If there's one part of magazine reading that I devour, it's the Letters column. The whole section teems with purpose for me.
As it's often time consuming to read whole articles, I find it a real boon having members of the reading public care enough to write in, have their thoughts tautly edited for space, and help me figure out whether I should be outraged over the latest big deal or not. Important also, is the time freed so I can enjoy the sound of crisp pages snapping one after another as I search for ads featuring things I don't want but if presented properly, must have.
Dear Bon Appétit (America's Food and Entertaining Magazine),
I came across an old issue of your publication at a friend’s cottage this weekend and would like to compliment you on the artfully composed food photographs and the snappy captions (Mad about Mozzarella). Everything looked and sounded tantalizing; even the ads encouraging me to Discover Duck! made me smile.
While I hate to find fault, may I mention my mild alarm at realizing in place of a Letters column, you have a section for recipe beggars? One would think that those leading lives glamorous enough to include dining out would be sufficiently happy already but they also seem to require secrets from the kitchens of top chefs, gratis, and you accommodate them.
While a nice enough service, could your magazine not also support a separate Letters column? Imagine the the thrill your readers would feel at hearing how someone triumphed in their mastery of Cornmeal Biscuits with Cheddar and Chipotle after they wrote in about the experience.
You might also get a few letters detailing how an unexpectedly runny Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Melted Blue Cheese ruined a dinner party or a failed attempt at Hoisin Marinated Pork Chops threatened someone’s social standing, but I think that would just add to the fun.
Am I hoping for this type of feature to satisfy my own mean sense of humour? No, assuredly not. As proof, I offer this: I asked my friend if she thought I was mean and she answered, No, you're just not nice in the conventional sense of the word. Please let me know if you’ll consider my idea while I pretend not to know where her magazine went.
Prologue: Wrapped in a Wholesome Kind of Misery
18 hours ago