The elements of style

October 11, 2006 at 1:50 pm (Uncategorized)



Through the long tails of the vowels I see a person who craves the approval of his or her peers. Through the wide open gaps in capitalized letters, I see one who cannot stand to keep a secret. The long planks over the T’s tell me the letter writer is unsure of his or her capabilities and the underlining sunken into the paper suggest a rage that is more inward than outward.

My powers of handwriting analysis will astound you. I am so good, I can even diagnose the personal peccadilloes of you people just based on the configuration of words here in the blog. Bed wetting is nothing to be ashamed of, you-know-who. And just because you have sexual urges for your boss, doesn’t mean you are gay.

But seriously. Look at the ornate curly cues that adorn the Y’s and G’s. Look at the way the L’s in Danielle’s name line up with almost slide rule precision. Look at the double underlining to emphasize a point. This is a person who demands order. Or badly needs it.

I think we are looking at a person who is working far beneath his or her skill level. A classic underachiever. The rage contained in the message belies a person who has been accused of something heinous in their own life. Perhaps they have not come to grips with their own feelings of guilt over that matter.

So. The flourish of the lettering here indicates a female writer. However, I am going to go ahead and suggest that it was written by a male of extraordinary discipline coupled with unfettered anger. There’s an older man’s cynicism, but a vast immaturity to be found in the message. I’m going to predict a frustrated semi-professional man of around thirty years old.

I have spoken. What say you? The entire store here.



  1. D said,

    A guy for sure “control yourself mother” was a dead give away – older, french speaking man

  2. Mainetarr said,

    It’s a woman, late 50’s, early 60’s, right handed, French-but probably went to the 8th grade-no more schooling than that (you had a lot of nerves-typical French saying, yet good spelling), friend of Mrs. Guay. Guaranteed. Very angry that Danielle spoke out. Mark my words.

  3. Linda said,

    “a male of extraordinary discipline coupled with unfettered anger”

    That would be nobody here, I guess. I mean, who here fetters their anger?

    Isn’t the poison pen letter a woman’s weapon anyhow? I think I read that in Agatha Christie, one of the Miss Marple books …

  4. Linda said,

    Yikes, bad news from Manhattan, nobody wants to see more planes flying into buildings. Very upsetting.

  5. K2 said,

  6. Asshat said,

    I could be wrong, but that handwriting looked freakishly like Jarheads.

  7. Linda said,

    Nah, can’t be — jarheaddoc’s anger is sometimes unfettered, isn’t it?

  8. AO said,

    Well, one thing for sure is that it’s a realtive of his. The “nerves” of that person!

  9. K2 said,

    They definitely should have sent an e-mail instead.

  10. Montel said,

    Surprisingly, no one here even hints at the correct answer. It is probably Danielle herself, she desperately needs her 15 minutes of fame to continue. She needs some serious help.

  11. K2 said,

    Hmmmm, intriguing.

    No, not Montel’s post. Just this Amstel Light. It’s pretty damn good.

  12. AO said,

    Mmmmm…Amstel Light….

  13. LaFlamme said,

    Aha! I’ve got it!

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Amstel Light.

  15. LaFlamme said,

    I would have suspected Montel, but the word “slut” wasn’t used in the letters.

  16. AO said,

    Sure wish we could have seen the whole letter.

  17. LaFlamme said,

    That’s basically all of it. Surely enough for someone with your criminal mind to analyze with precision.

  18. LaFlamme said,

    The altering between lower case and upper case speaks volumes. And look at those R’s. Like a little fort. Our letter writer seeks shelter. But from what? *stroking chin*

  19. LaFlamme said,

    *and stuff*

  20. Linda said,

    Mark I had no idea you had this talent of interpreting handwriting. THat must come in handy when you are reading your bowl full of wacky mail.

  21. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. But the mail in my bowl is from people who tend to be pretty clear about their various mental disorders. “Dear Mike,” one might say. “I am a pathological killer with a fondness for the feet of reporters. I plan on hacking you up. Is any day this week good for you?”
    Doesn’t matter how they cross their T’s or underline.

  22. Shrink to those in the closet said,

    Jesus, Montel, how much more transparent can you be? It is patently obvious to me that you are desperately in love with Ms. Ramon and are suffering from a case of unrequited love. Stop hating your father for having sex with you mom and your life will be a lot easier.

