I remember it like it was yesterday which is surprising at my age. I often forget my undies are supposed to be worn as a first layer of clothing.
Pardon the visual.
But sometimes, certain memories stick around longer than forty eight hours. Like that time I gave myself an unintentional reverse Mohawk when I tried to buzz cut my own hair.
You know, important stuff like that.
But the time my Poser membership was cancelled I’ll never forget. The cancellation notice was hand delivered by a postal employee who rang my doorbell…
Wait, our house didn’t have a doorbell at the time.
Okay the postal employee knocked on the door and asked me to sign for a certified letter.
Back in those days receiving a certified letter was bad news. Usually an announcement from a vendor they were taking me to court because I owed money. Or even worse, notification from the IRS they were seizing my assets and taking my wife and children until I payed the back taxes due them.
Fortunately for me, the letter wasn’t from a bill collector or the IRS. It was a certified letter from the NPSOA.
Back then I was a card carrying member of the National Poser Society Of America, and pretty damn proud of it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the NPSOA it’s a easy organization to join, and if you practice you can rise up in the ranks fast.
As the postal employee walked away I opened the envelope and took out what I was expecting to be an announcement of a Poser promotion or a big meeting to be held in my area.
This is what I read.
From: Poser Extraordinaire, The Imperial Oligarch and Venerable Majesty Who Possesses A Mental Capacity Far Above All Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Beings
To: You Know Who You Are
We do not regret to inform you we can no longer allow a scrupulous individual heretofore, indubitably and inscrutably described as yourself, to participate with or interact with, any members of the National Poser Society of America from this time to infinity.
Our reasons are demonstrated by verifiable and irrefutable examples of violations which shall provide imminently steadfast proof your own actions have brought about this regretful, but inherently necessary banishment from our Society.
Item number one:
We have noticed a seeming and often incessant lack of fifty dollar words in your writing. We were noticeably dismayed and overwrought with angst when NPSOA members reported you have chosen to write in a manner which is easily understood by the general public.
This is a complete and utter dichotomy from Paragraph Seven Hundred, Subsection Two Thousand Fifty Nine which states:
All members of the National Posers Society of America shall herewith and forevermore bestow upon the masses a sense that command of language and the written word is far better than anyone else. In doing so, a Poser shall prove without doubt, they are much smarter and posses a genius intellect.
Your lack of intellectually stimulating word choices has been found to be egregious, dare we say, heinous.
Item number two:
It has become startlingly clear to us you have adopted an attitude of full transparency with those around you. Other Poser members have dutifully reported your repugnant habits and we must say we are completely flabbergasted.
Your actions of truth and transparency are an abomination and in direct violation of Paragraph Thirty Three Subsection Four Thousand and One which states:
All members of the National Posers Society of America shall herewith and forevermore outwardly present by actions, language and mannerisms said Poser is who they pretend to be.
Regardless of lack of qualification, years of experience or subject expertise.
In order to maintain good standing in the NPSOA a Poser should always exert multitudinous effort to be perceived as someone they’re not.
As you should know by now through dutiful study of the bylaws, pretending to be someone you’re not is not only expected, it is the penultimate mandate.
Item number three:
Poser members have reported you and your family have lived in the same home for the last thirteen years, a home which we are aghast to hear is valued much less than a million dollars. In addition, the reports state the cost seems to be within your meager budget.
Even worse, reports have it you recently purchased and paid off a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
This dismays and startles the entire Poser Society.
Please refer to Paragraph Five Thousand and Twenty Three, Subsection Eleven Hundred.
At no time shall a Poser live within his or her means. It is mandated a Poser practice the highest form of materialistic aggregation in order to promote a lifestyle which generates an inordinate amount of envy from their peer group.
This includes purchasing and wearing expensive jewelry which cannot be afforded, buying houses which a Poser cannot pay for, and of course, leasing cars built by Ferrari and Maserati. Precisely put, anything which will evoke gasps of envy and jealously.
None of which you have done, you know who you are.
It then becomes necessary, you know who you are, to unequivocally and expediently revoke your membership with the National Posers Society Of America.
Your insistence to write and speak in pedestrian, understandable language coupled with a propensity to reject our rules which mandate adaptation of pretenses and promotion of a lifestyle far above your current station cannot, and will not be tolerated.
Should you ever be desirous of ever being a true Poser again rest assured, the NPSOA will of course consider your re-application.
However, be advised. Based on the current list of offenses and your pernicious tendency to be who you really are, spout the truth about yourself and others, and this unique and quite bothersome practice of being transparent, it is highly doubtful your application will be considered.
Please do not attempt to call or write and beg for reinstatement
I, Poser Extraordinaire, the Imperial Oligarch and Venerable Majesty Who Possesses A Mental Capacity Far Above All Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Beings am going to be very busy and will have no time for you.
Our NPSOA symposium is just around the corner, and there is much to do.
This year Posers from around the world will be gathering for a week long party on an island we have rented by the day.
We shall have class act performers and all the best food and drink our money can’t buy.
Each and every one of the Posers will be flown to the island by helicopters which we’ve charted by the hour, from a nearby yacht owned by a Poser who is only four months behind on the payments.
But alas, you know who you are, you’re no longer a member and will not be allowed to attend.
However, should you be desirous of rubbing elbows with some of the best Posers in the world again you could always donate $1, 473,237.06.
Your gracious contribution should more than cover your back dues and most of the cost of the symposium.
Then we just might consider electing you as a Poser Emeritus.
Poser Extraordinaire, The Imperial Oligarch and Venerable Majesty Who Possesses A Mental Capacity Far Above All Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Beings
That was a long time ago, and yes I still keep the letter and read it from time to time. I truly believe I’ve come a long way toward self enlightenment and awareness.
And like it or not, I’m going to be who I am and what I am.
No fake, no posing.
Just P.G. Barnett, a humble writer trying to make my way in this world.
Let’s keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org