Just before I went bed on Sunday the eighth, I checked the news for one last time and saw that North Korea was claiming to have successfully detonated a test nuclear weapon. I was angry and disgusted that our idiot leaders had followed their policy of tough-guy brinkmanship and allowed this to happen. I did what generations of citizens do when annoyed with their leaders. I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper.
Editor, The Times:
North Korea just announced that it has successfully tested an atomic bomb ["North Korea claims successful nuclear test," Times, page one, Oct. 9].
I can't wait to hear Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the White House press office explain why this is Bill Clinton's fault and how it proves that we need to re-elect the same Republicans who allowed this to happen to two more years in power.
I sure am glad those unserious Democrats haven't been in charge of our national security; they might have allowed us to become less safe.
Right now, the only thing that's keeping us on the West Coast even a little safe is the fact that North Korean missiles aren't any more dependable than our anti-missile shield is.
Isn't it about time we elected a Congress that actually believes national security involves making the country safe and not just in steering contracts to campaign contributors?
The Republicans have failed us in every possible way. It's time for them to go.
— John McKay, Seattle
Over the next few days nothing happened and I assumed I was not going to be printed. I said many of the same things here in my blog. For those of us who use blogs to give voice to our opinions on events of the day, our blog is like a newspaper that always accepts our letters. The downside to their generous publication policy is that most our blogs have a very low readership. Besides, there's nothing like your words on actual paper to impress your older relatives.
And speaking of older relatives, we went to visit Mom on Friday. She's fine, thank you. When we got back on Sunday, I checked my e-mail and found a letter from the Seattle Times. We want to print your letter in the Sunday Times, but need to confirm that you're really John McKay and not someone trying to inflate their ego by pretending to be John McKay.
I rushed to the paper and checked out the letters. Nothing. I had missed my chance by letting the e-mail go unchecked over the weekend. I answered the letter from the Times, thanking them for thinking of me and saying I'd keep trying. Yesterday, I got another letter from the Time saying they did run my letter and would be happy to send me a tear sheet if wanted one.
I ran to the recycling bin and checked out the Sunday letters again. And there, at the top of the page, surrounded by a tasteful white margin, in bigger print that rest of the letters, was my first published letter to the editor. I hadn't thought to look at the big letter at the top of the page.
Today, I am no longer just an angry left-wing blogger; I'm a genuine letter-writing local crank. It's taken me fifty years to achieve this status. I hope I'm up to the new responsibilities.