  23. brenda said,

    “….. I see a person who craves the approval of his or her peers. ……. I see one who cannot stand to keep a secret. …… the letter writer is unsure of his or her capabilities and ….. a rage that is more inward than outward. ….. I think we are looking at a person who is working far beneath his or her skill level… …The flourish of the lettering here indicates a female writer….”

    YOu talkin’ bout me?

    whew, no, you’re not talking ’bout me….. “it was written by a male of extraordinary discipline coupled with unfettered anger. There’s an older man’s cynicism, but a vast immaturity to be found in the message. I’m going to predict a frustrated semi-professional man of around thirty years old.”

    {delete paranoid thoughts: reality check successful }

  24. Mainetarr said,

    I’M TELLING YOU GUYS, IT’S A FRENCH WOMAN!!! She writes exactly like my mom did, and the only reason I am not saying my mother wrote it is because she passed away a year ago. Trust me on this one. I don’t think it’s Danielle.

    Montel, you’re the only slut in here.

  25. newsflasher said,

    Below is a letter I’m sending to the sunjournal,
    but that clearly isn’t enough.
    We need to take action!
    Loud & clear!
    Bennett cannot take our kids’ education for ransom
    & get away with it!
    I am so mad!
    Help me- any suggestions?

    I just read this in the article:
    “Bennett responded by instituting a hiring freeze at
    the city level and suspending capital improvement
    projects. He sent a memo to city employees Wednesday
    calling for immediate money savings and said he will
    ask for $900,000 in budget cuts at Lewiston schools.”

    Can he do that? The first thing we need to do to cut
    the budget is cut Jim Bennett!
    DO NOT cut the Lewiston schools’ budgets!
    Why is he using our kids for political ransom?
    Obviously his values and interests are not ours!
    Jim Bennett needs to go!
    I have never been so mad, reading the local Lewiston news!

    Brenda —–
    Very Concerned Voter.

  26. Linda said,

    Not being from Lewiston, I can’t help you with that Brenda, but it looks as if you have a good letter going on there. Writing to the newspaper can be a good tool for getting a “revolt” started — like the Auburn tax thing last year. I don’t know who Jim Bennett is, but might you want to write directly to him and his boss, too? Sometimes that works.

    MT — I think you’re right on the letter.

  27. jarheaddoc said,

    Brenda, if you’re that concerned about how money is going to be raised and spent, I would suggest this link to you:

    The people who are fighting to get this passed will tell you that they have fixed the problems with what they;’ve essentially taken unchanged from Colorado, but they stamor when you ask them why colorado voted to suspend it if it was so good for that state. I have a hard time voting for anything simply because someone tell me ‘it’s good for you’. Sorry, I need more than that to make an informed decision

  28. brenda said,

    jd- are you saying Bennett wants to cut $900,000 from the school budget because of tabor?
    I didn’t read the article that way, but yes, that’s a concern, that tabor could cut these things from schools. In San Bernardino they didn’t have the things schools have here, like art teachers, music teachers, on site school nurse& school psychologist, computer lab, toilet paper & paper towels in the restrooms, and they would say it was because of Prop13 budget cuts. If that’s the case, Vote No On Tabor !
    This is what I was responding to today:
    “LEWISTON – No new road work and no new hires for the rest of the year. A request for $900,000 in cuts to local schools.

    That is the city’s response to a petition aimed at killing a new storm-water utility fee.

    The city faces losing $1.8 million this year, City Administrator Jim Bennett said Wednesday. The loss would have to be made up in service cuts or supplemental property taxes.

    “And anybody that doesn’t think this is going to impact them, they’re out of their mind,” he said.

    A group succeeded Wednesday in starting a petition drive aimed at suspending the utility fee. They would need to collect 1,000 signatures by Jan. 12 to get the issue on the November 2007 ballot. The fee would be suspended until after that vote.

    Bennett responded by instituting a hiring freeze at the city level and suspending capital improvement projects. He sent a memo to city employees Wednesday calling for immediate money savings and said he will ask for $900,000 in budget cuts at Lewiston schools….”

    There’s the issue of Bennett using our schools & kids’ education for ransom- making budget cuts and decisions like he’s the king of Lewiston! He wasn’t elected! It’s time to stand up and be seen & heard! We can’t let Bennett get away with this!

