‘Barry Smith, you suck’ | VailDaily.com

‘Barry Smith, you suck’

Barry Smith

Maybe getting an e-mail from Barry Smith is no big deal to you. But for me, it’s a little weird. It’s even weirder getting one that essentially tells me I suck.&quotBarry Smith, you suck,&quot signed Barry Smith.Maybe that’s the sort of thing that happens to Sybil all the time, but it took me by surprise.Here, let me catch you up.Every week I mail my column out to a small but dedicated group of people who, in a fit of passion, signed up for such a service while visiting my web page.One day about two years ago I got an e-mail from one Mr. Barry Smith from the Midwest. He had been doing some &quotego surfing&quot (you know, where you type your own name into a search engine and see how many different yous there are). His search took him to my web page and was obviously impressed by my name. He e-mailed me, signed up to receive my column (for free, of course), and we started a bit of a correspondence based on our name.Needless to say, this correspondence didn’t get too deep.HIM/ME: &quotSo, when someone says, ‘Hey, Barry Smith,’ you, like, turn around to see who’d calling you, huh?&quotHIM/ME: &quotYep&quotHIM/ME: &quotWow, Barry Smith. Crazy.&quotHIM/ME: &quotTotally.&quotSo, you know, we were close.Then one day, not so long ago, I got an email from him telling me not only that he needed to be removed from my mailing list, but that my &quotgrossly irreverent song lyrics mocking God&quot had seriously offended him.And furthermore: &quotNot to sound preachy, but Barry, I pray you will see that your life is more important than the work you are crafting of late.&quotAnd, in conclusion, he prays that I use my writing &quotin ways that bring glory to God and to others.&quotThank you, Barry Smith, for your concern, and for just totally freaking me out.I’m not going to pine for the good old days, because I truly believe that this is a good time to be alive, but do you think Mark Twain even got letters from other people named Mark Twain telling him that he should lay off writing about the darkies?Or Shakespeare, do you think he got letters that read, &quotEnough with the iambic pentameter, you’re not impressing anyone. Sincerely, William Shakespeare, Birmingham.&quotOr &quotIliad, schmiliad, it’s too damn long! Regards, Johnny ‘Homer’ Winkelstein.&quotI think I know why Barry Smith felt the need to put me back on the righteous path: he was clearly afraid of a divine clerical error. He could see himself standing before the Pearly Gates as St. Peter ran his finger down the long scroll.&quotSmith, Smith … ah, here it is, Barry Smith. Oopsie! Says here that you wrote some grossly irreverent song lyrics mocking The Big Guy. Sorry.&quot&quotNo,&quot Barry Smith shouts. &quotThat wasn’t me, that was Barry Smith!&quot&quotI thought you said that YOU were Barry Smith,&quot St. Peter says, not looking up from the list. &quotOh dear, failed to glorify God in your writing, did you? Tsk, tsk.&quot&quotNo! I’m not Barry Smith, I’m Barry Smith!&quot Barry Smith cries.&quotNext, please.&quotLast year I got an email from someone named Les who demanded that I shut down my web page.&quotIt is the worst irrelevant trash I have ever seen,&quot Les wrote. &quotIt is so weak, it is colorless. Insipid is too loud a word for your irrelevance.&quotLes explained that he was searching for the web page of &quotBarry Smith,&quot a Christian prophet from New Zealand, and accidentally ended up at my site, asking himself, as all good Christians should, &quotWhat would Jesus do?&quotLes obviously concluded that Jesus would take a few moments and fire off an e-mail telling me how much I suck for not being the OTHER Barry Smith.&quotHave you ever heard of Jesus the Christ?&quot Les writes. Having buttered me up by calling my writing &quotinsipid, weak, colorless trash,&quot he now seizes the opportunity to tell me the Good News. Somehow I doubt if Les works in sales.&quotHe is real, turn to him and he will change your life. I apologize if I have misjudged you but you seem to be a soul with no hope.&quotAh, no harm done, Les. It’s all part of a grueling day’s work of being Barry Smith.

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