• Image about Shahin Takes Off 08-15-2007

It has taken a while, but I have finally answered this age-old question: How do you get the last word when you and the other person are not on speaking terms?

The answer: Use e-mail.

A few weeks back, an e-mail message all but exploded in my inbox. After berating me for crimes against humanity in general and against children in particular, the author concluded by scolding me as if I were a 10-year-old and she were my mother.

"Please," she thundered, "don't make this practice a part of your future behavior!"

What? I thought, fury rising like steam inside me (which is not a comfortable sensation, by the way). Practice? What practice? And 'don't make it part of my future behavior'? What the … who are you to tell me … I … you … braaaaah!

And then I read the kicker sentence: "We need to be role models for our children."

Well, my steaming indignation boiled over. Which, as you know, is not pretty.

What are you supposed to say when someone invokes "the children"? "I don't care about children"? No. Of course not. You have to say something like, "Oh yeah, well, I am a better role model than you are, nanny nanny, boo boo."

Which is basically what I said in my e-mail reply.

With that, we were officially off track, assuming, of course, there was ever a track in the first place.

She fired back an e-mail, a sharp retort along the lines of, "Oh yeah? OH YEAH??? Well, you're just a pinhead."

And I blasted her right back, with something like, "Me, a pinhead? You're the pinhead. And you know what? You can send me another e-mail, but I am not going to read it."