Best Of 2021

I Must Regretfully Decline Your Invitation to Beef

My dearest sir,

I write with the utmost sorrow to say that I cannot accommodate your recent invitation to beef. I received a staggering number of inquiries this year from a field of extraordinarily hostile and disagreeable applicants. Nothing would please me better than to crush each of your trifling asses like the detestable insects you are. But alas, my schedule renders that impossible.

I did appreciate your invitation’s admirable pith and the refreshing piquancy of your word choice. You have clearly read a great many bathroom walls. I furthermore understand that the choice of nemesis for purposes of public rivalry or vendetta is not made frivolously, even by such halfwit mediocrities as yourself, and I confess to declining your particular challenge with not a little regret.

I beg you not to construe this decision as a reflection upon your person, which is entirely loathsome, nor upon your undeniable gift for provoking rage. While rejection invariably invites self-doubt, of which you are in dire need, I encourage you to believe in your fundamental talent. You are remarkably easy to dislike. I have perfect confidence that you will soon attract an adversary hellbent on destroying you both personally and professionally, to whatever extent you can be said to have a profession, and I look forward to that with keen anticipation.

My enemies list is highly exclusive and that membership has been closed since you were an ill-considered gleam in your whiskey-addled father’s eye. No space on the rolls will be available, least of all for punk-ass clowns, until one of the current incumbents is forgiven or, in the more plausible scenario, dies. I should warn you out of courtesy that any attempt to create premature openings on the list by icing one of my established rivals shall be referred to the District Attorney.

Should circumstances compel one of my avowed foes to relinquish his or her position, I must advise you candidly that the prevailing standards are both stringent and daunting, words that may be familiar from your various efforts to pass the GED. Please understand that I am not trying to diss you. Dissing you is effortless, and therein, kid, lies the problem. Among my current nemeses are the ex-lover who attempted to auction my kidneys for Bitcoin, the corrupt FBI supervisor who contrived my imprisonment in Morocco, and of course the mysterious one-eyed man who gunned down my father outside the Yale Club of New York. I implore you to compare these nefarious misdeeds with your proposed strategy of unkind nicknames on Twitter. Sorry, sport. Were I to embark upon any new vendetta so late in my career, it could only be to combat such a truly fitting enemy as hunger, injustice, minimalist architecture, or a marine mammal who has cost me a limb. But should you chance to run across metastatic melanoma, kindly tell that motherfucker I’m looking for him.

I am flattered that you, knucklehead guttersnipe though you may be, have selected me to antagonize. Nothing reflects more profoundly upon oneself than one’s choice of enemy. But, if you will pardon me for asking, what reflection would your limp-dicked junior-varsity enmity be on me? Have you made any contribution to science? Have you an authentic artistic voice? What has your sorry ass ever accomplished except the display of your sad personality disorder on an electronic medium with no coherent business plan? Have I studied on killing fools? I must, to my chagrin, admit it. But those were fools genuinely requiring study. It is not worth even the modest exertion of clipping you: you have no obituary on file at the Times. I suspect your energies would be better spent seeking a more compatible foe among similar no-account douchebags.

I must also request your forgiveness for replying with this form letter.

Let me close by wishing you ill luck in all future endeavors and hoping that medical science discovers some remedy for your face. Should circumstances unexpectedly change, my seconds will call on you.

Yours sincerely, etc.

P.S. Please convey my warmest regards to your mother.