The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Winners of The White Shoe Angry Letter Contest

The White Shoe Staff

The winners of The White Shoe Angry Letter Contest have been chosen, and we are pleased to present the winning letters to you, our home-viewing audience. In all, five winning entries were selected, two of which will be featured today. The other three winners will be featured in a few days. Rather than name a single "first prize" winner, we have decided to let the Angry Letter writers fight it out amongst themselves. A bit of a contest within a contest. A meta-contest, if you will. They were all simultaneously notified about their good fortune, and prizes will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. We wish all five winners the best of luck and would like to remind them: There are only four prizes. We extend our deepest sympathies in advance to that unlucky author who will be caught standing when the music stops.

But enough about the intricacies of running a contest at The White Shoe Irregular. However fascinating that may be, it pales in comparison to the end results of said contest. Here, then, are our first two winners. It is worth mentioning that one of today's Angry Letter writers hails from Britain. We are sufficiently excited enough about our new international status that we have decided to retain some of his unique spellings and his wonderful use of the word solicitor. Enjoy.

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Angry Letter #1

Dear Baby Boomers,

I'm writing to let you Baby Boomers know how much I appreciate your existence. I think it's great that during my teen years, when I tried to get jobs at fast-food restaurants and gas stations, that you were there to compete with me with your twenty years of experience. It's great that after college, you were there again to compete with me by snapping up entry level positions with your twenty-five years of experience.

It's wonderful that your whims and tastes dictate the market — since you're the largest demographic block. Life is so much better for me, since there's so little cheap and inexpensive crap on the market that a single person can afford with his minimum-wage pay.

Most of all I'd like to thank you Baby Boomers for completely cutting everyone who's not you out of the political process. Thanks for putting issues so important to me — like socialized medicine, the price of pills, and SUV tire safety — on the national agenda. I'm sure that many years from now, after you're all dead and gone, I'll have saved enough to buy an SUV. And with you and your money gone, I might be able to buy one used and cheaply. Oh how wonderful that will be to block other driver's view and slow down every car behind me.

Wait, I forgot to mention how special your little darlings are. It's wonderful that, due to the existence of your sweet packages of joy, I can't watch violence or sex on TV or in the movies. I love going out with the guys and catching some Pokemon at the local cineplex. Nothing better after a night of hard drinking. Most of all, I love that every job I can get, from substitute teacher to retail, involves waiting hand and foot on your little bundles of energy. They are so cute, your well-behaved, ritalin-saturated offspring.

And boy, do they have so many things I never had as a kid! Yes when I was a kid people got divorced and tried to "find themselves." I'm glad you Boomers have cleaned up you acts enough to raise your kids in a loving home. It's just so cute. Really, I don't know why previous generations of parents never thought about spoiling their tikes.

And thank you Baby Boomers for the future in which I'll be emptying your bedpans and waiting on you on cruise ships during your thirty-year retirements. I don't mind that Social Security benefits will probably be raised so that I'll never see dime one of my earnings. Someone has to sacrifice for the good of this nation and it can't be you precious, precious Boomers!

Thank you Baby Boomers one and all!


Mono Black

¶ Contact the author.

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Angry Letter #2

Dear Guiness Book of Records,

I am writing this letter to vehemently complain about troubles caused by your publication. Two weeks ago, a Mr. James Smith arrived at the copse of trees growing just beyond the bottom of my back garden with a sack on his back. Resting during gardening at the time, I lazily watched this fellow then climb up a thick silver birch. Indeed, at this point I even smiled when I saw the man take out a blanket and some food, because I thought he might be a birdwatcher. But he disclosed no binoculars or notepad, just a mobile phone, which he proceeded to use to call a number of people.

By the time these people came, I had finished the gardening and was giving my son his insulin. We both stared fixedly out the window as reporters from a local newspaper and others of unknown status congregated around the bottom of the tree. My son remarked that perhaps this was a protest — was the council planning to build on the land occupied by the copse of trees? It was only when one of your personnel arrived as an invigilator that we learned the truth. Mr. James Smith of no official fixed abode, as the papers dubbed him, was beginning his quest to beat the world record for "tree sitting."

This news did not in any way upset me at the time; indeed, it was rather pleasant to have the change in our neighbourhood — the reporters, the coverage, the attention, it all made otherwise routine days notable, something to talk about over dinner. But that was two weeks ago. Back then I didn't know what I know now. Specific research has informed me that the current record for tree sitting is held by a Mr. Roy from California, and stands at 431 days.

Do I even need to state the shock this put me in? 431 days. I had figured a guess at about a month. Not 431 days! In just two weeks of residence in that tree, Mr. Smith has already caused considerable trouble to my family. If it is not the late-night viewers, often drunk, who come to noisily climb up beside him, then it is the opponents who come with their own sleeping bags to beat him, invariably giving up after just a few hours. And if it is not other people, then it is this abominable fellow himself and the havoc he is creating. Food wrappers dropped onto my lawn, broken branches littered all about, dirty clothing discarded for his friends to come and pick up one or two days later when they bring fresh gear. His mess has brought stray dogs into the area — beasts that could be carrying rabies for all I know! It is just too much for me, and this is after only two weeks!

Already certain unavoidable questions have come to me. Where does this man relieve himself? If it is in a bottle, where does he pour it? Does he squat over a bag when he feels the need to defecate? The tree he hopes to call home for the next year extends its branches over the bottom of my garden, which is already littered with debris from this madman's escapade. Is it his biodegradable waste that has caused the new growth of weeds by the fence? I dare say that while public shows of sanitary issues might be commonplace in tribes lost in the jungles of Africa, they do not fit comfortably into the culture of a civilised suburban English town!

The movements of Mr. Smith are not your responsibility; his civil rights are not yours to edit. I understand this. But you play a medium between this man and his current actions because of your Guiness Book of Records and the fact that you sanction — or at least witness — episodes like this current insanity. It is for this reason that I hold you personally responsible for my troubles; therefore, I expect any remedy to come from your end. If you were to refuse to condone the continuance of Mr. Smith's record attempt, that should put an end to it. This is the course of action I hope you will take. Because I am not taking this any more. If the record attempt continues beyond another seventy-two hours, I will have no choice but to approach the council about the matter, and possibly even a solicitor with reference to your company. I see no other option.

If I am forced to deal with the matter through a solicitor, it will of course take time — time that I am not willing to sit idly through. In my family I have three big brothers who will gladly forcibly remove the insane Mr. Smith from the tree. Failing that, the tree will be cut down. I hope my hand is not forced into such action.

I hope this letter opens your eyes to the problem and solves it. Any threatening content is accidental. Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Bickerstaff

¶ Contact the author.

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Read more winning Angry Letters here.