Joel Stein: You’re great. So is this email.
Dear Joel Stein (and Assistant),
You need a new picture in Time. I was surprised to discover when I checked you out online that you are more attractive than your Time headshot. It does not do you justice. Do not misinterpret that as a come on; you’re far too old for me. However, I thought you should know. A new photo could boost your approval rating among females higher than Romney’s. Even though you are off the market, being married to your lovely wife Cassandra (whom you may want to re-dub Saint Cassandra) and father to that wonderful little boy you were tricked into, a high approval rating among other women never hurts.
It almost creeps me out how much I know about you – but that is because yours is the first piece I read of Time every week. Usually I find you hilarious, and your political statements, while not politically correct, mirror my own sentiments. My parents raised me to be conservative, then paid for my education. Now I read the likes of you and consider myself liberated. I’m not sure yet whether or not I should say thank you. Your column inspires me, and even when I disagree, I find myself laughing with you.
I am curious to know how you got to where you are today, and I do not mean the story about growing up in New Jersey to achieve world renowned fame in L.A.; even though I too am from New Jersey. Us native New Jerseyans are like a disease that festers and goes out to infect the rest of the country. No matter where you go, you will always meet someone from New Jersey. I’ve traveled extensively, and have yet to be proven wrong by this theory.
At this point I should mention, even if I do not reach you, a reply from your assistant would be appreciated. Assistant: how did you achieve the highly admirable job of being Joel Stein’s assistant? If I cannot make it as the next Joel Stein, to be his assistant would become my new aspiration.
I love your humility. I too am humble. So humble, in fact, that I figure there is no way you can ignore the greatness of this email. Please do not make me resort to reading your book just to have a discussion with you on Skype. That would necessitate that I pay half a dozen of my friends to fake a book club. And there are no guarantees that I can actually get them to read your book, even if I pay them. With that said, I am interested to learn how you got to where you are today, the steps you took along the way. I am sure the answer will be insightful, engaging, and only partially fictional.