Brownie to the Rescue
Some people would argue that the rise of the Internet, and e-mail, in particular, have killed the art of letter-writing. And those people would not be far off. Whereas scholars and biographers can still pore over the famous Adams-Jefferson correspondence and Mark Twain's eloquent dispatches home from the frontier, contemporary figures will be remembered by missives with such titles as "What up, playa?" and "Hey gay-wad, fucking write me back already."
With an eye to our place in history, What's So Funny has always treated any and all correspondence with complete reverence, often writing in the antiquated speak of Confederate generals: Dearest mother, the days have grown shorter and air colder, and as the leaves turn from their verdant green on the limb to their deathly brown on the loam, so too do my spirits turn south. Lamentably, the bed-wetting persists. But can you blame me? The dastardly autocrats so ruthlessly lampooned in these very pages time and time again have taken up arms like the minorities of the Parisian suburbs, threatening to tear me limb from limb upon leaving the confines of the office each eve. Every breath is a new milestone in fear, every step faster, more hurried than the last. In short, I again need you to pick me up from work today. Or just send Dad if you're busy.
Unfortunately, not everyone handles e-mail so respectfully. Although the Colorado Supreme Court has refused to release the complete oeuvre of Tracy Baker, former Arapahoe county clerk and recorder, some of his messages to employee Leesa Sale have remained trapped in cyberspace:
Michael Brown email
So while you are sitting there all professional, imagine thisMe kissing your inner thigh while gently massaging ----. You lay your head back and moan as I ---- my tongue.
Tracy, we're getting a little flushed! But it gets better. Here's one from Sale:
No, I won't tell you anything sexual, like I want to take your ---- and slowly ---- it with my hands while I ---- it gently and ---- it before I take it and ---- it into my ----. "
What's So Funny has never been good at Mad Libs, but, good God in heaven, we know that's hot! And stupid. Baker and Sale should never have e-mailed nonsense over their employer's server. And that's a Colorado lesson that Michael Brown would have been wise to take with him to Washington, D.C., when he was tapped to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Last week, U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon, whose district south of New Orleans was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, posted a sampling of e-mails Brown was sending out as the storm hit.
On August 26, just days before the hurricane's anticipated landfall: Tie or not for tonight? Button down blue shirt?
August 29, the day Katrina hit, Brown had finished marinating on his shirt choice: I got it at Nordstroms. Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?
A mere hour later, Brown decided not to hang up his hat just yet, and continued to focus on fashion instead of the flooding city: If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god.
But by far the best documentation of FEMA's impressive relief effort came from Brownie's press secretary, Sharon Worthy, who wrote this to her boss on September 4: Please roll up the sleeves of your shirtall shirts. Even the President rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this crisis and on TV you just need to look more hard-workingROLL UP THE SLEEVE.
And that's just a sampling of the items that Melancon posted. But What's So Funny decided to dig even further, tapping a trusty source to yield what's surely the most damaging e-mail from Brown to date:
Hey guys, check out this song I wrote. It's pretty funny, it's to the tune of the theme song from "Duck Tales."
"Life is like a Hurricane, here in Katrina-ville/No food, corpses, it's insane, it's a Katrina-Hell/It's a big mystery, why we fucked up the worst disaster in history, Duck Tales, Whoo-ooo!"
Isn't that shit funny? Hey, you ever wonder how Scrooge McDuck was ever able to just jump into all those gold coins in his vault like that? I mean duck or no duck, that would have to hurt! How did he do that? Anyway, smell you later, bitches.
The in-box has spoken.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.