“Reply All,” by Robin Hemley

11 Feb

This story rests on what may be the best gimmick I’ve ever come across. I wish I’d thought of it first, but had I I doubt I’d have taken such perfect advantage of it. At any rate, it’s a hoot and well worth discussing in terms of point of view. Please respond to these discussion questions below, or with new questions or comments.

If this story follows a traditional plot, which email represents the conflict, the crisis, and the resolution?

How is pace controlled? Or to put it another way, how does the author delay the crisis while adding to the suspense and anticipation?

Along those same lines, how does the author give the sense of movement, that we’re going somewhere throughout the story and not just repeating the same joke over and over?

Two characters are attacked in the early part of this story. How well do they defend themselves?

What role do the minor characters play?

Function of Mikey’s “I’m” email?

In what ways is Mikey an unreliable “narrator”? What do you make of his apology?

Finally, what is “twee” and is Mikey and “his paramour” it?

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155 Responses to ““Reply All,” by Robin Hemley”

  1. ali February 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    unrelated, but I listened to this song by happenstance while reading this piece. it’s perfect…

  2. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    So don’t hate me that I’m writing this in 75 degree weather, in a garden beside a trickling fountain. It’s tough work, but somebody’s got to do it.

    • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      I woke up this morning. It was -20 out. let’s talk about it.

    • shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Ouch. Sunburn awaits you as your punishment while ours is windburn.

    • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      I’m trying to not hate you … it’s proving difficult! ha

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        Actually, it sucks here. The sound of birdsong is totally annoying. People keep offering me fresh squeezed juice and stuff. Hard to concentrate. You wouldn’t like it. I can’t wait to get home.

  3. shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    One of my favorite parts of the piece was Mikey’s “I’m” email. It showed a lot about his character–his eagerness/impatience. Mostly I think it demonstrates his inability to deal with technology…which is why the situation happened in the first place!

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      And it shows how freaked out he was. It’s an unscripted moment in a story that, because of its medium, only shows characters’ scripted thoughts.

    • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      Adding to that, it almost portrays him as nervous and anxious if he is going to be able to resolve the conflict. In terms of the writing itself, I think that the “I’m email” connected me to the possibility that Mikey could be a real person. In short, the “I’m email” made his character believable and comparable to a real person.

  4. Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Awkard enough, I liked the comments in the beginning about Lisa’s mole. We talked about making characters different in some way and I thought this made the character very different. Made me laugh as well.

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      A nipple it is in size and shape, if not placement. Something like that.

    • Jaclyn February 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      it also shows how even though Lisa tried to cover up the affair that regardless what she says it happened since only someone who was intimate with her would know about the mole. I would have liked to have seen more about her husband though. His email response was a bit lack-luster

      • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        I would have liked to see more of him too.

        However, unless he typed in all caps, I dont think he could have conveyed his anger in this any other way. Nor do I think that conveying his disapproval of his wife’s affair over a public forum would have been appropriate of him

        • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

          Agreed. I’m wondering how we could see more from him, yet not have it be overkill since it’s done via e-mail. His response via the internet was appropriate since there’s a lot I’m sure we don’t know that’s going on physically.

      • shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        I found myself questioning who I really believed during this story, which I think makes it more fun. It leaves some gaps because, like Kelly said, these are people who have rehearsed and re-read what they are going to say before they say it (especially after the first email).

  5. Ashley February 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    I found this story to be extremely entertaining and well done. It’s such a simple concept but worked wonderfully. I love the typos throughout, and each response conveyed such a different tone and personality. As for the characters reactions, I felt they were well done. The story as a whole took a humorous tone, and it felt very realistic yet comical when Lisa was extremely vague with her reply to all of Mike’s accusations, and I love how the author made the decision to make Darcy’s reply delayed. It allowed me to get caught up in one conflict, then with her appearance in the story, it made me remember about the other side of the conflict and realize it was more than just Mike and Lisa. I also love how Darcy revealed some juicy secret of her own as well when replying to his accusation.

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      It was a good move to give Darcy something, her own story. That way we don’t just feel sorry for her.

  6. ali February 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Going back to the questions: I think the way Darcy defends herself and makes michael look like (and perhaps he is) a self-centered fool is flawless.

