Friday, June 13, 2008

The Leaky, Listing Ship of State

This is a real letter sent by me to my (then) Congressman, several years ago while living in Columbus, Ohio. After about three months of no response, I got a very tentative phone call from one of his staffers. Once I reassured him that I was not a dangerous crank I was myself reassured that the people in his office "really, really enjoyed" my letter. By the way, nothing came of my request.

The Honorable Patrick J. Tiberi
2700 East Dublin Granville Rd.
Suite 525
Columbus, OH 43231

Dear Representative Tiberi,

As you are aware, the colorful and varied threads woven into the tapestry of our national character have given rise to numerous holidays, weeks of observance and months of celebration. In February alone we celebrate Black History Month, Creole Heritage Day, Bird Feeding Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month and National Sea Monkey Day.

Having barely survived Oatmeal Month in January, we will next month solemnly observe Women’s History Month. And throughout the coming year we will join our neighbors, friends and families commemorating Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day, Earth Day, United Nations Day, Friendship Day, Pickle Week, Asian-Pacific Islander Week, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month (April), Taiwanese-American Week, Hispanic Heritage Month, Gay Pride Week, Christian Heritage Week, Jewish Heritage Week, National Waffle Week, Ugly Truck Day and Spoil Your Dog Day to name just a few.

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of good Americans will earnestly and joyously celebrate each of these humble and esteemed occasions. (I actually know a gay, Jewish, African-American who spoils his dog with waffles.) I am proud and thrilled that you and I, Congressman, live in a land that offers each of its citizens, no matter how significant or obscure his/her ethnicity, pastimes, appetites and/or lifestyle, the opportunity to “strut their stuff” and revel in their individuality. I enthusiastically join them in their celebrations.

My problem is that, as a heterosexual, middle-aged, middle-class Caucasian male of mixed European lineage, I feel very much slighted and ignored. There is not a single significant day on the calendar that pays homage to average white men.

And so, I would like you to introduce a proposal on the floor of the House of Representatives to set aside July 15th each year as “Average White Guy Day”. We don’t need a whole month. We don’t even require an entire week. All I ask is that, for one warm, Summer day, millions of proud American men like me be recognized for our ordinariness.

I envision a special day set aside so that Average White Men all across this great land of ours can go unshaven in their baggy shorts, wash their American-made cars, listen to The Beach Boys and Billy Joel, mow their lawns, barbecue, drink domestic light beers and wines, talk baseball, complain about the weather, take an antacid and go to bed early…and be honored for it.

I am absolutely serious about this, Congressman Tiberi. I have conferred with scores of friends and acquaintances of every ethnic, sexual and religious persuasion and they unanimously agree it is a great idea. Most important, none of them found it offensive or insulting in the least.

So, if there is anything I need to do further from my home base here in Dublin, Ohio, let me know. I am ready to draft a petition and take it door-to-door throughout the community, to civic events, to the library, to the media…whatever it takes.

I look forward to working hand in hand with you in making “Average White Guy Day” a reality and I eagerly await your prompt reply. I am sending a copy of this to your Washington, DC office and to your email address, also. Let’s get to work!


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