Category Archives: Open Letters

Pass The Mic To J.D. For A Fistful Of Truth

In my travels as an amature (re: unpaid) stand up comedian, I’ve performed in venues of varying degrees of crappiness over the years. From comedy clubs to coffee shops, to small theatres and strip clubs, I’ve seen a million faces and awkwardly described my genitals to them all. 

Still, most of my regular performing happens at the same places I started in, open mics in bars and restaurants. I love these places. It’s where comics get to rub shoulders with the common folk and share the stage with karaoke singers, cover bands, singer-songwriters, poets, and other social rejects.

The reason I bring this up is because I want to talk about a pet peeve of mine. Something that I have personally struggled with in the past, and that I still see comedians having trouble with on a regular basis.

That of course is how to work with a garbage microphone…

Microphone technology has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. Sadly, many of those leaps and bounds have yet to make their way to the PA systems of your average open mic comedy venue. Very often you might run into a mic or a mic cord that is not of the grandest quality, and that will cut out and/or give an odd buzzing feedback if held or moved in the wrong way.

For comedians, this can throw off your pacing and concentration, and will almost always ruin whatever joke you were in the middle of.

For audiences, it’s a pain in the ass to endure, and their entire outlook on the show suffers. Not only do they think less of the comedian on stage, but they quickly become disenchanted with the show as whole, now that they think they are in a low class venue with substandard equipment.

A PA system and microphone can break in a million different ways. The mic could blow out, the monitors could catch on fire, something vital might not be plugged in, the list goes on. However, most of the time the situation is never that dire. If the microphone you are using works fine 95% of the time, but only periodically cuts out, the reason is always the same…

The mic and the mic cord are not connecting properly.

That’s it. That’s the only reason. That will ALWAYS be the reason. There is no need to ever blame anyone or anything else, because THAT. IS. THE. ONLY. GOD. FREAKIN’. DAMN. REASON!

Most XLR mics look like this. I won’t bore you with the specific technical terms (mainly because I don’t know what they are), but on the cord you have “the pokey sticks” and “the cord part”, and on the mic itself you have “the clip thing” and “the holey bits”.

If everything connects like it’s supposed to, the pokey sticks go into the holey bits, and the clip thing makes a snapping noise when you put them together. The cord part should not feel too loose or unconnected from the plastic part that surrounds the pokey sticks. If you move the mic around and the sound coming out starts to crackle or fade out, it’s because one, or perhaps several of these components are not working properly.

Maybe one of the pokey sticks is bent? Maybe the clip thing is broken? Maybe the cord part got pulled out from where it connects to the pokey sticks? Whatever the problem is, if it keeps happening, but the mic still works most of the time, you’re only experiencing a minor connection issue. Whether the mic works or not is all dependant on what kind of tension is exerted where the mic and the cord meet.

So how do you fix it? The same way you fix all your problems in comedy… WRAP IT UP!

Simply take the cord, wrap it over your hand once, and hold the cord under your thumb. The cord can still dangle freely from under your thumb, but now you should have the whole “rapier” or “pirate sword” look going on with the mic. By doing this, you take stress off of the connection between the mic and the cord, and are now free to move around and joke it up without interruption.

Even the slightest of movements can cause a feebly connected mic to cut out, so if you ensure that the way you are holding the mic does not jostle the connection, your chances of disconnecting it are greatly minimized.

If you hold the mic like this, I guarantee, you will NEVER experience this problem again with a poorly connected mic.

Some comics get angry when they are in the possession of a bad microphone. They might take their aggression out on the host, the producer, and more often than not on the venue for providing crappy equipment. While it is true that the venue is responsible for providing a working PA, and that it is the duty of the host and producer to do sound checks before the show to make sure everything is on the up-and-up, at the end of the day, the comedian on stage is the one who has to deal with it.

Who is to blame for this phenomena? Jackasses that think they are special, that’s who. Every idiot at karaoke who hits the mic with his hand to try and get the audience to clap during his awful rendition of ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’. Every horrible cover band front man who spins the mic around because he thinks he’s Mick freakin’ Jagger. Every self flagellating stand up who drops the mic on the stage like Chris Rock after a lame joke about Arby’s.

