Letters, We Get Letters

I got this email recently. Well, I got it in December, but I’m just now getting to December’s email, so for me it’s recently.

Anyways, here’s what it said:

From: (Name deleted)
To: theratandpig@aol.com
Subject: Comics
Your comic strip stinks. Your characters are idiots and so are you.


I don’t know what it says about me, but I love these emails. Why? Because it gives me a chance to send this:

“Dear ________,
Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”


If the arrogant reference to the strip’s “overwhelming popularity” and form letter appearance are not enough (and I make sure to leave in the blanks where his/her name should go so they know it’s a form letter), the mention that they’re going to be put on an email list is always sure to put them over the edge.
Anyways, after sending this response to the email, the person wrote again.

From: (Name deleted)
To: theratandpig@aol.com
Subject: Re: Comics
I know that that’s an idiot form email you send to everyone. And I DO NOT have any kind words to say about the crap you write.


I was so excited to get this second email that I almost started jumping up and down. Why? Because it gives me one more chance to send this:

Dear ________,
Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list, so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”


Sadly, he/she has not written back a third time. But believe me, I’m checking my email box every ten minutes to make sure.  With any luck, this cycle could last for years.

Man, I love my job.

130 thoughts on “Letters, We Get Letters

  1. Hmm, maybe you should have a mailing list. That would be cool.

    And be sure to add that person to it.

  2. Of course now I want to send an email saying how much I despise PSB just so I can get an unpersonlized response.

  3. Dear unnamed fan,
    Since the obvious way to prevent undesired automatic responses would be to cease originating the emails yourself, I don’t see that this cycle can end. Ever. I hope you value the skill of being asinine because, if you do, you must have higher self esteem than anyone I know.

    Thank you for your undying devotion for perfected vacuousness.

  4. That’s great stuff. And I think the strip gets better and better as time goes on. Been a fan for years now.

  5. hey i am an Indian fan! man you are classy! i love your blog just as much as i love your comic. And my favorite characters have got to be the crocdile family with zebra doing a pretty great job too. read about the barbecue grill incident on the blog, told it to about a 100 friends,all of them cracked up! please keep writing your blog also regularly.

  6. Be kind, this _______ may be a refugee from the great human/dinosaur war. Which we won as proven by lack of dinosaurs.

  7. You are sick and twisted. Which is why I like you and your little creature friends. ;)

  8. I used to get mail about how they liked the nudity and boobies in my comics…never a word about how funny it was…hmmmmm…

  9. Now that is brilliant. If some stupid person is going to complian what is better than pissing them off even more?

    Kudos!

  10. You should change it just slightly every time they send it, so that they’re not exactly sure whether it’s a form letter or not.

  11. I love your job too! Awesome! Thanks for making me laugh every freaking time you write!

  12. if i send you a belligerent email, may i have a form letter please…

    you bastard.

  13. Can you send the same amount of e-mails back to her as she sent to you? Like, if she does reply send the form letter three times so she thinks her e-mail address has been added three times then if she sends another letter send her the reply 4 times.

  14. Dear Stephan,
    Thank you for your interest in repeating this anecdote. It’s always satisfying to see recycled anecdotes that you have published previously in the introductions in your books. Rest assured, your anecdote has been entered on a list of repetitious anecdotes. Again, thanks for your support of the same anecdote we’ve seen before!

  15. When I used this method on some angry lady a few years ago, she got so mad, she flooded my inbox with 100 emails. Took me a long time to send all those replies.

  16. That’s a riot… I swear, your blog is just as funny as the strip. Pearls fans who don’t know about it are really missing out.

  17. Stephan, I remember seeing this in one of the collections in the Intro part, care to explain?

  18. So, are you cmpletely unaware you wrote this as a foreword to one of your books? (btw, this makes me want to send you nasty grams.)

