An Open Letter to the Man I Punched in the Throat

I punch like this, basically.

I punch like this, basically.

Dear Man I Punched in the Throat;

I am genuinely sorry that I punched you in the throat while we were at that party. In my defense, you were not shielding your throat in any way. Most of my remaining friends take care to always position their forearms near their throat or their hands in a position where I might easily be blocked from striking them in their vulnerable and vital trachea. If you are interested, I can show you the names and contact information of several anti-throat-strike organizations and martial artists that specialize in teaching those of you with air passageways how not to have them punched by those of us who believe it is our given right to punch throats when we want.

Another thing that my remaining friends also encourage is clothing or "armor" that passively prevents me from striking you full-force with my knuckles. While wearing this armor at all times is not particularly practical, keep in mind that I do not hunt out victims to strike in the throat, I am not a monster that climbs in second story windows or lurks in bushes in order to punch people in the throat - I do so in public situations where it is known and understood (by myself and others like me) that throat-punches are likely. Therefore, before going to a party or social event, I suggest that you, in the words of Hals Strieks, son of of Hals Punsj, "armor up."

Additionally, I understand the unwritten but inviolable rules of Throat Punch Code. They are not written, exactly, but rather, understood by the august fraternity of throat punchers.  Spreading hummus over the entire Triscuit, with a small knife, is a violation of this code. One may, of course, simply dip the cracker into the hummus, or even use a pair of crackers in order to facilitate a more even dip distribution, but taking the small CHEESE KNIFE, which is for CHEESE, it's in the goddamn NAME, and using it to spread a DIP onto a CRACKER?! You're lucky everyone there didn't punch you in the throat.


Gola Sciopero

Dear Gola Sciopero;

The spreading of one's bean dips are not so contentious in my beloved Netherlands as they are in your native Italy, or, apparently, the Norwegia where your Hals are from.

Veldoon Spreiden

The Pearl River Flow staff only encourages throat strikes in self-defense situations. For those who enjoy fights, we remind you to always be certain that your fighting partner is willing to endure the depredations of the sweetest science - punch science.

We do not encourage the writing or publishing of open letters, despite the fact that we have published open letters in the past.

An Open Letter To...

This is what we have now opened.

There is a certain type of letter that appears on the internet, usually on The Huffington Post. Even with the lack of standards associated with that online cesspit, some things do not make it to print. Which is why we found them floating in the River. We present, Open Letters.

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Smirked at Me for Giving My Kid a Popsicle.

by Carl Philblatt

I doubt you know what it's like to raise three kids by yourself as a single father, Smirk Guy. I'm going to call you Chad Smirkington, even though I doubt it's your real name.
So, Chad. You saw me give my kid a popsicle at the park the other day. It wasn't one of the fancy fruit juice popsicles, it wasn't one of those sugar free ones, and I know that little Philip is putting on the pounds ever since his mother left us because I couldn't figure out what gluten was, or how to keep it out of her food.
She wasn't allergic to gluten, but she claimed she was sensitive to it. Just like little Philip isn't allergic to popsicles, but I claim I am sensitive to your dismissive little smirk. Philip is four years old, that's not too young, or too old, to enjoy a frozen treat on a hot day in the park. I don't know what would possess a young man such as you, Chard Smirkington, to smirk at me so mirthlessly when I gave my kid a popsicle in the park that day. You know the day. It was a hot day, the kind of day in which a kid will often ask you for a popsicle when the weird guy with the hand cart comes by.
Do you not want our popsicle peddlers to be able to earn an honest living, Chad Smirkington? Do you think that they should be dealing bags of kale and chard to the children who play in the park, Chad? Maybe that's good and well for the people like you who live in expensive brownstone houses and take all the good nannies even though you're probably childless. All the people who would have been good nannies are all dogwalkers now, Chad. Don't you know what happens to dogwalkers, Chad? Chad Smirkington? Don't smirk while you're reading this! You know that dog walker you pay a thousand dollars a month (or however much it is. I don't own a dog for environmental reasons) is going to stumble across a dead body one day, Chad. They're going to be emotionally terrorized, Chad. Just like I was by your disdainful little sneer.
What, you don't watch TV? I bet you don't. I bet you think you're too good for TV just like you think you're too good for sweet frozen syrup on a stick. Or was it the stick, Chad? Was it because it was a plastic stick and not a wooden one? Was that not natural enough for my child that you inexplicably make all the decisions about, Chad? Philip is my kid, and even though his mother won't speak to me anymore (see my previous 29 open letters) I know what she would think, she would think that a wooden stick was too full of bacteria to allow our kid to put in his mouth. Well she's wrong and you're wrong and I don't know why you're always agreeing with her, Chad. Maybe if you stopped silently judging people you don't even know you'd finally have a chance to love someone like I love my son, who I gave a popsicle, even though it's full of high fructose corn syrup, and he's overweight. You're welcome, Chad Smirkington, you made a young boy cry when he saw his father cry.

- Carl Philblatt.

