Shape Up or Ship Out

Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.

Dear Nick,

You know something? Everyday, I drive to work and each day I come to a set of traffic lights that are eternal! They drive me crazy. So I just sit there waiting, thanking God for the air-con and watching the motorbikes weave in and out of the traffic.

On the side of the road, just before the lights, sits an old man with such a sad look on his face. He looks as though he has never had one second of happiness to ease the wrinkles that line his face.

As the passers-by come near to him, I can see him reaching out and although I cannot hear any sound coming from his lips, I can gather that he is imploring them to help him to ease his burden by giving a little bit of money or food or anything. At least fifteen people pass by but none stop or slow down to come to his aid.

Then, the lights change and it’s eventually my turn to go through them and continue my journey. The traffic speeds up but is still slow enough for me to see on the other side of the road, an old man smiling and shaking people’s hands as they stuff a few Riel in them. He bows his head thanks them with a shining grin which in turn seems to infect all around him as they too start to smile and laugh.

Remind you of anyone?

Shape Up or Ship Out


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