  19. Way to go Stephan, I’m glad to see you do this just like that one Pearls book said you do. Pure genius.

  20. HAHAHAHAHAHA…. I love when people who are being offended by some moron answer in such a non-offesive way… and it actually makes the moron agrier XD

    But putting that aside… if he got a form as a response… why did he answer it? He expected that just because he answered to a form he would get a personal “Go To Hell” message? hahahaha

    By the way, you should have modified the form the second time just a tiny little bit so he would have know that u did that on purpose XD

    ( Ur comics are great =P – that makes u even more overwhelmingly popular XD)

  21. “Dear ________,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pig. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of Pig, Pig cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of Pig is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list, so that you can receive updates on Pig. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”

    “Dear ________,
    Thank you for your kind words about Guard Duck. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of Guard Duck, Guard Duck cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of Guard Duck is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list, so that you can receive updates on Guard Duck. Thanks again, _______, for your continued support.”

    “Deer ________,
    Tank u 4 you kind word bout Croc. Unfornaly, doo 2 de overweelm popular uv Croc, Croc not repond too eech email personly. But be rested! You support uv Croc iz knoted und you email dress haz beeen addled 2 hour fan leest, so dat you receeve updates on Croc. Tanks gan, _______, for you conteenued port.”
    P.S. Keel de Zeeba

  22. you have not just gotten to your december mail!

    i emailed you in March and you responded

  23. That is awesome. Serves him right for being such a troll. Next time, send him/her a link to your blog and notices on the next Pearls book.

  24. Actually Stephan, one of the perils of the information age is that we can leave negative reviews right out here in the open. Whereas I followed your work a few years ago with great interest, I now note that your work has become what you criticize. Repetitive, thin, derivative, and irrelevant. Combined with your blog, the overall impression is one who fixates on the negative relentlessly but shallowly, and without any balancing humanity. Combine that with being undeservedly smug and Unashamedly commercial, and you have an enterprise that someday your present fans will genuinely wonder what the attraction ever was. Its not to late Stephan, just look around and observe that that the satire that has endured never lost site of intelligence, and pointing to the better things that were possible.

  25. That’s the best response i’ve ever encountered. I worked for years in customer service and via e-mail struggled with many variations on that. You win!

    Best I ever came up with is: “Thank you for contacting Stratos. Due to the large volume of emails received, it may take 24-48 hrs for a personal response, depending on priority.”

    I salute you!

  26. You are one lucky person to have such a job as yours. You must be in e-mail heaven.

  27. That sounds like the same emailer that complains about everyone’s comic strip, doesn’t it? I think it’s just one person who sends these types of emails.

  28. Now for the big question – have you designed the first update e-mail your new “fan” is going to get from the mailing list they think they’ve been added to?

  29. You really should fill in the blanks. Here’s a few ideas

    “Dear John or Jane Doe,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, John or Jane Doe, for your continued support.”

    “Dear uninformed miscreant,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, uninformed miscreant, for your continued support.”

    “Dear Rat and Pigless,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, Rat and Pigless, for your continued support.”

    “Dear humor challenged,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, humor challenged, for your continued support.”

  30. dude,

    can i be you for just one day? i can just see myself doing the same to people just to see what kind of reaction i would get. love it.

  31. Nobody forces him to read or like the comic in the first place, but what you did is just too funny :)

    Love PBS, keep it up.

  32. I find your cartoons hilarious. My husband and I sometimes think you are hiding in our house to get some storylines, as I can be quite like Rat(sometimes my husband can too). Yours is the only blog I read, I have always thought blogs were egotistical till I read yours. My husband recently joined a discussion group only to find out it was being run by a jerk he disliked. When he unsubscribed, said jerk started emailing back with obsentities, which reminded me of Rats job as the unsubscriber. I wish we would have had your blank form to email said jerk. Keep up the good work with both blog and comic. By the way I think shithead moved next to us and now has large truck with camper trying to park in front of our house, must have gotten rid of Mercedes, still has phone though, as well as multiple girlfriends that his wife is unaware of. Will you take him back?

  33. I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe…but the peeing still works. Yup, I guess I just peed myself a little bit.

    You’re a funny man, Steve…a funny man.

  34. Pingback: Письма, нам шлют письма (из блога Пастиса) - Приколы

  35. Ahhhhh, when YOU do it it’s funny. When I do it, it’s “wasting time.” The life of a cartoonist :).

  36. You are killing me man!!! That is hilarious! I’m sitting here with a huge grin on my face.

  37. Dear Stephan,
    Thank you for your kind words about Pearls. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming popularity of the strip, Stephan cannot respond to each email personally. But rest assured, your support of the strip is noted and your email address has been added to our fan list, so that you can receive updates on the strip. Thanks again, Stephan, for your continued support.

