Sunday, 22 June 2008


While there must have been much to complain about in India back in the early '70s, K. Malik, the literary leviathan behind 1111 Letters for Every Occasion (brought to us, as you all well know by now, by grace of New Light Publishers of New Delhi) has decided that the course of the true complainer shall be set in the direction of surrealism. Microsoft insists on underlining the word 'goom' in red, indicating that it is not a word. I say no and a thousand times no! If K. Malik uses goom, then goom it shall be!

Strangely correct in his predictions regarding the death of the newspaper due to television (we've had to wait for the Internet to do that), the Mighty Malik's words on the matter will remain with me for a long time yet...

Letters of Complaint

Letters of complaint must be drafted as diplomatically as the letters of advice otherwise they lose the savour and bring no good results – often bad results.

Complaint Against Husband

Dear Lizzy

Do you want to know how my newly married husband is providing for the family?

“Is your husband much of a provider?” That is what you asked in your last letter.

He just has not had anything else to do except providing. He promises to get some furniture provided he gets the money. He promises to get the money provided he gets a job. He promises to go to work provided the job suits him. I have not seen such a providing man in all my life.


On Smuggling

Dear Sir

Some people are complaining that you are guilty of smuggling, but I don’t believe a thing.

At a particularly loud clap of thunder, a woman walked along a street in London during the Second World War with a bag of smuggled goods.

“It’s alright”, said an urchin. “It ain’t Hitler. It is God.”


Bad Service

Need I complain about service in your restaurant? After long waiting, one of your bearers told a customer, “Your fish will be coming in a minute or two now, Sir.” The sad man looked interested. “Tell me”, he said, “which bait are you using?”

Market Competition

If anyone believes that TV will replace the newspaper just let him try to wrap up last winter’s suit in a TV.

Reasonable Query

The Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co.

Pittsburgh, Pa.


Why is it that your switch engine has to ding and dong and fizz and spit and pant and grate and grind and puff and bump and chug and hoot and toot and whistle and wheeze and howl and clang and growl and thump and clash and goom and jolt and screech and snarl and snort and throb and roar and rattle and hiss and smoke and smell and shriek all night long when I come home from a hard day at the boiler works and have to keep the dog quiet and the baby quiet so my wife can squawk at me for snoring in my sleep?

Yours truly,

John Smith

Next week: Response to Notices

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