    Darcy manages to say what everyone wants to say in an argument, but only manages to think of while showering at the end of the day and mulling over the dispute.

    She slams michael with some harsh truths, takes his self esteem down a few pegs, and then resigns to live with her lover–for whom the foot was meant to be for.

    • patrickruddy10patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Darcy helps the story move and change by providing revelations about the foot. It adds a little more depth when we learn that it was actually Darcy and that it led to a hook-up which didn’t involve her. Then we find out that she wasn’t even aiming for Mike anyway.

      • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        so wait. Im confused now.
        Did Mike come on to Lisa and did she just accept it?

        Or was there a pre-established affair between them?

        As I’m re-reading this is a question that popped up

        • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

          I thought that Mike came on to Lisa because he thought she came on to him, and she just accepted it because she said that she didn’t see why he had started an affair with her but she just went with it. I think. ha

          • shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

            These holes for me make the characters have more dimensions. Is Lisa really a cheater or is Mike just a really good liar? But that brings up the question, why would somebody make a lie like that and send it if it didn’t really happen? And then throwing Darcy in there as the cause of the problems added a whole new dimension into that problem.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

          He must have come on strong to her after the meeting, thinking she was into him. And for whatever reason, she went with it.

  7. jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    I thought the minor characters were really funny – how there was one who started “singing” RESPECT and there was another who was very prim and didn’t approve of the joking around about it. Maybe that was show how embarrassing it really was because literally everyone / every type of person who is a part of the association saw it!

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      Agreed. I think this is one of the few instances that I LIKE random characters that show up once. It added humor and reality to the situation.

    • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Agreed!

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Yeah, and the author had to give a sense of the types of replies, since there were 300 of them. He couldn’t have included all, but found a nice little sample.

      • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

        I found this point interesting too, since there were 300 emails, I want to know what they all said!

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

          Probably all the same kinds of things. We got the “best of” version.

  8. Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    In my opinion, I think that the conflict was brought up right away in the story when Mikey accidentally hits “reply all”. I loved that the crisis was when Mikey or I suppose everybody, finds out that it was not Lisa’s foot. Like Ashley said, I liked that Darcy did not respond until later leaving us a bit confused as to who’s foot it was. The resolution was almost hidden as Darcy addressed the issue in her e-mail and then goes on about the next meeting’s agenda. Very well done in my opinion.

  9. Nikki February 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    I was equally surprised at Darcy’s admission of her love affair. I think with having Darcy delay her response, that added suspense to the eventual conflict. Also with everyone’s response to Michael, it slowed the pace of the story a little until Darcy finally responded.

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Also notice how we know why Darcy isn’t responding right away. The auto reply. Hilarious way to deal with a potential narrative problem. And then the email about how famous their group had become. Sweet dramatic irony.

      • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

        I found it hilarious that she had an automatic reply email and then replied, followed by another reply after she had read all the emails.

      • Jaclyn February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

        I loved the new fame and how Darcy sees it as a positive thing but little does she know…

        • shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

          Especially since we see her described as a yoda figure…we expect her to be the bad guy, but then she’s just a bad ass!

  10. Danielle February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    I agree with Shannon. I think Mikey’s “I’m” email shows his lack of understanding for technology. First he hits reply all with an embarrassing love note and then he accidentally sends an email he had barely started. I think if he had known how something as simple as email works he would have avoided this conflict. But then I have the opposite problem. I tend to forget to hit “replay all” instead of “reply”. whoops!

  11. jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    About the sense of movement: I think that since we uncover the story bit by bit and we don’t know everything from the get-go, we still feel that sense of wanting to keep reading, even though the main conflict presented itself at the beginning.

    • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      I agree with this, I kept wanting to know who would reply and what they would say. I also think the time stamps added to the movement of the story. Looking at how long it took Darcy to respond, I felt the anxiety and embarrassment that Mikey was probably feeling as well.

      • Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

        Yes, I’m sure Mikey was dreading what Darcy would say after that email and I found myself looking ahead in the story to see when she would finally respond!

  12. Jaclyn February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    I think the pace was controlled through the delayed response by Darcy and how she ends up resigning. We also see how Lisa and other members of the group ultimately choose to leave the group. The pace is then concluded by another member of the organization calling for position nominations and elections at the next meeting and also moving the meeting place. The accidental message Michael sent transformed not only the group but the lives of those involved in the incident.

