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Letters of Annoyance




Published Letters

There are inane slogans in the Forest City!
(The London Free Press)

Stop with the lists already!
(National Post)

Re: 'proactive'
(Globe & Mail)

The Year 2000
(Globe & Mail)


Letters of Annoyance/Approval

Tir Nan Og Irish Pub
200 Ontario Street
Kingston, Ontario
Canada · K7L 4Y9

Dear Sir/Madam/Leprechaun:

I and my esteemed colleagues in the Emily Chesley Reading Circle write to commend you on your openness to showcasing alternative music. Alternatively, we are writing to congratulate you on hiring mentally challenged entertainers. We are not sure which.

This past March 18, we happened into your fine and authentic establishment in search of a cozy Irish atmosphere and perhaps some nice traditional music. Imagine our surprise and delight to find instead that the stage was occupied by several kilted wonders performing for the assembled throng. Or perhaps the bar had been rented that night for “Irish Idol” auditions. We are not sure which.

Our delight only grew when we realized that the “band” was comprised of avante garde artists unfettered by the trammels of traditional musical timing and unintimidated by the almost sacred nature of songs such as “Barrett’s Privateers” and “I’se the by”. Or perhaps we were delighted to find ourselves in an Einsteinian audio vortex wherein the relationship of time and space become confused and what may seem a normal pace to one listener becomes a mindless headlong cacophony to another. We are not sure which.

Either way, in this busy world few could complain if a beloved song that would normally require a glacial 5 minutes to sing is rendered instead in a snappy 98 seconds. After all, everyone already knows the words, so the incoherent verse mumbling and staccato choruses should not cause distress.

Of course, every crowd includes a critic, but we agreed to dismiss one member’s cries that the destruction of traditional Irish favourites was like “two ice picks in the back of my frickin’ head.” Even the heartwarming drum and pipe presentation during the intermission, so charmingly offered by two tone deaf and ill-timed kilt-defilers, failed to move him. Some people, as you know, cannot be pleased.

In the future, we strongly believe that Tir Nan Og should expand this innovative – even courageous – approach to live entertainment. We imagine, for example, a darts demonstration by the CNIB or a three-legged race for double amputees. We even thought of a comedy night for Queen’s law students, but realized that was not practical. In truth, however, we have full confidence in your ability to choose acts and events which will drive people in from the streets, and drive them back out again shortly afterward.

Please accept our suggestions in the spirit in which they are intended. Indeed, we expect you will appreciate the forthrightness and candor for which the Circle is famous in parts of the Northeast part of the Eastern Southwest Ontario. We have not failed to notice your cleverness in choosing a name which is a direct anagram of “O’Ranting”

Once again, we congratulate you on your kingly disregard for what the ignorant masses call “entertainment”. Or upon your insistence that a lack of talent, timing or charm should not prevent Carleton Showband wannabees from achieving their dreams. We are not sure which.


Col. Harelyne Krakatoa (Ret’d)

Wopping on Wopping, UK


The Emily Chesley Reading Circle was established to further the study of Emily Chesley, a long-overlooked Canadian speculative fiction writer of the late-Victorian period, who lived for some time in the London, Ontario region.

Letters of Annoyance and Letters of Approval are produced by the Circle as a service to the public.

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