How to impress an editor

Many of our finest articles were submitted by people I had never heard of. So were many articles that we declined to publish.

Yesterday a person I had never heard of submitted an article for publication. He wrote a short cover note. Here is our conversation, in which I played only a small part. The conversation was conducted via email:

PERSON:  Dear Mr. Abrahams, Take the chance to perhaps graduate to some hardercore humor and thinking. I’d like to know whether I’m wasting my time here.

ME:  I confess that what you sent me does not seem funny.
Sorry about that.
Marc

PERSON:  I’m afraid that is either your presumption or your mediocrity speaking. Nothing to be sorry for.

PERSON:  Do you have brighter friends with good senses of humor, relaxed attitudes, who are also known to be very thoughtful and knowledgeable? Maybe I’m taking some of my… dislike at the wrong person here, but I thought the Ignobel Prizes carried a somewhat different spirit than what might be the case. Perhaps they are just a substitute for taking a nap. The problem is despite the glut of minds nowadays, I can’t get a hold of one person to follow something relatively simple for just a few paragraphs. Hell, who knows? Maybe there’d be a point to giving some things further thought or further reading.

PERSON:  Have I been asking for so much? What is it with everyone’s bizarre self-importance that you can’t give something a sober, calm, serious read if just for a few minutes that you came across in your inbox. Inboxes are kind of there for one basic reason. How can everyone be so goddamn busy? Or maybe I’m just not coming across anyone with their head screwed on right? It really surprises me. How can you morons not be made fun of?

  • Squeiss

    See, now I actually *want* to read it, just to see how bad it was.

  • Joe Danda

    I tend to understand the concern about the Improbable Research expressed by the PERSON referred here.
    Improbable Research used to be quite unique and much more enjoyable because of its spirit which, unfortunately, had long been disappeared. Many of recent topics posted just try to make people laugh by displaying one’s eccentricity deliberately in a strange manner where I can see very little scientific insight. Indeed, the editor(s) might have been changed.