the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The greatest email in the history of the Internet

The following email arrived anonymously in my inbox a couple of days after I posted about my recent Maytag saga. It is a literary masterpiece, one filled with a bit of questionable language (BEWARE! meaning, Dad, you’re not going to want to read this one), and I could not in good conscience keep this to myself. Behold:

Regarding Your Most Recent Post

Dear Mrs. Armstrong,

I am a Germanic headless anti-vaccination pioneer. I am deeply offended by your having opinions and complaining about your sub-par washing machine service. 

My parents died when I was four years old. They were security guards at the city zoo that came upon a massive kudu heist in progress and halted the progress of the criminals long enough to be fatally stabbed seventy-three times in total. I spent many years on the stoop of a slumlord’s crapshack, exposing myself to gang violence as bullets whistled by daily like sideways-going pigeon poop, listening to he and his portly halfbreed banshee-bull terrier wife rail against each other like two krumpers in a street circle.  

I chose this loud locale for my home solely to learn to separate my w’s and my v’s properly amidst the screams of “piss-guzzling ass minstrel,” “shit-swilling crap-belching vagina,” “pithy rust-encrusted testicle envelope,” and “burgeoning harlot, omni-wight-fucking chasm-cockpit, moss-growing volcanically throwing-up dick splitter, Blubberface McButtshit Taintlicker Esquire.” 

It is deeply hurtful to me that you stereotype my people by implying that we are too stupid and worthless to not mix up our v’s and w’s, like we lolloped out of some old anti-German cartoon. You Americans still haven’t forgiven us for World War II and your old prejudices stand in the way of you actually growing any brains, and we already apologized for it, and it pisses me off that you still demean us in this way.

I also want you to know that I lived in this horrible wretched (NOT VRETCHED) God-beshatted place until my head was shot off at the age of eleven by a seven-year-old crack dealer with an AK-47. I suffered much pain and suffering and playground tormenting because of this. “Headless Whorewoman” they called me, “Hessian Poopeater,” they taunted me, “No-Face McButt,” they screamed and pointed. 

“Why don’t you go find Ichabod and fuck him with a pumpkin,” was the response that I got the first time I asked a boy out on a date. 

You cannot possibly know the pain of not having a head and the social ostracization I have fought to overcome, how my life spiraled into a black angry pit full of snakes of despair and spiders of wrath and black roses of zombie sex and skulls of vampire fetish and the blackness of waking torpid undead death; and I do not find it funny at all that you make light of this suffering. 

I left the city life after a Korean man who sold intricately-carved animal bacula gave me a pamphlet on the Church of Latter-Day Saints. After he discovered I couldn’t read (not because I was German and couldn’t understand English because of all the w’s and v’s, but because I DIDN’T HAVE A HEAD, IF YOU RECALL) he gave me a verbal summary, and it was like a golden shower of divine inspiration had rained down on me directly from the deepest depths of the angelic hosts’ very being. I decided to move to Utah.

Having no money, however, I struck out on foot, with only a few dozen squirrels I had harnessed in the city to guide me in my horrible blindness and to carry the few possessions I had: a few quarters for laundry, a toothbrush with a shaved end that doubled as a shiv, a raccoon baculum that doubled as either a smaller shiv or a fishhook, and a few masks full of styrofoam to prevent people thinking I was coming from beyond the grave to destroy them (Bill Clinton, werewolf, and Stormtrooper). 

It took years of difficult struggle for me to make it, and not a few squirrels gave their lives to distract the coyotes from my sleeping form which looked to them for all the world like carrion. I was shot several more times (apparently this was many strangers’ first response to my alarming appearance) and nearly bled to death on several occasions, but the divinity of my quest kept me alive by the grace of God and the inspiration of Joseph Smith the Prophet.

Your washing machine doesn’t seem so effing important now, does it. Oh, your house is covered in poop? I was covered in blood for a solid year. And poop, as well, as it’s hard to find motivation to find a suitable place to shit when you don’t have enough blood to raise your hand and slap a coyote away. When I was feeling well enough to walk, I found beating my clothes with a rock in a stream suited me just fine.