    • patrickruddy10patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      I agree with that. I also think the pacing was made smoother by the fact that the subject line of the emails sometimes changed, which helped avoid the feeling that the story was stuck in the rut of the initial mistake to hit ‘reply all’.

    • ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      To go along with Jaclyn, the pace of the story was intentionally accelerated, it made the characters deal with the conflict and crisis in the moment, giving them limited time to react. In addition, I though that it was humorous that Darcy took seven days to reply to the messages. That means that the characters in the story (especially Micheal) were in suspense for an entire week!

  13. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Anyone notice that the subject line of the email changed a couple of times throughout?

    • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

      Funny how the last subject was “Twee” which is the phrase we weren’t exactly sure what that meant and Mikey was confused by.

    • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      I like how it changed from respect to Fecund.

      I assume that the use of fecund is a double entendre here–capable of producing offspring (via an affar) as well as juicy drama (via reply all)

      • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        Interesting!

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      Yes! I liked how it changed from Fecund Poets to New elections, but my favorite was the email from Darcy with the subject “Twee”

      • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

        I googled twee.

        its a british term for “sweet”

        is that its correct meaning?

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

          Overly sweet. Cloying. Sickeningly sweet. And artificial.

  14. Danielle February 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    What I don’t understand though, is if Lisa was confused by Mikey’s advances toward her why did she go along with it? I don’t think her defense of herself was very solid, considering she didn’t really say much about what happened. And also did not sound all that sorry it happened in the first place

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      I think she went with it because she just wanted to. She certainly couldn’t defend herself against the basic idea that they’d made love, since he knew about the mole.

    • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Yeah she didn’t really try to defend herself in any way, apart from saying that it wasn’t her foot. That was weird to me too.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

        Again, that’s the importance of the mole, which was also hilariously gross.

    • Nikki February 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      I was also confused by this. Lisa was pretty vague in her email, perhaps she didn’t want to go into detail and explain herself in such a public conversation but it did make me doubt who was telling the truth. Seemed to me that Michael was unreliable in his email.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

        Without the mole, of course she’d have denied, denied, denied. But she was caught, by her husband at least, so the game was over.

        • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

          I had forgotten that her husband was in the writing group as well. I thought his response to the entire thing was pretty funny. “But clearly not all of them…” Maybe I shouldn’t be laughing at his pain, but I found it a little comical.

  15. Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    The minor characters are what made the story for me. I love each of their responses, especially Sam’s response. Not only does he state the obvious conflict that Mikey has pressed the reply all button instead of reply, but his p.s. is hilarious as well. The minor characters provide the comic relief that counteracts the conflict. At first I felt bad that Mikey accidentally professed his love over email, but then the responses he got made me want to join in and make fun of his silly mistake as well. I also think this story is rather appropriate after Danielle’s issues that she had with the reply all button. Also, I was wondering if this was the piece that you had mentioned earlier in the term?

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Totally forgot about him telling us about this story! And going along with that and the whole “I’m” concept, I don’t necessarily think it’s a “lack of knowledge of technology” as Danielle said, but another mistake. I know I’ve made that mistake when sending a ton of e-mails for admissions. Sometimes the enter key seems to hate you.

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Yes. It was the piece.

    • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      I really enjoy Darcy’s character. In Mikey’s email he describes as less than beautiful and really almost repulsing, especially saying she “twitched like a slug” which is just a gross picture to have haha. But I like how Darcy does not let that get to her, and basically straight out tells him that he is tedious and boring. She has the guts to tell him to his face while he was kind of a coward and tried to say it behind her back. obviously it didn’t work.

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      The minor characters add humor to the story and also make the reply-all message Mikey never meant to send almost seem “less bad.” Meaning, the fact that it made some of the other workers days brought some positivity to the situation. I especially liked the email that quoted the Respect song.

  16. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    What about Mikey as “unreliable”? What do you all think about him, based on his own testimony?

    • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      I didn’t really see Mikey as a narrator since the story was more of us observing the characters than any character telling us what happened. In the first email I found Mikey to be reliable because he though what he was saying was private and didn’t have reason to be surreptitious.

