I'm really rather disappointed by what happened to an inquiry I sent to the humor column "Ask Dr. Science" on October 8, 1993. Here's what I wrote:
Dear Dr. Science: For what it's worth, and in case you're interested, manhole covers are round because it's the only shape that cannot be rotated so as to fall into the manhole. Reference to "Ask Dr. Science," The Funny Times, October 1993, p. 18. But I do have another question. Do you think there is any scientific basis for the theory that the habitual wearing of neckties constricts the blood flow to the brain, causing brain damage? If not, what explanation can you offer for the Eighties? Science marches on, Alan P. Scott
Here's what appeared in The Funny Times in May 1995. You'll note that my letter has been, shall we say, substantially edited.
Dear Dr. Science: What is the function of the necktie? Alan P. Scott, Los Angeles, CA
Go ahead; compare the two versions. I'll wait.
Dr. Science goes on to explain (to me!) that ties "are a means of IQ reduction in men." I've got to admit that having my letter 'edited' down into a pathetic one line and then having my own hypothesis quoted back to me and dozens, maybe hundreds of others, is a little... disappointing. Oh, I'm not going to cancel my subscription or anything, but this is not something I'm especially happy about.
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