  29. jarheaddoc said,

    Well, Brenda, I will agree with you on principle, bt probably for different reasons to reach the same conclusion.

    The ‘tards who are calling it a tax have that part, and that part only, right. They will be the first ones to complain when the storm drains in their neighborhoods are clogged and their cellars flood.

    The basic fact is that services cost money and have to be paid for. I would think that $30-45 dollars a year is pretty cheap insurance to have a clear storm drain and clean streets.

    School systems are big targets for any number of reasons. I cringe at the way some kids come out of school. How many feet in a mile? Quarts in a gallon? Balance your check book? It’s easy to target a place that’s considered a cash cow because of its budget. You know why a lot of that budget exists? Teacher salaries and state mandated programs that the state doesn’t always pay for, despite a law to the contrary. How can you expect someone to teach and support a family on a teacher’s starting pay?

    The bottom line for people is that they have to write two checks instead of one. Yeah, property taxes went down, which everyone screams about, but now it’s ‘taxes disguised as user fees’ that are setting people’s short hairs on fire. One way or another the services that people want are going to be provided and the money needs to come from somewhere.

    Get your face in front of that camera, Brenda, raise your voice, rally your forces, all those things. There are times that one voice does make a difference.

    And I’m happy to see that you vote.

  30. jarheaddoc said,

    No, #27 was a tangent, Brenda. Taxes and government spending are out of control, but a voice of reason needs to come forward. It’s pretty simple: you can’t get as much out if you have less coming in, and using a one size fits all formula doesn’t work.

    And though I have never met Bennett, I have to say this about his position: he was more than likely appoionted/hired by a city council, which was voted in, and charged with running the city. That means hiring someone responsible for running the city on a day to day basis. I’m not at all trying to defend what he’s doing as far as the school system goes, just saying that he’s doing the job he’s been hired to do, and nothing more.

  31. brenda said,

    Yes I vote. My first vote was for Jimmy Carter.
    I was involved secretary of the Democratic Lunch Club in San Bernardino a few years ago. I was a delegate & went to the conventions in LA & in San Francisco in the ’90s.
    Probably time for me to get plugged in again, here in Maine.

  32. Linda said,

    I respect your anger over this, Brenda, but do you have alternative suggestions about what the city should cut? If there’s $1.8 million less money coming in, some services would have to go. Unless the city usually turns a “profit”? (that was a joke BTW)

  33. brenda said,

    I have the right to speak out against cutting $900,000 from the schools whether I know how to come up with alternate solutions or not. There is no test at the voting booth requiring that only accountants are allowed to vote. If Bennett is willing to make decisions like this he surely is not keeping my values and interests. He is not elected and acts like he controls the city.
    He is obviously being manipulative, daring people like me to get involved, and it worked, because my son’s education is too important for me to sit quietly while he plays politics with it.

  34. brenda said,

    And it seems that Bennett is daring the voters- if you sign this petition then you are signing to have schools budgets cut by $900,000 – obviously a manipulative tactic, holding the schools’ budget for political hostage!

  35. brenda said,

    I already said, my first suggestion for the budget cut was Bennett’s paycheck!

  36. LaFlamme said,

    Ooooh, Tabor talk. A hot button issue. Unfortunately, I know nothing.

  37. jarheaddoc said,

    Well, mark, it’s criminal, and that’s what you got that award for, so hit the bricks, buddy. go forth and educate yourself.

  38. Linda said,

    Mark, I was surprised to see your name on that story about the veterans today. Not your usual beat, was it? Nice diversifying.

  39. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, that’s what happens when you work at night and news breaks late. I haven’t figured out what the local angle is on that yet. It’s a Portland story, isn’t it?

  40. Linda said,

    Well, I noticed it because Doug Rawlings lives in Chesterville (a Farmington “suburb”) and is a friend of mine. I guess the group members probably come from all over, so in that sense it’s local to anywhere.

  41. K2 said,

    I find all this TABOR talk rather taxing.

    Here’s the real story, again, from Mr. Waters:

    Can’t you see?
    It all makes perfect sense
    Expressed in dollars and cents
    Pounds, shillings and pence
    Can’t you see?
    It all makes perfect sense

  42. LaFlamme said,

    I thought TABOR was a roadside eatery and driving range near Lake Auburn.

