Q&A / 

Haughty Professor Bill

Haughty Professor Bill Plays Checkers Instead of Chess

As you might suspect, I get lots of email from all sorts of people.

It's a kaleidoscope of humanity and I find it fascinating.

On Monday, August 22, 2022 I received the following email from Professor Bill who lives in Tulsa, OK:

Thank you, Tim Carter, for yet another very helpful column.  Might you email me the brand name of the wood preservative that lasts for up to four years?  If you'd rather I wouldn't, I'd not quote you on the matter.

All best,

Bill Last Name Redacted by Tim Carter to Shield the Guilty

Professor Bill had just read a recent column of mine where I shared why exterior wood rejects sealants and paint.

I responded within hours sending back:

Prof. Bill,

It's right here: Deck Stain Test Results

My response didn't sit too well with Professor Bill.

After my simple suggestion simmered for a few days, he dished up a whopping serving of passive aggression:

Mr. Carter,

Might I pay you the high compliment of total candor?  Your unwillingness to tell me the brand of the wood preservative that lasts up to four years unless I pay you $20 strikes me as dirty pool.  I already pay the Tulsa World to read your column -- thinking that your motive is to inform, not to exploit, your readers.

Am hoping you will rethink your stance in this matter.

Wishing you well,


I took a deep breath after reading the above retort. I thought back to what my oldest daughter told me about twelve years ago. She said, "Dad, I've read some of your replies to your followers. You have to learn to LOVE them more. You're bad at loving your followers."

Well, it's hard to love people who don't respect one's knowledge and work. It's damned hard to love someone who talks down to me. It's almost impossible to love hypocrites.

After my daughter's words drifted away like a dandelion seed in the wind, I remembered the last moments in the one scene from Jurassic Park. You know, when the waiter leaves the check at the outdoor table:

After re-reading Professor Bill's email that my mother would have appreciated, I responded:


When the Tulsa World publishes a book review, do you expect the author of the book and/or the book publisher to give you a copy for free because you pay for the review in the paper?

When the Tulsa World publishes a movie review, do you expect to get to see the movie for free?

Why can't I have access to ALL that the Tulsa World publishes? Why do I have to pay for premium content? Look here.

Why do you hold me to a different standard?


Days have passed and not a peep out of Professor Bill.

Don't EVER BE LIKE Professor Bill. Not EVER. Don't play checkers if your opponent is a grand master at 3D chess.

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