Apparently I'm about to become a police officer. In Plano, Texas. Where the f&ck is Plano? This, I never saw coming. All day long I've been getting emails from somebody named Maegan Schmitz. I kid you not. Her last name really is Schmitz. Say it out loud. Schmitz! I love it.
Ms. Schmitz is a terse and taciturn type (pause here for celebratory Dance of Alliteration) who began sending me emails around 8am yesterday with alarmist subject headings like "DEADLINE TO REGISTER TOMORROW @ 5PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (18 exclamation points. I counted.) and inspirational photographs like the following:
This, plus the photograph, is the the entire text of the first email:
DEADLINE TOMORROW @ 5PM TO REGISTER!!!!!
Registration packet is attached!!!!
So I wrote back to Maegan. "Dear Ms. Schmitz," I wrote. "I seem to have been placed on an email list accidentally. I am not interested in applying to be a Plano Police Officer. Could you please remove my name from whatever list you are using for recruitment? Thanks so much."
She wrote back: "Your email has been removed."
Simple, right? No, not at all. I continued to receive emails, so I wrote to Maegan again. Over the intervening hours, I'd become curious as to how Plano had gotten my email. I won't go into details, but it's not an easy email address to mix up, you know? I mean, for one thing, it's a compound word, and for another, IT HAS THE NAME CHEASTY IN IT. Cheasty. A name whose pronunciation and spelling have been happily confounding people for a couple of centuries in both Ireland and the United States. If my address was, say, email@example.com, I would understand, but Cheasty? I became curious, so I inquired:
From: Kristin Cheasty Miller [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 7:34 PM
To: Maegan Schmitz
Subject: Re: DEADLINE TO REGISTER TOMORROW @ 5PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dear ms. schmitz,
could you take my name off again? I'm still getting
and if possible, could you let me know how you got my
email? this is really unusual. I've never even been
to Plano, so if somebody is handing out my address,
I'd like to know who and why.
This is the entirety of her response to my inquiry:
It has been removed. Your email address was submitted to our website.
Professional Standards Unit
Plano Police Department
Her clever use of the passive voice intrigues me. Is she categorically unable to make a simple declarative statement? Is she protecting somebody? Why so terse?
'Fess up, my poppets. I smell skulduggery, perhaps even shenanigans. Who wants me to move to Plano? Who wants me to leave Austin? Who thought this would be the funniest joke ever?