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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Oh, Martha!

Today, I got an email. It was from Martha Stewart Magazine, and it loudly proclaimed, in the subject line:

CHARLIE, We want you back!

Now first of all, I want to be very clear about something: Martha Stewart Magazine never had me in the first place. My wife had a subscription for a year or two, and I don’t know how they even got my name. My interaction with Martha Stewart Magazine — let’s just call her ‘Martha’ for short — was, at most, a relationship by association. I wouldn’t call us intimately ‘involved’.

Oh, sure, we had our moments. I might peek under Martha’s covers, if she slathered her outsides with yummy-looking food. And there was that magical Sunday afternoon we spent together — her, waiting demurely on the kitchen counter; me, desperately heading for the bathroom with nothing else to read. We learned a lot about each other that day. We bonded. We laughed. We cried.

But that was a one-time deal. Just a periodical tryst. It’s not like we saw each other exclusively. Martha spent time with my wife — and I stole time with half the magazine rack. Sports Illustrated. Wired. National Geographic. Highlights.

I’m not proud of myself. But a man has needs. I’m not a one-magazine man. That’s just not me, baby.

And now Martha wants me back. Sure, we had some good times together. But can we really go back? Will the magic rekindle? Is it, as someone once said, a good thing?

“The Native Americans beat you to that festive punch by four hundred years and change. Let it go, already.”

I’m torn. On the one hand, Martha evidently comes back at a discount. And anyone who comes crawling back for another ride while promising to cost less is worth a look, for sure. But has anything changed, really? Or under that slick, glossy exterior, is she still the same old Martha?

I needed to know before making any sort of commitment. So I answered the email. I replied, and told Martha I hoped she’d been well. I said I’d been thinking of her — a little white lie never hurt anyone (just don’t tell Newsweek) — and that maybe we could hook up again and see where it goes.

But — BUT — I wanted to see some real evidence of change first. We’ve talked, Martha and I, about some of her shortcomings. Too many recipes, not enough food pics. An unhealthy obsession with centerpieces. And gourds. Lose the gourds, Martha. Seriously. The Native Americans beat you to that festive punch by four hundred years and change. Let it go, already.

So I asked. Martha took the time to reach out to me, so I laid it on the line to find out where her head is at these days. Maybe she’d seen the light, and was ready to please. Without some dried-up gourd collection in the middle of the table. I hit ‘Send’, and daydreamed of the future. Would Martha and I reconcile, soon skipping hand-in-hand on the way to some ‘quality time’ in the can?

Looks like the answer is no. That fancy literary bitch never got back to me. She’s probably snorting coke off the back of a hollowed-out squash right now. Oh, she says she wants me back — but where’s the follow-through, Martha? Put your money where your subscription card is, honey. We’re through.

Unless my wife gets the same email, I guess. Maybe she’ll take you back, and I’ll see you around the crapper again soon. But it’ll mean nothing to me any more. You hear me, Martha? NOTHING!

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Highlights
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30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
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Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
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  09/06/04: Connection

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