The park in question

An Open Reply to the Diabetes Mongering Sugar Queen Who Was Poisoning His Child the Other Day

by Thad Blatherskite

Oh, by the way, my name's Thad, not Chad, Carl. I know you got close just because you probably think everyone with my great haircut and sense of beige and pink fashion is called Chad or Thad and you just flipped a dirty coin you grubbed out of your disgusting pockets. I bet those pants were tight, weren't they, Carl? I bet your thick, grimy fingers had to be worked down into those pockets, where they left smears of sugar and feces - everything's coated in feces, Carl, don't deny it - your fingers probably had them on there from touching your phone.
Anyway, you put lethal poison - lethal at any dose - into your child and I'm sure they're dead now. But I think you should know that I don't even go to that park, Carl. I wouldn't even watch someone give a kid a popsicle without shrieking like a wounded extra in remake of the movie Glory starring nothing but sixth grade girls.
Your park is garbage, Carl. I don't go there. I can't believe you wrote this letter about me. I'm going to go home, find out your home address, and share it with prisoners, hopefully they'll kill your family before you manage to kill them with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Thad Blatherskite

The popsicle stand in question.

An Open Letter to People Who Are Anti-American Communist Terrorists

By Mann Slaughtermann, Popsicle Quartermaster, Belhaven Trash Pile

There are two types of people that I know hate America. People who have children and people who don't eat popsicles and this awful publication is letting both of these reprehensible Anti-American monsters be represented, no doubt from each according to his ability, each according to his needs! And they need to be heard to spread their awful creeds. Children are mindless vessels for Communist propaganda! And corn syrup, especially the high-fructose kind, is the only way we can save up enough calories to last through nuclear winter. Why, with nothing more than the U.S. Strategic Quinoa reserve - which I was cowardly removed from by socialist protein-hording con artists - and a supply of high quality high fructose Freedom Syrup (made from Corn, the most American Grain) our great nation could come out of our bunkers first, and without the crippling and unsightly deformities associated with kwashiorkor or pellagra. People who don't support a balanced supply of corn-based calories, adulterated with vitamins and fruit extracts, frozen for a constant supply in an underground bunker? Those people are communists. Shame on you, Chad Smirkington! Or should I say - Thad Blatherskite! What kind of person who isn't a traitor to capitalism and America would use a fake name?

And shame on you, Carl Philblatt! Your greedy insistence on reproduction threatens our very way of life! How dare you ignore the most noble of callings - saving one's vital juices for Sports and America! Bringing an easily brainwashed child into a public setting where they might be seduced by concepts such as equality, sharing, or vile puppetry? For what is a puppet but a Marxist, dancing on the end of a string held not by a General or Senator, but by some vile Artist, depraved and debauched, undoubtedly engaging in free-form sexual antics that serve only to undermine troop cohesion, patriotism, and service in the greatest of wars - The War Against the War on Christmas!

Shame on all of us, myself including, for being included in this shameful shame-filled website of shame! Pearl River Flow, I spit on you for revealing my classified secrets and alternate-universe meanderings! SHAME! HAVE YOU NONE?!

Mann Slaughtermann



Yes Virginia, There Are Cryovolcanoes

Dear Mr. FP Jerome,

I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say that there are no cryovolcanoes.

Papa says “if FP Jerome says it, you know it to be so.”

Please tell me the truth. Are there cryovolcanoes on the ice moons of the outer gas giants?

Virginia O’Hambone

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong! They have been effected by youthful cynicism in this wondrous age. They do not believe in things that they could see, given a suitable telescope, or perhaps a powerful space probe. You see, Virginia, all eyes, be they child’s eyes or man’s eyes, are small. In this great universe of ours it would be foolish to compare men to insects, since insects are pretty sweet and all, and have been around longer than us, outnumber us, and… 

    Yes, Virginia, there are cryovolcanoes! They exist as certainly as great red storms on Jupiter or that downright freaky hexagon on the north pole of Saturn, and you know that the wonders of the solar system abound to give you the highest joy and beauty. Alas! How dreary the worlds would be if there were no cryovolcanoes! It would be as dreary as if there were no platypus, no comb jelly, there would be no true things to find childlike joy in, only poetry and romance would exist to make tolerant this existence. We can have enjoyment, knowing that simple hydrocarbons erupt in atmosphere-piercing plumes from pressurized subsurface chambers, a mere 1.2 billion kilometers from the birthplace of the species.

Not to believe in cryovolcanoes! You might as well not believe in Kuiper Belt objects! You might listen to some whackaloon on the internet claim that the space program is fake, but what does that prove? Nobody sees cryovolcanoes with their eyes, and everyone hears nitwits on the internet, but that does not mean that methane and ammonia cannot behave like molten rock in subzero temperatures! Some of the most real things in the world are those that neither men nor children can see. When Rutherford used a glass gun to shoot radiation at a thin sheet of gold foil, do you think he saw the atom? No, he only saw the evidence of it’s existence, and conceived the unseen wonders of the subatomic world. 

If you tear apart the baby’s rattle and find out what makes the noise, that’s good science, Virginia, but your ethics board is going to deny your funding if you’re at an accredited institution. There is a veil of ignorance that covers the visible and invisible universe. Only with knowledge, diligence, honesty, imagination, and the courage to go wherever the evidence takes you, will you push aside that veil of ignorance and superstition for the rest of mankind. Are cryovolcanoes real? Ah, Virginia, in all the worlds there are things people believe far more strongly with far less evidence.

No cryovolcanoes! Humbug! They erupt now and they will erupt in the future! A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now (a blink in the cosmological eye) they will continue to erupt and make glad the childlike hearts of astronomers everywhere!

Also, you should show that hexagon on Saturn to your friends. It’ll blow their minds.



Unless you're friends with astronomers.