“Personal Rejection,” by Elliot Krop

Feb 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Mr. Killyouwithfire,

Thank you for submitting your work to Laughing Fire Magazine. Many of the works we publish come from absolute nobodies such as yourself, who have never written anything worthwhile or had even considered writing something that others may actually want to read. Normally, due to the volume of the work we receive, and because we don’t have to, we do not send personal rejection letters to our submitters. However, on this occasion, we feel that an explanation is necessary as (we really hope) it may prevent future rejections and hard feelings.

To begin, Mr. Killyouwithfire, if you had not had a chance to read our little “web-experiment” we would like you to know that it is NOT a necrophilia shock-zine. If you’re not sure what these words mean then let us be more specific in saying that everything you send us and have been sending us every week for the last seven months is completely not the right thing to send us. Furthermore, we are curious what you thought the effects would be when you found photographs of the Laughing Fire editorial staff on the web, cut out bite marks, painted the faces red, and scribbled fire all over them. We are a conceptual humor magazine, the Avant Garde of humor actually, but we still fail to see what is so very funny. If intimidation was your intent, then you should know that we are not intimidated and have contacted the internet police, and if you persist in trying to intimidate us Mr. Killyouwithfire, they will get you, through your computer screen, with fire.

Moreover, the prose you send we find truly disturbing. We will not restate those awful sentences here, but you should know that one of our editors, let’s call him “Sparky”, has been psychologically affected by your words to the extent that he can no longer go to the bathroom without bringing a weapon. Is this what you intended? Do you find this funny? Because “Sparky” sure doesn’t. Furthermore, it is not “humorous” to include detailed descriptions of what we the editorial staff do at home, along with our addresses, the makes of our cars, and the names of our family members. This “approach” will not help get you published.

If there is a person there behind your obvious pseudonym, we hope to tap into whatever there may be of that person’s emotional core with a simple request. Are you ready, because here it is: Please stop.

You may be a very talented person in many ways. For example, we collectively think that you are probably very good at eviscerating domestic animals, very likely faster and more efficiently than any butcher at a slaughterhouse. It is quite possible that you can choke others effectively—you’ve stated so yourself many times—and if you say so, Mr. Killyouwithfire, then great! Just fucking great! Take pride in your abilities, but please, for the love of god, do not try to write them off as humor and disseminate that sickness to the world. Not that you are sick, not at all, we mean “sick” in a “funny” way, because we can do that, Mr. Killyouwithfire, after all we are the Avant Garde. You too can be funny in your own special way, but we beg you to do that in private.

We wish to nip these unfortunate submissions in the bud and so we would like to address some possible counterarguments against us. This is of course only in case you are capable of reason through arguments and are not just a seething cauldron of acid and bile, or a boiling pool of vitriol and rage, or a stammering geyser of violence and hate, or some other metaphorical fiery liquid-based unpleasantry. If reasoning isn’t your “thing”, feel free to just ignore the next few sentences and proceed to doing whatever disgusting things you normally do.

Yes, it is true that we have featured fire in our magazine. Yes, we have had pieces in which death, dismemberment, and serial murder were springboards for introspection and critical observation blending irony and absurdism in a literary mode. We admit that there were pieces in which long description of theoretically extreme violent antics were the apogees, the clou de spectacle shall we say, of philosophical exploration into our own contradictory natures. We did this and we did it in a funny way. The bottom line is that you did not. You did not do it right and you are doing it wrong and if you keep doing it we will all come down there to where you live in your grandmother Anne’s house at 85 Drury Lane and we will bring matches, and oil, and slender sharp things, some of which you talk about but will know much more intimately after we are through. “Sparky” is already on his way. We feel it is only fair to tell you that, to give you a chance because though we all really love “Sparky”, we feel that he has gone through some unusual changes after your barrage of submissions, and frankly, we don’t know who to fear more, you or him.

Mr. Killyouwithfire, we hope you understand that when it comes to murder and humor, you are just one hundred-and-fifty pound balding man who is learning the ropes after an unsuccessful stint as a bowling ball polisher. We are many and we have been doing this a long long time, and our bowling balls are so fucking shiny that they will blind you sir, and that is a fucking promise. Think about this one: no matter which of the many way you choose to skin a cat, it’s still a cat, not nine people burning down your house.

We hope that you read these words carefully and make the choices that are right for you, because at this point, sir, we have made our decisions and will be ready for these or any other choices you will make. Except, of course, another humor submission.


Cutoffyourface Andmakeyoueatit, Senior Editor


Defenestration-Elliot KropElliot Krop is a mathematician at Clayton State University near Atlanta. His funny and unfunny writing can be found in places like Underground Voices Anthology, Prick of the Spindle, Joyland Magazine, Shelf Life Magazine, Johnny America, Polutona, and Alice Blue Review.

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