  43. K2 said,

    No, that’s ZaZa Gabor. Now get out the door, you borish whore, before you hit the floor whilst making some s’mores, or, shore up your stores of Coors because Mr. Orr snores like a boar beaten with oars and more, toar to the core of tax-law mythlore.

    That’s all I have on short notice.

  44. K2 said,

    Toar? What is good spelling for?

  45. LaFlamme said,

    Absolutely nothing, say it again!

  46. K2 said,

    Good god!

  47. LaFlamme said,

    Isn’t it like, Good God Yawl Yawl!

  48. K2 said,

    Haven’t heard it in years. Can’t even name the band.

    The song still applies, though.

  49. LaFlamme said,

    I keep thinking James Brown. It’s not, though. I’m too lazy to Google it.

  50. jarheaddoc said,

  51. Linda said,

    Good one. Oldie but goodie.

  52. Mainetarr said,

    Just like most of us, oldies but goodies.

  53. Mainetarr said,

    Hey, my name is in blue. WTF?

  54. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, cool! I like the link that goes with your name, MT. Very cool. Everyone should visit it.

  55. Linda said,

    It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in Lewiston that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

    Well it wasn’t actually stormy but you know what I mean, don’t you?

  56. K2 said,

  57. Linda said,

    Jeez, marijuana forests, war, what is it good for?

  58. K2 said,

    ‘Marijuana forests’ — is that the most beautiful term ever?!?

  59. LaFlamme said,

    You’re all drunk. Bunch of losers, going out at night when I’m hard at work… Where are the ethics?

  60. Mainetarr said,

    All these years of seraching for the eternal buzz finally paid off K2, now you have discovered the marijuana forest. Life is good.

  61. K2 said,

    Well, I just enlisted in the Canadian Army. Off to Afganistan today. Catch you all later. . . .

  62. Linda said,

    So is this a case where the care packages should go the OTHER way? Or, we’ll send you cookies and toothpaste if you send us cuttings from the forest?

  63. Robert said,

    You know, I’m kind of sick of hearing how Tabor doesn;t work in Colorado and how they suspended it because it doesn’t work. Lets take a look at that first –

    TABOR has been around for 13 years in CO. Over the first 12 years money was consistently given back to taxpayers at an increasing rate and there were no problems in the schools or general government spending. Thus to this day Colorado’s governor still supports and promotes TABOR as good. CO has seen an economic downslide in what is referred to as Post 09/11 – people travel less and spend less, jobs are cut, so tax collection slows. In its 13th year the state decided it could not meet its budget, about $241 Million short. TABOR was scheduled to return $343Million to the taxpayers – so the legislature got the supermajority rerquired to vote and then the TAXPAYERS also voted to approve a one year ssuspension of the refund. This change will forever affect Colorado in that next years budget will be based on this year plus/minus inflation and population changes.

    Guess what – the program works exactly as it should, prosperity, less taxes paid, less government and the people deciding when government can spend more money. No offense to anyone against TABOR but I’m voting for it! Oh and for those of you who are going to scream about the affect TABOR had on education rates in CO, they are not related. Education in CO is more affected by the ever increasing number of special ed programs, and illegal immigrants in that state – only about 400 miles from Mexican border to Colorado straight up the interstate. The cost when English is a second language has significantly affected school budgets, which have grown at alarming rates. Again, the citizens recognized this and allowed what could be called a supplemental budget.

    Now on to Mr. Bennett – the city budget already includes a rainy day provision and funds are stored for urgent usage, but I guess its a better scare tactic to point to the schools rather than use the money already put aisde for such purposes. To those who wish Mr. Bennett gone, next year you will have your opportunity, its called the ballot – ask the candidates in your council ward if they would consider removing Mr. Bennett, but keep in mind is the devil you deal with today and worse then the devil you may have to acquire to replace him?
    As far as the storm tax – Im all for it, I’ll supposedly pay $30, but I should see the reduction of $30 in my tax bill, so its a wash – and then if the nonprofits truly pay up, I should see more than a $30 reduction in my taxes right? Yeah thats what I thought, the money went somewhere else, but good news – we didn’t “increase” your taxes…

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