Eventually, one night in total darkness, I arrived at the temple in Salt Lake City. I felt its facade and it was like a lightning bolt ran through my fingers, up and down my spine to my brain and my anus, filling me with the electricity of hope, something I’d never felt before. I sat on the steps until dawn came, and a man of the cloth arrived.

“Who are you?” he said.

“I’m a fucking believer, my bitch,” I said. Having grown up on the block, this was the only way I had ever heard people talk. I had no idea it was offensive. In a surge of faith that this man would not judge me, I took off my Stormtrooper mask to reveal my lack of a face.

“I’m sorry,” he said, scrunching his face in disgust. “I don’t think we can accomodate you.”

I was plunged into darkness once again. I contemplated killing myself there on the steps, but despite the church’s rejection, I still felt a spark of the faith in me. Perhaps the human followers of the church were not prepared for a headless Germanic woman from the block, but I was sure that Jesus and the Latter-Day Saints themselves were.

So I have worshipped in secret. Full of pain, and torment, and the ever-constant sting of rejection by every person I have ever met, I live in a sewer. The closest I have come to a washing machine is getting caught up in little whirlpools during rainstorms. But I have been coming to the public library, once a week, to read your blog, which previously was like a beacon of light and life into my dreary, half-dead days. 

But no longer.


“Headless Reader”

  • Leah

    2009/09/01 at 1:57 pm

    Love the site, hope you’re enjoying the poop and milk free wardrobe!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/09/01 at 1:58 pm

    OK, I demand that the dude/dudette who wrote that stand up and take a bow.

    An Epic Vitriolic Screed, indeed.

  • zwolsche diva

    2009/09/01 at 1:59 pm

    That truly is the work of a dedicated ex-fan.

  • Kate

    2009/09/01 at 2:00 pm

    I applaud you, Headless Germanic Pioneer!

  • Meredith

    2009/09/01 at 2:01 pm

    OMFG. This. is. awesome.

    My 3 favorite lines (since you asked): a tie between “shit-swilling crap-belching vagina,” “a golden shower of divine inspiration,” and “I’m a fucking believer, my bitch.”

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Andrea

    2009/09/01 at 2:01 pm

    Pure Genius! I am cracking up!

  • Suniverse

    2009/09/01 at 2:04 pm

    You mean there are two of us?

  • Anonymous

    2009/09/01 at 2:01 pm

    No way!

    Only 2 comments? I get to be in the top 5?

    No way!

  • Yoj228

    2009/09/01 at 2:01 pm

    Holy crap, that is EPIC.


  • Rachel

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm


  • Casey

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    Headless Readers are funny. 🙂

    Just because it’s on the interweb doesn’t mean you have control, oh blog-readers! That’s the beauty of it all.

  • Linsey

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    That just made my day… very creative & well-versed is the headless creature!

  • Lucy's mom

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    You gotta love people with a sense of humor – that was good. Warped but good.

  • Gleegarden

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    Whoa. Headless. Hard to read without a head. Amazing!

  • Valerie Hope

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    Dear Headless Reader,
    I applaud your faith, since I’m sure you’re not an avid tv watcher I must tell you- it’s time to update your masks. Let’s add Sarah Palin to the bunch.

  • Bonnie Jean

    2009/09/01 at 2:02 pm

    perfect. And, I’m at work and can’t laugh out loud. the misery.

  • Sarah

    2009/09/01 at 2:03 pm

    Amazing! That was truly a work of art. Either crazy or genius…I’m not sure!

  • Kelly

    2009/09/01 at 2:04 pm

    O.M.G. This is hilarious!!!



  • Gleegarden

    2009/09/01 at 2:05 pm

    I forgot to mention…brilliant. Does this person have a blog?

  • Kristen

    2009/09/01 at 2:05 pm

    See, you really should be careful what you say! Poor Headless Reader.

  • Anonymous

    2009/09/01 at 2:05 pm


    You don’t need to be reminded that you have some very awesome readers, do you?

