I get these emails all the time containing everything from great humor to bad porn. Most of it I just delete. Some of it, however, I pass along. What I have noticed is that I edit the mailing list severely. For whatever it means, I have friends whom I value who span the universe in their orientation. That is, there are some who are worldly, some who are provincial. Some who are vain, some who are humble. Some who are deeply spiritual, some who are unreasonably religious. Some who are political nut cases, and some who seem oblivious to the passing parade. All of them do not get all of these pass-ons and most are quite happy about that, I am sure.

Regarding nonsense emails, I once became so tired of it that I sent a letter to my entire mailing list demanding that they cease and desist. Send me a real communication or just don’t send anything. I was in one of my self-righteous phases. I got a few comments and the garbage traffic slowed down a bit but soon ratcheted up to an even greater volume.

So I realized that for many people this must be their way of actually saying hello. I have come to a place where I can appreciate the knowledge that someone I know has me on a mailing list and wants to share something they feel is funny with me. I think I’m pretty secure, but I know I’m not so secure that I can tell anyone with a sense of humor to buzz off.

So when I sit down to forward some of this stuff that comes in I find myself thinking about who would be the appropriate person to get this in his or her in-box. I don’t want to offend, you see. You can’t, for example, send left wing stuff to right wingers. If it’s truly funny they won’t understand it anyway. Furthermore what they call funny is usually crudely disguised racism, misogyny or pure redneckism. I dump that stuff as soon as it comes in. There are limits.

So here I am getting some kind of humor on an almost daily schedule and deciding what happens to it.  As I said, most of it goes into the trash but should there be the slightest value in it I begin the editing process of deciding who should or would appreciate it. I’ve been told that it doesn’t matter. That’s probably true. I’ve been told that one’s most valued friends are the purveyors of this garbage and therefore would love to get it back. I’ve been told that such communications are, as I have mentioned, an effort at maintaining a connection.

Well, if that’s so, we are back to thinking that all these jokes, zingers, videos and web links are actually coded messages that say, “Hello, how are you? I’ve been thinking of you. I hope you are well”.


Well, then, I am doing very well, thank you. I hope you are well and enjoying a measure of happiness in your life. Let me hear from you again soon.


Jerry H

Or, I could just pass along a good joke.

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