It’s YOUR fault that this even has to be discussed, Mr. and Mrs. Wannabe Superstar. The aftermath of your ignorant abuse falls on us, the common grunt work open mic comic, who then has to figure out a way to use that mic after you’ve treated it like a beach ball someone threw into the crowd at an AC/DC concert.

Speaking of which, this goes out to those aforementioned ‘common grunt work open mic comics’, who this whole diatribe was really for to begin with.

My beautifully broken brethren, please, you must listen to me. It is absolutely vital that you take in this information, because truthfully, the onus falls on us to be aware of stuff like this.

Do you like doing stand up? Sure you do. Do you want to get work as a stand up? Of course, who doesn’t? Do you want this to be your job? Well, if you’re serious about it, you need to remember that the microphone is LITERALLY THE ONLY TOOL YOU WILL EVER USE AT THAT JOB!

That’s it! It’s the only thing! You can do it without a stool, you can do it without a mic stand, hell, you can even do it without proper lighting or a stage if you really had to! You NEED to know how to use and fix a shitty microphone! JESUS CHRIST, you don’t even need to know how to ACTUALLY F**KING fix it! You just need to wrap the thing under your GODDAMN hand, and hold it with your MOTHER-F**KING-C**TING-F**KING thumb! THAT’S… F**KING… IT!

Thank you for reading my intelligently worded, heavily researched manifesto.

Please send this to any comedian or public speaker you know that is still afraid of seventy year old technology.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Creators of the film ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’

Word Count – 400

Listen, I don’t like you, and you don’t like me. That’s a given. As you probably already know, I’m a single straight white man with low income and a beard who blows irrationally large sums money on concert posters and batteries for things. Obviously I am not in the key demographic for your film. 

I have not seen it. Nor do I have any immediate plans to. However, if you still want my money, I’m here to tell you that there IS still a way to convince me to see it.

The problem I’m having your film is that I can’t seem to understand the infliction the title is trying to convey. Infliction is everything, but you’re Hollywood folk, you knew that. You must also be aware that there are seven ways in which the title of the film can be interpreted, each of them unique unto themselves. They are…

I Don’t Know How She Does It” – A third party is confused about a woman who is able to do a specific thing, while others seem to have no trouble discerning how it is done by her.

“I DON’T Know How She Does It” – An intense interrogation reveals that a third party is emphatic about their ignorance in matters pertaining to how this woman does a specific act or acts.

“I Don’t KNOW How She Does It” – A third party has an intense amount of faith in a woman’s ability to do things, and they have declared to hell with trying to rationalize it to others.

“I Don’t Know HOW She Does it” – While her methods are mysterious and foreign to them, a third party is still in awe of a woman’s talent in doing things.

“I Don’t Know How SHE Does It” – A man or group of men can’t fathom how this woman is seemingly able to do things men normally do, be they remarkable or inconsequential.

“I Don’t Know How She DOES It.” – Productivity-wise, a woman baffles a third party with her tenacious work ethic and elbow grease in her activities and/or achievements.

“I Don’t Know How She Does IT.” – A group of people are pondering how a woman is physically and/or mentally able to have sex with a seemingly inanimate object, animal, or genetically deformed creature.

Please tell me which of these seven options best describes your film. I will let you know right now, there is only one correct answer.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Wondering Faithfuls

POSTER.jpg Poster for the first show picture by ThePlaceholder 

POSTER2.jpg picture by ThePlaceholder

Dear Body Shop

Word Count – 650

Hello, Body Shop. I am writing to inform you of an idea I had that I am certain will make you guys rich(er).
The holiday season is fast approaching, which means you fine folks are about to get your yearly influx of confused men buying fancy soap and whathaveyous for their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and such. You are widely known as the last resort safe haven for men this time of year, because as every stand up comic from the 1980s will tell you, men don’t know shit about women.

Or at least that is the commonly held belief. The truth of the matter is nobody knows shit about anybody, men and women included. The grand majority of the population are self-centered pricks, and feel obligated to buy our other self-centered pricky friends something at christmas to avoid those awkward, cold stares at new years parties.

