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Wednesday, September 30, 2009


When I was an undergraduate in college, I wrote and published a book in an attempt to garner public support for law enforcement. My main goal was to bring awareness to the fact that a police officer dies in the line of duty in America every 52 hours, and that there have been approximately 16,000 police officers who have fallen or have been felled since the whole American shabang began. I also wanted to promote a positive image of law enforcement in America, and to stand with young, broken widows and widowers, and fatherless or motherless children.

Of course, when you try to do this, you make some friends, mostly the uniformed kind. You also make a lot of enemies.

Before and after my book was published, I was (and am) a frequent editorial contributor to our two main Philly papers. I always request that my email address be printed along with the letter, because I like to hear what people have to say, whether it's positive or negative. In 2003, I wrote a long column in the Cincinnati Enquirer following a controversial arrest and I received such a tremendous outpouring of support from law enforcement officers all over the country, and I was quite moved.

It doesn't always go like that, though.

Rabid fans of local cop-killer and media darling Mumia Abu-Jamal have threatened to burn my house (and neighborhood, for that matter) down. I've had my life threatened numerous times and, at a Barnes & Noble book signing in a quaint little suburb, I was assigned uniformed and plainclothes police protection after a threat was called in to the store. After I get something in print, I always expect at least one nutjob to stand up and say "hello!"

I haven't written an editorial since July 27th, and so the email that popped up in my inbox this morning was surprising. Sometimes, unemployed people with chips on their shoulders spend their weary days trolling through the depths of the internet and find old articles of mine, and then, out of the blue, I get hate mail. It's like Christmas in October! Here's what this one said,

"FOAD you cop loving fascist goof. Oh yeah, you are also butt fuck ugly."

This is a typically eloquent example of the sort of emails that I receive from folks who disagree with my views on certain issues, mostly surrounding law enforcement, as you can tell from the choice adjective, "cop loving." Or is "cop loving" a verb? I guess, when used in the aforementioned manner, it's more a descriptor. Anyway, this email will go down in my own personal history as the first piece of hatemail in which I actually had to look something up to understand it. God bless the Urban Dictionary.

fuck off and die!
I wish rns would just F.O.A.D"

Nice. Apparently, I can order a mug from Urban Dictionary emblazoned with the definition of "F.O.A.D." And I might just do that, too.

After looking up F.O.A.D. I then, of course, had to look up what "rns" means. Don't you hate it when a word inside a definition requires a definition?

Turns out that RNS is an acronym, too, (and it would be really helpful, people, if, when utilizing an acronym, you put periods in between the letters to identify it as such) which could stand for any number of things, including but not limited to:

Regulatory News Service

Royal Numismatic Society

Radar Netting Station

Respiratory Nursing Society

Ruth Newman Shapiro Regional Cancer Center


Really Neat Stuff, Inc.

I doubt any of these acronyms are the one meant in the Urban Dictionary definition. It's hard to picture someone seriously saying, "I wish the Ruth Newman Shapiro Regional Cancer Center would fuck off and die."

After thinking about what I should do, I went to the website where the email supposedly originated, and I found a different email address for customer service. To my shock and chagrin, I found that the website where this email address came from is Canadian! Do you believe it? And Michael Moore tried to convince us all that they were the model society! I sent the following email, with the offending email pasted below it:


I received an unsolicited, unsigned email this morning from (not the real email address, people) in which I was told to "fuck off and die," via the acronym "FOAD." I have pasted the email below for your perusal.

I have also forwarded a copy of the email to my attorney and I hope that you will conduct an investigation to determine the perpetrator who, I hope, will be dealt with appropriately.

Thank you,
My Real Name"

Don't I sound like I knew what "FOAD" meant all along? And don't I sound all scary with the mention of "my attorney?" Of course, we all know that I'm far too poor to have an attorney, but it sure sounds good. Imagine-- sending that from a business account. How stupid do people have to be?

Of course, he's at least smart enough to know what FOAD means. I thought he had just misspelled "TOAD."


  1. It's strange, I was only think about the phrase fuck off and die earlier today -- I haven't heard it in years, not since the days of Green Day and Dookie which for me at least popularised the phrase. Although they had it as FOD, which I think would be more correct. While I'm correcting it, I also think cop loving should really be hyphenated, and fascist capitalised, since it's a proper noun.

    Isn't it odd that after telling you to FOD and a cop-loving Fascist they call you a goof, it seems a bit anti-climactic.

    I'm surprised that there wasn't a homophobic gibe in there too, especially as they felt the need to comment on your looks.

    In conclusion, what surprises me most is that they apparently have a job.

  2. Hmm, interesting --- I've never included the 'A' in the acroynm! It's always simply 'FOD' for me.

  3. Ah... FOAD... I think that might actually be another military term, along with FUBAR and SNAFU (my favourite). Though it might just be one of those new acronyms... like DIAF...

    How come you're a police-lover then?


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