Excellent. I will read all future e-mails in a new light.

  3. Thanks for this. I can’t count how many thank-you notes have I sent that were completely untrue. Most of them were – yikes – to family members; how bad is that?

  4. Laura says:

    Funny and so true! Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if we were all totally honest all the time. Probably a horrible place! 😉

  5. Mark Byfield says:

    This brought a smile to face and made my day mate.

  6. Pi says:

    Convention helps oil the wheels of socializing: hypocrisy is an essential component of convention. White lies are essential for survival: blunt truth is a recipe for solitaryness.

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