I personally have received some of the worst gifts in my life from women, all of whom bought me things from Spencer’s Gifts, the go-to destination for women buying bullshit presents for the men in their lives they barely know and could care less about. Your male-oriented doppelganger, essentially. I have befriended a few women in my life who knew so little about me that they assumed I would be overjoyed at the thought of getting a Scarface throw pillow or a Family Guy beer cozy.

My friends are dicks, I guess is what I’m trying to say. As I’m sure most other peoples are, too. If any of them actually gave a shit about me, they would have asked what I wanted, instead of panicking at the last minute and guessing what I’d like.

Well, let me give you a little news flash, Body Shop. You want to know something I actually like? Baths.

That’s right. I am a man, I am straight, and I like to bathe. Stop the fucking presses.

I don’t know when it suddenly became “gay” to not want to smell like a pile of dead racoons covered in malt vinegar, but I happen to think that good hygiene should transcend gender boundaries. I would gladly accept one of your last minute emergency baskets as a gift, rather than a bottle of boner pills or a blacklite Insane Clown Posse poster. However, not once in my life has a woman ever put bath salts and satsuma hand wash in my stocking. I have never opened a neatly wrapped box from a lady friend to find coconut soap and body butter. I’ve checked your website, and you only have nine products in your “Men’s” bath section. One of them being a unisex toiletry bag (which does not count), and four others being hemp products. Why do you assume the only men who like to be clean are hippies, Body Shop? I am offended at the insinuation.

My idea, therefore, is for you folks to start marketing yourself as the last ditch shopping destination for both men and women alike. Or hey, go balls out and start producing products just for men. Perhaps something like bubble bath that smells like hickory barbeque sauce, and bars of soap shaped like power tools and tits. Call yourselves “The Man Bath Specialists”, and watch as flocks of frustrated last minute female shoppers line up to buy dual-action body wash that comes in Quaker State bottles.

If I have to get gifts with absolutely no thought put into them, I’d appreciate it if they were things I could actually put to use. That has been your business model for years, and I can’t see why you would not want to maximize your profit potential by branching out to both sexes. You provide quality products that everyone can enjoy, so why not expand your horizons a bit and make christmas a little better for guys like me?

We all like to feel clean, but none of us have a use for a plush electric pig that sings “All The Single Ladies” and farts when you punch it.

– J.D. Renaud


Dear Guy Who Tried To Mug Me Last Weekend

Word Count – 500

I doubt very highly that you are a regular reader of this site. We don’t really target our material to the semi-homeless “imma’ keel yous” drug addict crowd (though it is never too late to start expanding our horizons, I suppose). However, in the off chance that you are reading, thank you so much for not stabbing me.

Really, that was super nice of you. You had many opportunities to do it, but you didn’t, and that showed tremendous restraint. Maybe you were just not into it. Maybe you didn’t think you saw the right opening to do it. Hell, maybe you assumed I would have fought back. Whatever your reasoning, thanks all the same.

If you are curious, I most likely would not have. Anyone who knows me could have probably told you that. I have not been stabbed much in my life, but I can imagine that the experience would be met with great discomfort and the desire for as few stabs to be inflicted on me as possible. Fighting back would have exponentially increased the chances of that, so there you go.

I’d also like to thank you for showing me what kind of person I am in dealing with this kind of altercation. Most people will never truly know how they would react to this kind of situation, although I’m sure a grand majority assume they fall into one of two camps. Either the “knock the fucker out” camp, or the “crawl into a ball and cry” camp. If you do not recall our encounter, (call me presumptuous, but something tells me your memory is not incredibly keen), I’ll transcribe it for you.


YOU: Hey man, you got any money?
ME: No, sorry.
YOU: Give me your fucking wallet.
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Come on, fucker!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: I’ll fucking take you back there and kill you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Fuck you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

Long, awkward pause

YOU: Alright, get out of here. You were lucky, fucker.

Exit YOU. ME stands still, staring forward, one eye twitching.

ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.


Turns out, I am the wild card third camp, that being the way of the Shell Shocked Jedi Master.

I am now curious to see if my powers will work in normal every day situations, or if I can only pull them out in a crisis. It was a very “these are not the droids you are looking for” kind of moment, but apparently I can only channel my suppressed powers of psychic persuasion while I’m also fighting back the urge to unload a stream of terrified urine down my leg.

So, in closing, thank you for the not-stabbing, the revelation of my magical transcendence, and for the reassurance that my decision to continue showering regularly was a very wise move on my part.

– J.D. Renaud

PS – When you came up to me, I had yet to pay my rent, and had over $300 in my wallet. You picked the perfect guy, at the perfect time, and you didn’t fucking do it. Enjoy your DT’s, sucker.

Dear Creators of Dudley-Do Right

Word Count – 650

I’m sure its been a long time since you guys have received any letters, and I know I’m a little late to the game here, but I have a pressing issue regarding your program that I need some clarification on.

I decided to go out for Halloween this year as Snidely Whiplash, mainly due to the fact that I always like finding the excuse to wear a top hat and a curly black moustache in public. After the festivities were over, I was in the mood to travel back in time a bit and re-watch some old Dudley-Do Right cartoons. After watching a handful of them, I noticed a very alarming trend. There is a running gag in many of the cartoons I watched that center around Dudley’s love interest, Nell Fenwick. Many times in the show, she appears disinterested in Dudley’s advances, and the reason given is because she is more romantically interested in his horse (aptly named Horse).

I’m going to say that again, because I think it is worth repeating… Nell Fenwick, a human female in a cartoon show set in the late 19th century, made in the 1960s, is in the middle of a love triangle involving a FUCKING HORSE. You used BESTIALITY as a MAIN PLOT POINT in your CHILDREN’S CARTOON SHOW.

I’m not sure if this makes you progressives or perverts, but god damn if that didn’t slip under my radar when I watched these as a child.

My issue here is not with Nell. Zoophilia, like most dangerous deviant sexual behaviours, usually stems from a traumatic upbringing or a maligned mental condition from youth. In her time and place, a condition like that was unlikely to be treated clinically as it properly should have been. Also, even though he seems totally cool with the whole situation, I’m not directing my anger towards Horse, either. He’s a horse, I doubt he has any idea whats actually going on. I’m sure Nell truly loves Horse (in her own demented little way), but I highly doubt that her love is, or could ever be fully reciprocated. I’m sure most zoophiles out there would disagree with me, but in my opinion, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t expect it to cuddle you after you fuck it.

What bothers me most is the fact that nobody else in the show seemed to give a fuck, suggesting that you people don’t give a fuck about these kinds of shenanigans, either. Whenever it is brought up, it is never met with a reaction from any of the other characters in the appropriate “What the fuck is wrong with you, woman?” kind of way. Dudley often just shrugs it off, as if it was perfectly normal behaviour, essentially saying “Oh that Nell, always trying to fuck my horse”. I understand that he is supposed to be a bit of an idiot for comedic purposes, but I’m pretty sure that even certifiably retarded people know that romantic involvement with quadrupeds is generally frowned upon in most cultures. I have to imagine that the turn of the century RCMP would have some kind of provision regarding this sort of thing.

I am aware that cartoons are usually way ahead of the curve on taboo cultural issues (Bugs Bunny’s cross dressing, Snagglepuss’s very evident homosexuality, Woody Woodpecker’s battle with meth addiction, ect.), but I’m sorry, sex with horses is where this fellow draws the line. It’s also where I’m fairly sure a vast majority of the rest of the world draws the line, too. Now, you might be saying to yourself, ‘who is this guy to to say that someone isn’t allowed to love whomever or whatever they want?’

Well, I’ll tell you. A rational, non-horse fucking human being, that’s who.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I expect a full formal apology, or for you to write an episode where Nell and Horse are forced to marry. If they must do what they do, they should at least have the decency not to do it out of wedlock.

It’s not the Canadian way.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear Homosexuals, RE: Halloween

Word Count – 650

I really think you guys should sit this holiday out for like a decade or two.

