Comforting Rejections

In the not-so-distant past, I had a short, experimental-type thing rejected from a small literary magazine.  I must have succeeded in making something truly disappear from my Gmail–no small feat––because I can’t find the rejection note, but I’ll approximate here:

“Dear Itinerant Daughter,

Thank you for sending us A Short, Experimental-Type Thing.  While we are going to pass on this, please be assured that every submission we receive is read and evaluated carefully by our esteemed staff.”

Which got me thinking… why would it be comforting to me to know that you guys really thought hard about it but nonetheless decided my piece was crap?  In actuality, the rejection note I would be happy to receive would go more like this:

“Dear Itinerant Daughter,

Thank you for sending us a piece we can’t be bothered to remember the name of.  We’re passing, but only because we have so few staff members––all undeniably lazy and lacking in erudition––that we in fact haven’t gotten around to reading anything anyone’s sent us in… gosh, going on two years now.  Mostly we just assign numbers to submissions and then pick digits at random out of a hat and run the corresponding essays.  Unfortunately, your number didn’t come up this time.”

That’s more like it.

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