I recently spent a week with my antifa platoon, passing out copies of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new book—“Nefariously Converting America to Full Marxist Communism Through Vaccine Mandates, Critical Race Theory and Cancel Culture: A Beginner’s Guide”—to thousands of people in a South American migrant caravan.

Returning refreshed, I found time to catch up on some reader fan mail, which I store in a tightly sealed, reclaimed-wood barrel that allows the fermentation process to impart a silky hatefulness and lush hints of malice.

I cracked the lid, allowing myself just a whiff of one missive calling me a “sanctimonious, (expletive)-kissing, sycophantic weasel for the donkey party.” A perfect bouquet.

Because I believe in evenly redistributing my fan mail among all readers, here’s a curated selection of this season’s finest offerings along with my thoughtful responses. These are presented exactly as written, with the exception of a parenthetical “expletive” used to replace certain profanities. Savor, and enjoy:

“No matter what you think of Donald Trump it is never appropriate to call a president of the United States Fartmouth. You are lucky you are not my son. Did you learn in journalism school it is totally appropriate to call a President Fartmouth? Your article confirms this country is in a downward spiral not because of the subject matter but your choice of words. Even more disturbing is for a newspaper allowing your article to appear in print. Would you allow your child to call you Fartmouth even though it may be appropriate?”

There are several questions here. I’ll start with the last one. Yes, I would allow my child to call me Fartmouth, but that’s only because that child routinely hears me making fart sounds with my mouth, so it’s technically an accurate description. As to referring to the former, twice-impeached, one-term, insurrection-inciting, con-artist president of the United States by that term, I’d argue it’s one of the more polite things I could call him.

“Are you that freaking stupid to believe the horse (expletive) that you write. You are the A typical lib(expletive) that feeds all Americans full of crap.”

I am, in fact, that freaking stupid. I once tried to figure out whether a stove burner was still hot by shoving my hand down on it. I once got in a minor car accident because I was distracted by the deliciousness of the Dairy Queen Blizzard I was eating. I write for a living and still have no clue when to use “further” instead of “farther.”

This next note came around the time that many of my colleagues took buyouts and left the newspaper.

“Oh how I wish it were you we were saying goodbye to, you dumb turd.”

Thank you for this note. I have tried so many times to get the word “(REMOVED BY EDITOR)” into a column, but my editor always takes it out and … DARN IT, SHE DID IT AGAIN! The word I’m referring to rhymes with “word.” It’s (REMOVED BY EDITOR) … AUGGGHH!!

“Your column on Sunday was deeply flawed and had a vile odor to it. Your lack of training and your third grade mentality is frightening. Any one who disagrees with your blatant ignorance is tarred with a virulent hatred. I am embarrassed for the tribune which used to be a class paper.”

Thank you! I have long been on the cutting edge of journalism technology, and incorporating odors into my columns has been a huge success. The one you’re currently reading is scented with pumpkin spice!

Also, the Tribune is still a class paper. I’m just the (REMOVED BY EDITOR) in the punchbow … OH, C’MON, IT’S PART OF THE SAYING!!

“Your an (expletive).”

Thank you. I agree. And that should be “You’re.”

“Your a (expletive) idiot.”

Thank you. I agree. And that should be “You’re.”

“Your a delusion moron.”

Thank you. I agree. That should be “You’re.” And I don’t know what a “delusion moron” is, but I’m making that the new name of my alt-rock band!

“Go back in time and die 5 years ago.”

OK. I’ll try, but it’s going to be tricky. Thanks for taking the time to write.

“Grow up and face the music that you are defending the worst idiot ever in office. Even worse than Jimmy Carter. He is a bully and dementia Joe doesn’t even know what he is doing. Pelosi, Schumer, Harris and the other power-hungry greedy (expletives) are in charge. They should all be court-marshaled and thrown in jail for life.”

Thank you for this analysis. But I think you mean “court-martialed,” which isn’t something that happens to civilians. Unless you mean “court-marshmallowed,” which would involved hurling marshmallows at political leaders in open court. That’s something I’d fully support.


Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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