Hold up, hear me out.

I am not prejudiced, I truly think gay people should have all the rights and privileges that straight people have. However, I think this is really a productive and efficient way for you guys to win a lot of the battles you’re currently fighting.

The first rule of war is to know your enemy, and your opposition to things like equal rights and civil unions stems from people with a highly irrational sense of tradition. These are people who don’t like letting new people enter their club because… well, because new people aren’t allowed in the club, so there. In many ways, it’s not that you want something that they already have, its that you want it without giving something up in return. It’s one of those “mommy, I broke my toy, could you break one of my little sisters toys to make it fair?” scenarios.

Straight people love halloween because it permits us the freedom to cross dress in public for one day a year and not be ridiculed. Quite frankly, we need this day a lot more than you do. That’s not to say I don’t think you all enjoy a good costume ball. Hell, who doesn’t? But you have to understand what this day means to people with bland, vanilla sexual habits. It’s the one day a year where a guy who masturbates to La Senza flyers can pretend he’s something better than what he is. It’s the day when women who have never experienced any sexual positions beyond missionary can cram their bodies into skin tight cat suits and still retain their dignity. In short, it’s the day when all the people who hate you pretend to be you.

If you take a bold stand and agree not to participate in halloween as a sign of solidarity, it will be seen in the eyes of the bigoted right as a decent compromise. You know, like how they let you have your own parade, but you’re not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade? It’s not for any fundamental or religious reasons, they just don’t want you hogging all the parades.

In their eyes, you guys are greedy. For many of them, they think that since they are not having gay sex all year long that they have earned the right to be Batman for a day. The lives of straight people revolve around shame and penance. Halloween, a day devoted to horror, violence, paganism and sex, is their reward to themselves for being upright citizens. Once you get that, this all makes a lot more sense.

You have to understand that most straight people think that every day is halloween for you. You’re kind of like goths in their eyes, they don’t really see the need for you to dress up when you’re already dressed up the other 364 days of the year anyway. Yes, they are wrong to assume this, I know, but that’s not the point. Where you may think you have to fight fire with fire, in this situation, you actually need to fight stupid with humble.

If you sit out halloween until around 2025, in that time it will be likely you can negotiate your way into being allowed to marry, join the military, and adopt white children. Let them think they won this round while you scoop up all the important things right under their noses. Meanwhile, the homophobic opposition will still have a heightened sense of superiority, because they are allowed to go outside dressed as Captain Planet and you are not. Then, when you’ve got everything you want and the time is right, you can fight for your right to take part in the festivities again.

Besides, 80% of you only dress up like angels or butterflies anyway.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear People I Have Met Several Times In My Life Whose Names I Can Never Remember

Word Count – 575

To all of you, I’m truly sorry. I can’t blame this on any kind of mental problem or drug dependency, I just legitimately can not remember the names of… well, frankly anyone, most of the time.

Interestingly, I discovered this condition actually has a name, ‘jamais vu’. It is actually the exact opposite of déjà vu, in that I could hear your name over and over and over again, yet convince myself that I’ve never heard it before in my entire life.

Again, this is totally not your fault, but I feel like I owe it to you to explain my dilemma. I owe each and every one of you an apology, but am far too embarrassed to say so to your faces. Also, I do not know how to contact any of you, because I can’t remember your names. You see my problem. Instead, I have decided to address you here individually in this letter, using the nicknames I have created for you based on the vague bits of knowledge I have gleaned about you.

Sleepy McHeadWound – You spent the night on my couch once and had a large gash on your head. You have been over several times since then, and we have talked about many things beyond sleeping and head injuries. I do not recall any of these conversations, yet I am led to believe you think you are my friend. You are not. I’m sorry.

Lady Jim – You were a friend of a friend who reminded me of a guy I knew named Jim. I mentioned this to you, and you seemed confused and a tiny bit offended. You should consider it a compliment. I liked Jim. Now that I think about it, I should get in touch with him. As for you, I know absolutely nothing else about you. I’m sorry.