  38. Stephan, you often mention that you fear using too many puns, but here’s the honest-to-god truth. Kids no longer understand puns (or at least the low-income 8th graders I teach don’t). Here’s another fact: there is a Washington State Law (WAC) requiring that we teach puns. I swear. So your cartoon strips–ONLY the ones with the puns–start every class period this quarter. At first kids said, “That’s not funny.” I said, A joke is usually not funny if you have to explain it. Now, we are up to about a third of the class instantly laughing when the strip goes on the camera. Progress, progress. And thanks.

  39. Ok, today’s pun is the worst pun comic I have ever seen you do.

  40. Now you need to come up with some kinda weekly “update” on the strip that you can send to only this guy, but make it look like it’s a fan list update. That’s what I’d do, anyway…

  41. I just want to know if Sierra Nevada sent you any free beer and if so, are you going to have a Pearls mixer with your fans in which we can flatter you with nonsense to feed your ego while we drink your free beer?

  42. Yo Stephan, It took me a year of reading various comic strips along with yours to get my head into your printed comic strip (characters/personality); Your colour panel Sunday edition is great…Now, I must say I’m a fan of Pearls…excellent work…During the 60′s as a child I read (just like you), Superman, Archie,Peanuts,Mad Magazine….etc. Your comic strip is nice and edgy…very current and your Youtube interviews are inspiring to anyone. Cheers!

  43. send them another even though they didnt respond. DO IT. you know it’d be amazingly obnoxious.

  44. Dear Stephen Pastis,

    You are a very, very funny human being.

    I wish I was as funny as you.

    I would right you a love note, but I’m a straight male.

    Yours,

    iisundefined

  45. I love this means of fighting back. This is the kind of thing I would do, but no one would admit to it because I am the nice guy….thanks and I hope to use this idea soon.

  46. someone should write hate mail and just keep responding to you for entertainment value

  47. Bloody brilliant! Aside from the fact that this doofus doesn’t know good comics when he/she sees them, it also placates my soul to know that comic artists have devilish senses of humour.

  48. OMG, that sounds like so much fun! It’s too bad nobody’s invented like a secret attachment to take a picture of people’s faces when they get your letters, because that would only add to the fun! :)

  49. I totally love Pearls Before Swine. This is hilarious! You totally pwnd that idiot. I’m in love with Pig. Can he marry me? Tell him I’m no Pigita I have the personality of Ratita. Is there a Ratita? I haven’t kept up with PBS in years. Cana be her? :oP

  50. Hi Stephan(or who reads this). I am aware you have to write. However what if you had rat become captain obvious. You could have rat at a restaurant and have a couple talking. THen rat could say sir I understand you annoyance but please refrain from beating your spouse over the head with a shoe. Do you remember Dear Betty. The contest in Oregon with the frog and pigs relationship.

  51. we lost watterson, larson and schoults you are the only one left (i dont know what happened to liberty meadows)anyway i find most cartoons to be just cartoons and not necessarily comics. you”re strip is a comic but you’ll never beat “too bea or not too bea” that still makes me laugh, the set up was perfect.

  52. Loved your Stanford vs Cal theme. Glad to hear that Stanford still matters to Cal fans. Only trouble is, no one at Stanford really cares about Cal, even though it is the BIG GAME. We hate USC much more. Ciao.

  53. Loved 5/13 and 5/14 as I do all the strips.

    Do you know/remember a routine by a famous standup in which kumquat was the subject of part of the patter?

    Keep up the great strip, Stephan.

    Sincerely

    Jake/Granada Hills, Ca.

  54. Dis very deeficult — no on Facebook. Melvin mus land on Famlee Circuss or Garfeel house.

  55. Love your strip. I had to laugh out loud at the one a few days ago with Rat talking to his conscience about asking for forgiveness just before dying. I shared it with a Freethinkers group I’m in. I read about your favorite books and was surprised to see “Dunces” as your favorite. Mine too. I’ve read it 3 times. Also liked “Gatsby” and “Death of a Salesman.” Anyone who doesn’t think “Dunces” is funny has a serious problem.

