Thursday, May 2, 2013

We Apologize for the Convenience: 'Merica- An Open Letter to Barry

Last week we sent out a mass email to all of our customers advertising our new summer fliers. Because of the growing demand for bilingual material, most of our fliers are in English on one side and Spanish on the other. Just like 80% of everything in most of the United States.

Because most of our customers are schools, and roughly a jillion* elementary school students and their parents speak primarily Spanish, this just makes sense. It's not really to be nice. It's just for marketing. You know, to make money because that's how capitalism works.

                       *I did a ton of research on this.

So it's no big deal and it's pretty normal. That's what I'm saying.

This morning when I got to work I had this lovely response to our friendly, colorful email from one of my favorite Southern States:

From: barry 
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: Summer Flier!

We live in the United States, and in the United States we speak English, and only English.
You want to be "bi-lingual"? Move to Mexico and see how well that works out for you.

Ok Barry, couple of things here.

Let's start off with the fact that a super colorful email full of flowers and pictures of racially diverse children smiling with their hands in the air got you this hopped up. Are you just going through your email finding things to be angry about and sending nasty responses to poor customer service reps all over the country who are just trying to pay for college? You lead a sad, empty life Barry. Also you forgot to capitalize your own name.

Everyone has the right to free speech Barry, I'm not arguing that. you have the right to your opinion and the right to state it loudly and bluntly for people like me, who just don't care. 

But guess what Barry? We also have that right. If we choose to print our happy little fliers in Spanish, French, Japanese and Swahili, we totally can. We probably wouldn't get a ton of orders for Swahili fliers in North America but somebody, somewhere, would probably really appreciate one.

Also Barry, get with the times. The "We speak English here" argument is so 2009. Nobody cares Barry. We care about Gay Marriage now. Which I'm sure you also have super strong opinions on.

Now let's break it down. "in the United States we speak English, and only English."

Well Barry, that's just not true. We are the great American melting pot. We speak English. We also speak Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, German, Swahili, Farsi, Swedish, and whatever that one with all the clicks in it is called. So no. 
(I'm willing to bet based on your last name that I can't reveal here that your Grandfather did not speak English at all. I'm going to hazard a guess and say he spoke German. I'm also going to assume he was a Nazi. Because I just get that feeling from you Barry.)

"You want to be "bilingual"? Move to Mexico..."  Why is bilingual in quotes Barry? It's a real word you know. It's not something we made up to sell a new idea. Now you're just misusing quotations and I really hate that. Also I think it's funny that you think Mexico is bilingual but not America. I don't think you know what bilingual means. 

Ok last thing here Barry. I know who you are. You sent that message from your company email. I know where you work, I have your address and phone number. That's just not smart Barry. Because I'm going to send you a present on your Birthday.

It's going to be a note that looks like a bomb threat but is really a birthday card but you won't know. And you'll be really embarrassed when the fire department shows up and the fireman (who looks like Mario Lopez) has to translate it because you don't have any bilingual friends.

It's also going to include a ton of glitter. Because that's just how I roll.


  1. I do love you and your humor.... I can help with Barry's birthday gift. XOXO the Aunt

  2. and there´s no official language in the U.S !!!