‘Tis The Season Of Goodwill T’ward Men, Minus One


I began a recent weekday by checking my email. Usually, six or eight emails come in overnight, mostly pretty boring stuff, though there’s sometimes a nice note from a friend, or a bit of news from a relative.

But on this particular morning, there were 31 emails, most forwarded through an internet exchange used by this publication to filter incoming mail. The majority of emails came from a guy who dubbed himself “Pistoff Reader,” a most devoted consumer of the words I write. After reading one of my pieces that “pist” him off, he went on to read every single word I’ve written since I began contributing to the Synthesis. Judging from his comments, it began to seem like maybe he didn’t care for me all that much. For instance, responding to a piece published last summer, the acerbic critic wrote: “Sick. Sick. Sick. I won’t be coming back to this website any more. “

But he did, responding to another column by writing: “A true piece of shit written by a true piece of shit.”

It must have been something I said.

But he hadn’t had enough of me quite yet. In reaction to a piece on racism, Mr. Pistoff commented: “ANOTHER shitty article by this idiot. They just keep getting worse.”

I managed to top myself, however, because he responded to a piece about Rand Paul’s plagiarism by observing: “HIS STORIES JUST GET WORSE AND WORSE!”

I’ve attracted enough hate mail over years of writing to know things are getting serious when readers resort to all caps, and then top that off with exclamation marks. After reading the following week’s piece, he added: “EVERY STORY I READ BY THIS GUY SUCKS WORSE THAN HIS LAST ONE!!!”

The two additional exclamation points were surely meant to amplify his opinion. It’s standard right wing debating strategy to add exclamation points when seeking to bolster ideas.

Mr. Pistoff also didn’t care for a humor piece I wrote about losing the World’s Sexiest Man competition. He wrote: “Try out for “world’s shittiest writer. You’ll win that one.”

A recent interview I did with musician, Roy Rogers, also failed to win his critical approval. He wrote: “BOOOOOOOOOOOORRRING!”

My feelings might have been hurt by the severity of this judgment but for the fact that I’d been spared being slammed with the dreaded spelling of “boring” that comes with 13 or more uses of the letter O, instead of 12, and four uses of the letter R, instead of Mr. Pistoff’s lenient three.

His dislike of writing he devours so avidly extends even to the title of my column. Of that, he wrote: “Yes, a CROCK alright. Everything I’ve read from this guy is a crock. Crock of shit.”

And then, rounding off his extended exercise in literary criticism, Mr. Pistof added this bit of self examination, saying: “I SO hate myself for reading another one by this idiot.”

I knew if he kept at it, he’d arrive at a view I could share, and when he got to the place where he wasn’t liking himself, in caps, I thought to myself, “Y’know, the guy’s got a point.”


3 Responses to “‘Tis The Season Of Goodwill T’ward Men, Minus One” Subscribe

  1. Mary Ellen Dias December 23, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Hahahaha – Jaime, you are SO GOOOOOOODDDDD!!!!!

  2. Murray Suid December 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Vague feedback–e.g., “Boring” (however spelled)–is usually worthless. I want a critic to back up his opinion with specific examples. What exactly did Pistoff Reader find boring or shitty?

    Anonymous feedback also tends to be unhelpful. (If you’re reading this, Mr. P. Reader, please out yourself.)

    While waiting for Pistoff to come in out of the dark, let me wish Jaime and his faithful readers (including Pistoff) a memorable Christmas and a productive 2014.

  3. J. Felding January 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    I don’t agree with his use of vulgar language, but he does have a point with his well deserved opinion of you.

Leave a Reply


It’s a little bit beyond me why anyone would join a gang in such a barely urban area—life isn’t all that rough up here (aside from the gang problem).

Work is the New Relaxation

My pant legs are crusted with the stuff and I itch all over.

Gemcraft Chapter Two: Chasing Shadows

Everything is tight and orderly and locks into place, and despite being a nearly brand-new release, I’ve had zero bugs in three or four hours of gameplay.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Most fans divide their lives in two parts: life before seeing Dillinger perform, and life after. There is simply no way to prepare yourself for their live show


Less of a conventional punk show and more of a drunken rock and roll stage production of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

One Page, One Line

A dignified, gold-trimmed, leather-bound book, full of the knowledge of its own importance. In short, just the kind of thing Leiza wished herself to be.

Taj Mahal: A Magical Memory Tour

I’m nearly 6’3”, so I’m not used to looking up at people. But it felt right to look up to him.

Inspiration In A 12-String Guitar

Alexia wanted me to have it, but I found it too hard too play, so I didn’t take it. But I kept thinking of it, and I finally arranged to get the guitar against everyone’s advice.

Horoscopes 4/14 – 4/20

Aries This is your grand finale week. We begin with a full moon lunar eclipse in your seventh house. Partnership […]

Small Adventures

How could anyone stick to their routine when they see a gigantic rainbow blazing across the sky like a unicorn with explosive diarrhea?

A Classy Guy And Some Stir-Fry

He’s been playing since he was eight, and playing professionally since he was 16, when the owner of the piano bar where he was hired had to paint a mustache on him to make him look of age.

Ether One

“No more adventure reviews, at least for a few weeks,” I said. Well, Ether One came out. I played it, and immediately went back on my word.

Wo Fat Head

He decided to get back up on the horse that threw him and, as he jumped up on the stove, I heard a “click.” “What’s that?,” I thought stupidly.

Space Dandy

All of the sobriety of the first two series is swept away in waves of sci-fi, nonsense, psychedelia, aliens, humor, smart-phones, and boobs.