    I see your strip in the Baton Rouge Advocate, and yes, I’ve told the editors how much I enjoy it.

  56. Hi Stephan Pastis,
    Just a note to tell you that today’s strip (Sun. Jan 8, 2012) about “a Hoffa they can’t re-fuse” is the funniest strip I’ve read in ages! I’m still chuckling about it. I love Pearls before Swine!

    Congratulations on your 10th anniversary and I look forward to the next ten.

    Sincerely,

    S. Belter
    Edmonton, AB, Canada

  57. I was going to say that I liked today’s strip alot. What “alright” is to you, “alot” is to me. While I am on the subject of educating the world, at some point would you be so kind as to inform the rest of the world that the moustache/beard thingy you sport is NOT a goatee. It is in fact a Van Dyke. A goatee is a tuft that hangs down like a goat’s beard (hence the name). It does not have a moustache component. i don’t know whay the world has such a hard time keeping that straight.

    But I’m not bitter.

    (love the strip)
    Jim in Winnipeg

  58. Hi Stephan. I LOVE your new character, Tina Turtle. More, please! (I know it’s tacky to use all caps, but just wanted to make sure you know that I LOVE her.)

    Pat in North Carolina

  59. Dear Stephan Pastis,
    On page 71 of Pearls Blows Up, you kicked the bucket.
    But the cartoons go on…
    Good Grief, Charlie Pastis, you have out done Schulz.
    I absolutely Love your ‘tooning, humor and comments.
    Jack Stuart age 75

  60. Dear Stephan Pastis,
    You have done better than “pulling a Pastis” you have
    “pulled a Schulz” more power to you !
    Jack Stuart again

  61. Dear Mr. Pastis:

    Just a note to thank you for starting my every day with a laugh. I just love Jonas and all the mice; and Louie and Raymond; and the Captain and crew; and the rabbit thieves – and anything I might have missed. Pearls was removed from my local paper a while back, but I read it every day on line – before I do anything else. Also – just found out that we share birthdays – except mine is MUCH earlier than yours – I turned 80 this year.

  62. OMG – Mr. Pastis – forgive me – I mentioned all the characters from my second favorite strip, Overboard. I can only ask that you take my age into consideration. Please! I LOVE the crocs trying to outsmart the much more intelligent zeeba neighbors, Pig, Rat, etc. etc. Will you please overlook my stupidity?

  63. Was anyone else disturbed that Pig ordered a triple bacon cheeseburger? Canabalism in my favorite strip?!

  64. Yes, Wayne, I also noticed that Pig ordered bacon, and was expecting some remark about it in the strip. Maybe Pastis just realizes that his fans are of above average intelligence and don’t need him to point out such things.

  65. Doug and Wayne, first welcome to Stephan’s blog! Yes, Stephan was concerned people might be upset with Pig ordering bacon, he even had a book title with Pig saying something about bacon. Dave, he gets plenty of request for more crocs…they are his hardest to do. Read more of his blogs and you will find a lot of humorous, entertaining stuff as well as informative. Jack, we Pastis fans are of all ages, so welcome to you too! Stephan is a fantastic person as well as being a funny guy. We are all lucky to have him and his cast of Pearls Before Swine.

  66. Happy to see you old guys can still appreciate good humor, Jack. Perhaps when I get old I will also retain the ability. Doug Johnson, age 74.

  67. 11/28/12: Are you not a Freud of seeming
    self-referential, or even egoistic?
    Or are you pastis by now?

    Concerned reader

  68. Pearls is my favorite comic and I’m drawing croc strips ( not selling them ) but mine are pretty cool but not as cool as the originals

  69. Dear Stephan,

    I have announced to the household I want to cut out your strip today (Rat harnessing stupidity), enlarge it and put on my bedroom wall so I can see it upon waking without my glasses because it made me burst out laughing so hard–that healthy, unexpected kind–that, even though I’m generally cheerful, it put me over the top in a hilariousl moid all day. Yours is the only strip I read now, and love the drawings

  70. I’m not sure which of the strips about Rat harnessing stupidity you are referring to, but the one with the woman saying “I was like” was so funny to me that I laughed out loud. Usually even a very funny strip only makes me smile.

