My young heir was cloistered in his bedchamber last evening working on an essay about a book he did not like, written by an author he disdains. I took the text below to him as an example of the tone he should take in his analysis. It is Ignatius Reilly’s letter to a retailer supplied by Levy Pants, the Great One’s employer, which Ignatius drafted in the name of the company president. I think it a model of style, principle, and candor. Mrs. Dreher, the grown-up in our house, disagreed. You decide:

Abelman’s Dry Goods

Kansas City, Missouri


Mr. I. Abelman, Mongoloid, Esq.:

We have received via post your absurd comments about our trousers, the comments revealing, as they did, your total lack of contact with reality. Were you more aware, you would know or realize by now that the offending trousers were dispatched to you with our full knowledge that they were inadequate so far as length was concerned.

“Why? Why?” you are in your incomprehensible babble, unable to assimilate stimulating concepts of commerce into your retarded and blighted worldview.

The trousers were sent to you (1) as a means of testing your initiative (A clever, wide-awake business concern should be able to make three-quarter length trousers a by-word of masculine fashion. Your advertising and merchandising programs are obviously faulty.) and (2) as a means of testing your ability to meet the standards requisite in a distributor of our quality product. (Our loyal and dependable outlets can vend any trouser bearing the Levy label no matter how abominable their design and construction. You are apparently a faithless people.)

We do not wish to be bothered in the future by such tedious complaints. Please confine your correspondence to orders only. We are a busy and dynamic organization whose mission needless effrontery and harassment can only hinder. If you molest us again, sir, you may feel the sting of the lash across your pitiful shoulders.

Yours in anger,

Gus Levy, Pres.

More where that came from. You’re welcome. Ain’t homeschooling fun?