  • Azha

    2009/09/01 at 2:06 pm

    At least she has internet…right?

  • Kim

    2009/09/01 at 2:06 pm

    Wow. Just, brilliant.

    However, I’d be careful, Heather, for when this headless beast starts twittering. And if she ever starts a blog, you’ll have a direct place to send all of your former readers.

    What fun!

  • Kara

    2009/09/01 at 2:07 pm

    I have no words. I’m laughing too hard.

    Awesome. Truly fucking brilliantly awesome.

    Oh and UNFOLLOW. Just because.

  • Yvonne

    2009/09/01 at 2:08 pm

    headless Germanic woman from the block….reminds me of JLo, Jenny From the Block. Seriously, that was the best laugh I have had in a long, long, time.

  • Stacey

    2009/09/01 at 2:08 pm


  • ElizabethZ

    2009/09/01 at 2:09 pm

    The fact that they are headless just ruins it for me. It is too contrived and forced. It is creative, I’ll give it that at least.

  • Katie

    2009/09/01 at 2:09 pm

    i just shot water 3 feet out of my nose. that person deserves a freaking emmy or whatever they give people who write stuff like that. amazing! and heather, this is the best thing i have to do at work so keep it up!

  • Katya

    2009/09/01 at 2:11 pm

    That was amazing! someone who sums up the reaction to this whole maytag saga all to well! my sentiments exactly.

    and my security word is “Harlot dressmakers”. I am sure they would make a nice dress for you, you headless pioneer.

  • Lisa

    2009/09/01 at 2:11 pm

    Someone is giving you a run for your money. I wish they had a blog.

  • jennifer

    2009/09/01 at 2:11 pm


  • Jenny

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you Headless Reader for writing this, and thank you Heather for posting it. Beautiful.

  • samantha

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    that was amazing. thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    Holy shit they have wayyyyyy too much time on their hands .

  • Ashley

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    That was the most amazing email I have ever laid my eyes on!!! I nearly pissed my pants I was laughing so hard. Bravo Headless Anti-Vaccination Germanic Pioneer, BRAVO!

  • Jentine

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    I can only hope to one day become a “portly halfbreed banshee-bull terrier wife”

  • Sara

    2009/09/01 at 2:12 pm

    You should invite the Headless Reader to guest-blog!

  • Jen

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm

    I wonder if the squirrels that lead him/her to the promise land of Utard as read your post to him/her?

  • Mo

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm

    Dear Headless Reader,

    I would feel sorry for you if you didn’t still owe us $473.23 in back rent. Am I gonna hafta cut a bitch?

    ~Blubberface McButtshit Taintlicker, Esq.

  • Jean

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm

    I wish I was Number 26 just so I could get emails like this.

  • guilty noodles

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm

    The Headless Reader has got to be Mormon.

  • Becky

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm


  • Tiffany

    2009/09/01 at 2:13 pm

    Um, wow. That was impressive. Unfotunately, since they felt the need to unfollow, they will never know that their masterpiece was published. I wonder how much time they spent on that?!

  • Stephanie

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm

    Unfunny! Unfollow!

    No. Seriously though, that was more weird than humorous. Points for creativity and effort though.

  • Katya

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm

    Did you write it #35? that’s a typical thing someone would say after they anonymously sent such an awesome e-mail.

  • Dar

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm


  • Miz Booshay

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm

    Oh my gosh….

    That is one funny unfollower.

  • Sheryl

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm

    Wake me up when the Maytag saga is over…..

  • Amanda

    2009/09/01 at 2:18 pm

    Oh. My. God. That is awesome. My husband can’t have read it yet and it it so good I am PRINTING IT OUT to take home to him tonight.

    I was laughing and crying at my desk. Whoops. Good thing it’s almost the end of the day anyway.

    I love you, Headless Reader.

  • kaitlynsage

    2009/09/01 at 2:14 pm

    Dear Headless Reader,
    The tale of your trials and travails has moved me deeply. I think I may be in love with you. Please accept this proposal of marriage and a lifetime of headless love.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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