  71. Thank you for today’s strip. It was a touching testament to the shining light of those lost last month.

  72. Indeed it was. This meant so much to me, and I’m sure, to many, many others. Sincere thanks.

  73. I LOVE your strip. I especially like when you enter and do NOT have a cig hanging from lips. From middle school health teacher trying to get kids to never start smoking – so if you can help me in any way by doing a bit on addictive tobacco dumbness is, that would help. Thanks for making me laugh every day. I mean it.

  74. Hi im doing a project 4 school but i have no idea were i should mail a letter to u because i know that your pretty busy because of your first novel Timmy Failure but if u could tell me were i should send the letter to that would be great. thx….<3

  75. Dear Mr. Pastis, I just read “Were off to see the whiz herd…” this AM, fell off my chair, so funny and just what was needed on this odd day. If your characters, and the one you created for yourself, are anywhere near where you actually live, Stephan, you are a strange little man! And I absolutly love your stuff.

    Tom Potter, Missouri

  76. Tom, I am you enjoy Stephan. Welcome to our group of fans that enjoy life a little more because of Pearls! And yes, Stephan is as funny in person as he is on paper.

  77. Tom, sorry for the typo above… it should say I am glad you enjoy Stephan and his work!

  78. Ya wanna hear the one about crossing the state lion with a minah for immoral porpoises? It would fit right in with your latest pun theme.

  79. Super Cali…fragile….List it…expect Allie. Doe,shush. is the best one ever You make my day,Sp. thanks for sharing you cleverness and sense of humor.

  80. Mr. Pastis,

    I’m a fan of your strip Pearls before Swine, especially your play on word puns. Here is one you may or may not have heard of. It may be good enough for a strip. Enjoy.

    Jim Petkas

    Goat to all: I just heard that that the wife of my good friend Running Bear, Silver Moon, had a baby on their buffalo skin rug.

    Zebra to all: That’s nothing. Morning Flower, my friend Grey Wolf’s wife, had twins on their bear skin rug.

    Rat to all: Well my pal Painted Horse has been big game hunting in Africa. While he was there his wife Singing Brook had triplets on a water-horse-skin floor covering.

    Pig to all: That means that the squaw on the hippopotamus was equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides!

  81. Your puns are masterful. But it seems to me that apologizing for them and denigrating them just reinforces the all-too-widespread attitude that puns are low-class humor. Stand up for your puns! We are the Few, the Proud, the Punning.
    Oh, wait… I guess the fact that your strip is published nationwide DOES mean you’re standing up for them. Never mind.

  82. “squaw on the hippopotamus…” – old, classic, still-wonderful pun. But I think it can be improved! Instead of “the sum of the squaws”, make it: “the SON of the squaws” (and perhaps change the logic a bit to account for that).

  83. Hi!!

    I am such of huge fan of the strip, hilarious and yet so personal at times, I love it. I’ve however been thinking a lot about one strip in particular that makes me tear at the thought of it… I just cannot find it anywhere! It’s the one where I think Pig writes a letter to God and something that involved children that have no parents or along the lines of something like that… Could you please help me!?? I remember it vividly in my mind, the illustration. Pig is waiting by the mailbox? Ahh. Please let me know!! :) thanks!!

    With so much love and thankfulness for such an amazing comic strip,

    Tanya

  84. Thanks Lloyd, Stephan appreciates your support. And welcome to the group of fans here that all love Rat, Pig, Zeeba, Goat and the whole crew at Pearls…oh we all like Stephan too!

  85. Walt, Stephan already has plans for his upcoming strips…he draws them sometimes 9 months in advance. We appreciate your thoughts and welcome you to Pearls and Stephan’s blog!
    P,S, Sometimes I feel like he has based Rat on myself, but we all know he is based on Stephan himself.

  86. Sally thanks for the complement to Stephan. Glad you found his blog, as you will find many humorous writings here. You are among friends on this page, so welcome!

  87. Thanks for the humor Jim. Welcome to our little world here…you will enjoy all of Stephan’s writings here. I think we all have a better day when we read Pearls! I know it puts a smile on my face each day if not a real laugh out loud moment!

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