      • Nikki February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

        Yeah that’s true. Just seemed odd that Lisa claimed she had been confused by Mikey’s behavior towards her when he clearly suggests they’ve been intimate. I think she was trying to take the blame off her.

      • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

        I agree with you.

        However, I found him to be slimy, if that’s the right word for it.

        There love letter was so chock-full of metaphors and allusions that it made me really question him as a person.

        I mean, he compared himself to a mont blanc pen.

        Mont Blancs are not cheap–as a pen connosieur, I know their opening price begins at around $120 for a ballpoint.

        These are just problems I have with Michael though.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

          He thinks he’s cooler–more artistic and “sensitive”–than he is. He’s cheesy as hell, and his taste in poetry is probably bad.

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      His impulsiveness. The fact that he doesn’t take time to process situations and circumstances, instead he acts on pure emotion. He takes things as they happens and turns them into things that I think he may want to happen, instead of taking the time to understand the reality of the issue.

    • Jaclyn February 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      He does seem very unreliable and I think it adds to the conflict, did this affair even happen? Is he just being creepy and making up the whole thing and sending a weird email to Lisa either as a joke or a bit of a stress relief from his apparently stressful life? How do we even know if Lisa even has a mole? That seems to be the only evidence that they truly had an affair but if she doesn’t have a mole, why is he writing this email and making this all up?

      • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

        I feel like if he was making it up the detail of the foot, which he interpreted to be Lisa, wouldn’t have been true. But Darcy confirmed that it actually happened.

    • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      I really think Mikey is unreliable because his only focus was really who’s foot was in his crotch. And then he even says he doesn’t like to make excuses for himself but goes on to say he’s been under a lot of pressure at school and at home. That sounds like an excuse to me! and definitely doesn’t excuse his behavior haha

    • Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      I think Mikey proves to be unreliable in several ways. First his description of Darcy seems to be unfair because she was once married and has found herself a new man, so obviously she’s desirable in some way.

      • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

        She could just be rich, or is marrying other undesirable people. Or she could just be older than Mike, and therefore seem unattractive to him.

    • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      I just think his way of writing seems unreliable. His emails seem wordy and as if he is trying to come across as this dramatic poetry guy (which maybe he is), but is he just trying to hide behind words? I feel like he skirts around things with his wordiness, like the truth, and so that gives him this impression of unreliability.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

        This.

      • ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

        I agree with Jessica! The way that Mikey wrote his email shows that he thinks that he is a renounded scholar when he is just a guy trying to get this married to sleep with him. It seems that he tend to rush to conclusions about some situation.

    • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Maybe he joined the poetry club, not for his love of poetry, but to creep and hit on women. His first email sort of hints at that. His apology then, almost tries to create a viable and valid reason for his “true” purpose of joining the poetry club.

  17. Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    I think the function of Mikey’s “I’m” email was him almost saying “I’m Sorry,” however, instead of impulsively sending just an “I’m sorry” email, Mikey wrote a much longer apology note in the next e-mail sent. I think this “I’m” email shows Mikey’s impatience.

    • ali February 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Completely agree with you.

      I tried to imagine myself in his position and freaked out a little bit.

      I would never return to an poetry association club if I had sent that.

      what a nightmare.

      • shannon February 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

        He lucked out that she’s retiring…otherwise they’d still have to work together!

      • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

        I agree with this as well.
        But about him as an unreliable narrator, I agree with Patrick, I didn’t see him as a narrator because everybody else was responding. So he may be unreliable but I found that more of his character flaw than anything.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

          Well, we’re all our own narrators when it comes to email, if you get my drift. We can each of us be “unreliable” when we write to people, trying to convince them of something (or trying to seduce them, etc).

  18. matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    For me at least, Mikey’s apology seemed to be a bit fake. He said he isn’t trying to make excuses, but clearly he is. He tries to attribute his mistakes, his seeking for the “affection of his fellow poetry lover”, to troubles at school and what not. It may seem heart-felt, but in reading it, i just seems like he is trying to cover his ass IMO.

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      I don’t think it was fake. I would probably make as many excuses as I could if I was in this situation.

      • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

        I didn’t mean fake in that way. More so that he was trying to draw the attention away from the simple fact that he messed up and won’t straight up admit it, but rather tries to snake his way out through a series of excuses that will alleviate some of the judgement on him.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

          Exactly. He not only messed with a married woman, revealed the affair to her husband, but also totally insulted his own boss. He’s in trouble and trying to weasel out of it best he can.

  19. Danielle February 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Honestly I just really wish I could have seen more of Lisa’s husband in this. He seems too calm about this through the email and I would have loved to see him get really mad. I feel like when people are mad they don’t really care if they are making a scene, so it wouldn’t have stopped him from angrily replying to the email.

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      I think that it’s was purposeful that we don’t see Lisa’s husband because the whole story is over email and he probably didn’t want to continue the discussion over those means. I wouldn’t anyways.

  20. ali February 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    can we clear up what twee actually means?

    • Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      I found something similar to you. When I looked it up it said that it is “something that is sweet, almost to the point of being sickeningly so.” Or something nauseatingly cute.

      • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

        I got quaint, pretty, sentimental

      • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

        that would be ironic because at the end of Darcy’s last email she said that Mikey and his crotch are the very essence of twee. it sounded like an insult to me

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

          Sickeningly sweet, cute, and sentimental are not compliments.

      • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

        I’m sure that’s it then! It makes sense.

      • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        Darcy: “Yes, Michael, I find you and your crotch and your paramour the very essence of Twee”. She said that after insulting him. I looked it up to, and found the same definition. So is she sarcastically using it?

        • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

          I bet this was sarcasm. I definitely got that vibe from her.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

          Twee is a negative, especially among poets and other artists. It’s akin to cheesy.

        • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

          Never mind, I guess that she is. 😛

      • ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        I feel like it took on another meaning such as “fetch” in Mean Girls. Perhaps just an term of endearment

    • Nikki February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      I believe it means being too sweet in an obnoxious way which makes sense in this context with the language that Michael uses.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        His bad attempts at eros in his love email is totally “twee,” and anyone who thinks it is hot or romantic or whatever, has terrible taste.

  21. ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    What about Richard throughout this entire scenario? I wonder how that conversation went at home…

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Pretty awkward I would assume. How would you react if you were him?

      • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        he just sounds like he doesn’t even care about the affair at all. So I have a hard time picturing what could have went on at home with him and his wife. Like Jenna said above… his comment is almost comical.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

          He’s trying to play it cool, but of course he’d be shocked and hurt and humiliated. Or maybe he really is just sick of his wife. This could be the last straw. But mostly I think he’s just putting a tough face on in front of everyone.

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      We were commenting about that above. I have no idea how we could get just a liiiittle more insight about that whole fiasco without it being so out of place or forced.

      • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        I don’t really think we needed that though. We already know how it would have gone down for anyone in that situation, so I don’t really think that having that scene in there would be necessary.

        • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

          I agree with that

        • Nikki February 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

          Yeah agreed, I think its just in our human nature to want to know every juicy detail unfortunately.

      • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        this is true! I would have just love to see more emotion from him.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

          He might have gone all apeshit, cursing everyone, threatening, etc, but that would have distracted from the humorous tone.

      • ali February 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

        the only way I could see it *possibly* working is if he started a separate email to his wife and then hit “reply all”

        but that would be the same mistake twice. which might be stretching it.

        • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

          I just don’t know how important that conflict is to this story…seems a bit out of place. But I agree with Ali, that might work. But again, just not important to the central conflict in this story.

          • shannon February 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

            Agreed!

  22. Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    “much needed lift in an otherwise humdrum day” (335). This line made me laugh. This email was clearly a “pick-up” for some.

    • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      …as long as I wasn’t the one being bashed in it…

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

        Sure. We love to see the misery and humiliation of others.

        • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

          Said the sadist.

          • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            hahaha

          • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            lol

          • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            Guilty as charged. Well, up to a point. Actually, I think we love to see people fall because of their own selfishness and meanness. They brought this on themselves.

            • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

              Definitely. We feel like winners when others fail. Seems messed up.

            • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

              Interesting point. Eventually most of the characters ended up with flaws of their own which made them less sympathetic. In a way the person who responded about how much he was enjoying reading the emails and how it brightened his day represents the readers-removed from the situation and just laughing at it as it plays out.

