What I Think I’ll Find in My Inbox When I Compulsively Check My Email 50 Times a Day

Dear Future Pulitzer Prize Winner,

Out of the hundreds of submissions in our inbox, both from seasoned writers and supposedly promising newcomers, not a single one has the cachet needed to pull our magazine out of the dire pit of tedium in which we find ourselves. Even though you have never pitched us, we heard you once had a column in your college newspaper that people seemed to enjoy pretty well, and because of that we know you’re the only one who can save our publication.


The Editors of the Most Prestigious, Not to Mention High-Paying, Literary Magazine on the Market Today

Dear Future Past Fundraising Coordinator,

Due to remarkable technological strides made over the past several months, we have commissioned a generative AI bot named “Fast Larry” to handle all aspects of this and future fundraisers. Your services as fundraising coordinator are no longer required. Please accept this spa gift card for your troubles, along with our thanks for being the best (human) coordinator we’ve ever had, even though our fundraising efforts are barely underway and you really didn’t have to do anything yet.


The Community Organization for Which You Agreed to Handle the Next Fundraiser Without Really Thinking It Through

Dear Nobel Prize Nominee,

Your commitment to vegetarianism and to recycling plastic food containers as long as what’s inside isn’t too moldy and disgusting has done more to combat climate change than any amount of lobbying, grassroots organizing or technological advancement could ever accomplish. You are invited to fly in our new sustainable charter plane to Aruba (we have decided to take a break from Stockholm this year) for the awards ceremony, complete with five-star accommodations and a promise from your husband that he’ll do all the things you want to do without complaining, not even once, about how hot it is.


The Nobel Prize Committee

Dear Would-Be Supermodel,

When I saw you walking down the sidewalk having just picked up your children from school, I knew I had to track you down and beg you to let me represent you. From the way the unkempt strands of your hair knotted around each other like so many intricate silk scarves to the expressiveness of your face as you told your son, “Hey, genius! You’re going the wrong way,” I’ve never come across anyone who oozes “model material” from their very essence the way you do. I’m attaching several documents that prove indisputably that I’m a legitimate modeling agent and definitely not a creeper who wants to make a snow globe with your dead skin flakes as the snow.


The Top-Grossing Agent from a Prestigious Modeling Agency

Dear Former Classmate,

I just want you to know that I was desperately in love with you in high school, and my life is a tepid facsimile of what it could have been if I had only had the courage to ask you out. Dating all those girls who went on to become actress-slash-research-scientists was just to distract myself from how intimidated I was by your beauty and intelligence. I write this with no expectations, because I know your life is wonderful and glamorous (congratulations on the Pulitzer Prize win, the Nobel nomination and the modeling contract, by the way). I just wanted to let you know that I know how incredibly dumb I was back then.


Your High School Crush

Dear Fellow Driver,

A few days ago, you were backing out of a parking space when I honked my horn at you. I have since reflected on this incident and felt compelled to track down your email address so I could let you know that I’ve seen the error of my ways. You were far more than halfway out of the space when I reached you, which means it would have been customary for me to stop and give you the right of way instead of swerving in dramatic fashion as if, somehow, you were the one not paying attention to where you were going. I rescind my honk and offer my sincerest apologies.


The Lady in the Black SUV from the Target Parking Lot

Dear Email User,

Congratulations! You have set the record for “most inbox logins in a single day.” This honor comes with the prize of an all-expense-paid trip to our Silicon Valley headquarters, where you can meet some of the great minds who make it all possible. Just kidding. We’re actually going to email your family to let them know you’re in need of an intervention. If they’re even half as obsessed with checking their email as you are, they’ll be gathered in your living room within the hour.


Your Email Provider

P.S. Just kidding about that whole intervention thing. We want all of our users to be just like you!

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