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The reverend John Dainty
St. Michael's Church
22 Hither Lane
St. George Holm

Dear Vicar:

I am writing to because I was disturbed by the joke you made about a Downer in yesterday's sermon. I know everyone thought it was a funny joke. I love a laugh as much as anyone, and I thought it was funny at the time.

But then it began to bother me. Not in the sense of feeling bad or sad, of course, but philosophically. Who are we to mock Downers, in Christ's church? Did Christ mock the poor and downtrodden? Or did he mock the pharisees and the hypocrites? Do we really want to start by drowning a hundred Downers? Where would we end?

I know I am going on entirely too long about one joke. But it's important to keep up standards, don't you think? And as vicar, we look to you to set the standard, don't you?

It is perfectly fine when Uncle Jack makes fun about Downers. No one takes him too seriously, not when he has his jolly hat on. And I have laughed at many a Downer jokes. It seems we tell new ones every day; at any rate, they seem new. But in a sermon, shouldn't we have more sympathy? Instead of mocking, shouldn't we be praying for Downers to come to their senses and take their Joy again?

Yours most devotedly,

Sylvia Hockney

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