  23. ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Personally, I enjoyed Sam’s email (334) “P.S. that mole? You’ve got my imagination running wild. As long as the entire organization knows about it now, would you mind divulging it’s location? I’d sleep better at night knowing it.

    creepy and sarcastic. Perfection.

    • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      That was perfection. I laughed because he said he was losing sleep over something that really doesn’t seem to matter in the least. I think his email was my favorite of all the minor characters.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

        I like the “sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…”

        • shannon February 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

          My biggest laugh came from the “sock it to me”!

          • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

            Me too. Any reference to Aretha Franklin is a good reference.

  24. matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Anybody else get the vibe from Mikey’s first email that, well in his eyes at least, Darcy is the member, and president, of the club that considers herself in maybe a bit too bright of a light?

    • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Yes. He’s clearly intimidated by her, or perhaps finds her “uppity.” And yet what we learn about him is that he’s a cheesy scumbag, so we have to reconsider our opinion of Darcy.

      • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        Agreed.

      • Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

        Personally I found myself really liking Darcy and I loved reading all of her insults that were directed towards Mikey. “You recite poetry with all the grace of a highway sign that cautions one to beware of falling rock. In fact, I would rather make love to a falling rock.”

        After this email I disregarded everything negative that Mikey had said about her.

        • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

          I definitely disregarded everything Mikey said about her too! She just seems more of a likable character than Mikey and honestly, I think he is in fact “twee” haha

    • ginafilippo February 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      yes, but Mikey was really harsh in his email about her..makeup and wardrobe courtesy of Yoda, her poor taste in poetry, and bad breath etc.

      • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        makeup courtesy of Yoda…love that line. I thought the descriptive words really painted a clear picture in my mind.

        • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

          Totally. Short, dumpy, dressed in a shapeless robe kind of thing.

          • Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

            That’s exactly what I was picturing.

      • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

        I thought the “wardrobe courtesy of Yoda” was a pretty good one. I have to give him that.

      • shannon February 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

        I would imagine she would have to be a LITTLE uptight about some stuff…she is the president of a club with 300 people. So I could see how her organization could come off as pretentious to he who acts like a wannabe poet laureate.

        • matthewdmurphy11 February 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

          She said 300 new emails. They say “our little organization”, but how little that is…. I don’t know.

          • shannon February 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

            True…..

            • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

              Didn’t even think about that but I agree

            • Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

              It could have been maybe twenty people, but everyone going crazy with responses. Also, these things tend to go viral, and outsiders could be joining the conversation.

  25. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Are we slowing down? We’ve been at it almost an hour. How about any final thoughts and then we’ll wrap it up at 3:30.

    • Jackie Kreiner February 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It kept me engaged the whole time and I loved the added aspect of humor. The minor characters are what really made me want to read more.

      • Jenna Riordan February 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

        I agree, I was a bit wary of reading a story in the form of e-mail but this kept my interest, gave me a few laughs and I found the story very relatable. The humor throughout the story was underlying and definitely matched my sense of humor so I enjoyed it.

    • jessicagerdisch February 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      This story definitely made me want to keep reading because of the way it was presented and the hilarity of it all!

    • shannon February 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      Good read. Interesting modern twist on the normal cheating story.

  26. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ll say one more thing about the plot. Seems like the conflict is obvious. The hurtful email that will surely change things, especially for the two main characters. The rising action of growing interest in the affair. Finally, Darcy’s response is the crisis. The resolution is the call for new elections. The dust is settling. Life, for some of the players, will return to order. For others, not so much.

  27. Kaitlyn Czerwonka February 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    I thought the pace of the story was very well done, and I liked reading something that was done other than just normal prose. I think the email format helped the pace as well because we got a time stamp of where we were in the timeline of things.

    • patrickruddy February 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      If you all want you can hear the author read it aloud on youtube if you google it.

      • Danielle February 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        I really did enjoy this story a lot. I loved that it was in the form of an email because stories like that are so rare, and this idea is so creative and original, that it kept me engaged in the story.

  28. Kelly Daniels February 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Hey all. Thanks a lot. You guys are rock stars. We’ll do it again on Thursday, discussing both the final chapter and the story, “Keith.” Hope you’re well. Peace and poetry.

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