Well, rats. It turns out you can’t make fun of people in a public forum without a bit of blowback. Last year, I hurt the feelings of my husband, my children, and several other members of our community, right here on Page 4.

It’s easy for me to sit here at my desk and crack myself up over these columns I write every week. But, it’s not all fun and games – I agonize over them. I really do. I worry over every word and comma, every phrase and sentence. I try to make sure that I don’t go on and on, and for every three words that end up in the final draft, at least one comes out.

What I didn’t worry about last year was other people’s feelings. I guess I counted on my jocular tone, and my self-deprecation, to serve as a balm to sooth my jokes. Because that’s what they were: jokes. And, here’s the thing: if I’m going to write satire, I’m going to have to poke fun at someone. Otherwise, I’m just telling knock-knock jokes, and, as all you parents out there know, knock-knock jokes really aren’t that funny just like my older daughter.

But, I really meant it all in good fun. I swear I did. I never once sat down to write the Traffic Report with the intent of taking someone down a notch. I love my husband. I love my kids. And, I really do like, or at least respect, the people I wrote about last year. Even Jimmy the Wallet.

So, I’d like to issue a formal apology to all those whom I have hurt and angered in the past, and all those I will hurt and anger in the future. While I resolve to try to try to go easy on you all, the truth is, I might slip up and strike a nerve. Should this happen to you, simply cut out the letter below, fill in your name and the appropriate details, and hang it on your refrigerator with my sincerest regrets.


Dear ________________________,

Regarding the Friars Hill Traffic Report in the______________________, 2016, edition of the Mountain Messenger, I apologize for hurting your feelings/inciting your rage (circle one) in my column.

I hope you know it really was all in good fun. I try to make fun of myself as much as I make fun of other people, and I promise to leave you alone in the press for a reasonable amount of time. I hope that you know that I truly respect you/love you (circle one) and it is my hope that blood is thicker than water/time will heal this wound (circle one) and we can be friends/family/professional acquaintances again in the future.

The fact that I’ve upset you humbles me. It was never my intent.

With remorse,

Your wife/daughter/mother/friend/acquaintance,

Sarah Mansheim


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