The Brick – You were a large man I used to work with who barely talked to me. I was pretty sure you hated me, but I never asked you, out of fear that you might hurt me. Nobody else at work seemed to know your name, either. Part of me today still wonders if you were actually an employee of the store, or just a large crazy man who stole a uniform and began lifting things and moving them around. Regardless, I’m sorry.

Cowboy Manchild – You were another former co-worker who always wore a cowboy hat. You were a prick, and I’m only sorry in theory.

Short Stack – A name I have given to at least two dozen people in the course of my life, many of whom were actually taller than me. To all of you, I’m sorry.

There are many more out there who deserve apologies, but most of whom I have not given proper nicknames to. There are many “Whosits” and “That guy’s” out there who are also entitled to their just dues, and to all of them I give my sincerest apologies, as well.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, can everyone please promise to stop naming their children Matt or Sarah and at least try to be interesting in social situations when you meet me for the first time? Perhaps this ‘jamais vu’ bullshit has something to do with the fact that none of you have names, or stories that go along with said names, that are worth remembering. Help me out a little bit and work on that.

– J.D. Renaud

Dear South African Man Who Showed My Friends And I His Dick In Line For The Mud Slide At Mud Fest 2009

Word Count – 380

For the record, we never had any doubt that you were not “an Oriental”. Your thick accent and dark complexion were enough to sway our inquisitive minds to broach the subject of “This very drunk man swaying in front of us, what do you think is his country of origin?”

I don’t know where you came from that cloudy day, or why you started talking to my friend. All I remember was I was in line, looking aloft with my inflatable whale, when my friend started shouting at you. I looked over and saw that you were looking down for some reason. Following your eyesight, I was treated to the sight of a shrivelled, mud soaked dick and ball sack. As I turned away to laugh hysterically, you insisted that this was evidence that you were, in fact, not “of the Orient.”

I’m glad you are so comfortable with you heritage that you embrace it publicly, but you embraced it in line for an inflatable slide with a parade of strangers parading slowly behind you.

Being a naturally positive person, I guess I have to thank you for finding a way to quickly evidence your point without dragging me through the exhaustive and irrelevant game of guessing game your ethnicity, which would truly have been a bore. I also feel like I should thank you for not throwing up on my back after you butted into line behind me. While I’m thinking about it, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the women behind you, who noticed how inebriated you were at four o’clock in the goddamn afternoon and took pity on me, making sure to shout whenever you teetered forward slightly, looking like you were ready to expel chunks of fish onto my back from your fine fat belly.

Truly, you reminded me that we are of one world and one peoples and our differences are not many. We remain divided only into tribes of the meek and tribes of the brave, with a final division being those brave enough to get drunk and put their genitals on parade for a float full of school children.

– Timothy Legion

PS – We only thought about shoving you into the Police Pony once. I hope you’ll forgive us. We are only human.

Dear Showcase Television

Word Count – 1200

Hey. How’s it going, Showcase? Yeah, its been a while, I know.

I hope you don’t think this is weird or anything, me writing to you out of the blue and all. I mean, christ, its probably been, what? Seven? Maybe eight years? However long ago it was, it was probably right around the same time I just started getting high speed internet in my home.

Now, listen, I know we did not have a very amicable split. I just want you to know, it was all me, not you. Things just kind of happen, you know? You grow up, you find that the things you’ve been used to for so long no longer excite you. You want to try new things, see what else is out there. Turns out the “what else” that is out there is people having real sex with actual penetration, free and ready to view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t mean to upset you, but there really is no competition for that.

But let us not dwell on that, shall we? Let’s think back to some of the better times. Why, I can remember a time when you and I were practically smitten with one and other. I can remember waiting for the school bell to ring on fridays, knowing later that night you and I would share another magical evening together. It was a time of discovery, a time of experimentation. Those truly were ‘Fridays Without Borders’.

You were the home to those little known television series’ that promised at least one carefully staged sex scene, and a minimum of two pairs of exposed breasts every episode. For a young boy with nothing more than an active imagination and basic cable, it was heaven. The best of the lot, in my memory, was Red Shoe Diaries. Every week, David Duchovny would unveil a new tale of unrequited love and forbidden sexual desire before my young nubile eyes. He taught me more about sex than my own father. This was so long ago, it was before I was able to distinguish between actors on screen and the characters they played. There was a time when I figured that when Mulder was not finding out if the truth was out there, he was answering letters that began with “Dear Red Shoes, I just fucked a french zookeeper in a janitors closet.”

But then, at midnight, when those shows ended, you and I shared our most cherished times. Every week, you would open up the vaults, and share with I and the rest of the country your vast collection of top quality soft core european pornography. I don’t think I ever formally thanked you for those gems, but no thank you would truly suffice for the generosity you showed. I watched you every friday night of my entire teenage life, and not once do I recall seeing the same film twice. I can just picture the basement of your headquarters being endless catacombs full of dusty old VHS tapes, with an old grey haired gatekeeper proclaiming “BEHOLD! The vast annals of european muff! Stare in bewilderment at the failed community theatre actors from across the British isles. Gaze at body hair in places you never presumed it could grow!”

You taught me so much about myself, Showcase. You showed me that the physical expression of love is a beautiful, natural act. Well, most of the time. Sometimes the physical expression of love happens when a man who looks like a romanian Santa Claus foists himself on top of a woman with more facial hair than he has. Regardless, those were teaching years, and through masturbation trail and error, I learned more about myself sexually than I ever would have watching conventional pornography. Some weeks, the sights and sounds pleased me from dusk till dawn. Other times, it was a film where the penis/vagina ratio was waaaaay too lopsided for me to maintain composure. But I did not despair, because I knew my own desires were starting to solidify and become more refined. I became open minded, and proud of my natural urges. I never questioned my sexuality. You questioned it for me, night after night, when I was praying that the next people to have sex on screen would not have been alive when Lincoln was shot.

At a point in my life when I needed a friend, you were there. You may not believe it, but… I love you. I know it is not normal for a man to say he loves a television station, but I think when you go through an entire box of kleenex and two rolls of toilet paper every weekend with one, the label is only appropriate.

But I’m worried about you, Showcase. I checked in on you a little while ago, just to see what you’ve been up to. What I saw in the place of what used to be is a slew of reality shows about the porn industry. I understand your motives, you are trying to compete with the big, bad troublemakers on the internet who are stealing your thunder, and riding the reality tv bandwagon at the same time. Frankly Showcase, you’re better than these shows. Your appeal is your innocence, your knack for not showing us everything all at once. Some of us like to use our imagination, to pretend that the genitals we are not seeing might be our own. The thing that those reality shows do is ruin the mystique of pornography. If you watch enough of them, over time it just becomes depressing. Its like an ongoing documentary about type casted character actors, only instead of “whatchew talkin’ bout, willis?”, its gaping anal cum shots.

The other reason I worry is I don’t think you truly understand the vital role you continue to play in this world. For christ sake, children are watching this, man! You gotta make sure these kids become perverts slooooowly. You can’t reveal everything all at once and ruin whimsy for the people who are just starting to enjoy it. You’ve turned into the guy who rushes the stage at magic shows, pulls open the magician’s jacket and shows the kids where he hides the doves. If you and the rest of the basic cable smut peddlers carry on like this, pretty soon we are going to have a whole generation of kids who will become bored with sex before they even start having it. Without the intrigue and fantasy that late night soft core porn in your pre-pubescence provides, they will all become nothing but joyless, oversexed douchebags. Having “ironic orgies”, buying cockrings at American Apparel, and claiming they liked double penetration “before it was cool”. There is a name for these kind of people, Showcase, and they are called Hipster-sexuals.

But do not misunderstand me, I don’t want to come off as ungrateful. Truly, I thank you for all the great times we have shared together. I thank you for being there for me, when the scrambled Pay-Per-View channels were too jumbled to distinguish between where one body part ended and the other began. And lastly, I thank you for acknowledging the fact that anyone at home watching television on a friday night is only doing so because every other plan they had to have sex that night failed miserably.

– J.D. Renaud