Dear Employee,

We are in receipt of your email, Subject: "just had to. I'm sorry."

It appears to be a photograph of a kitten raising its hind leg, with the caption, "I farts in yor gen'ral direkshun!"

As you know, the Nueces County Record Star is a professional company with hardworking, dedicated employees. That being said (and we believe it was) it is understood that the employees may at times utilize company resources (e.g., email) for non-work purposes. Management acknowledges that this practice, while generally discouraged, is a valuable part of office camaraderie and employee morale.

The occasional forward of a joke, humorous quote or amusing photograph, as long as such activity does not detract from the completion of duties or the meeting of deadlines (hereafter referred to as "the looming evil") can have positive benefits in the workplace.

However, the forwarding of photographs of kittens is STRICTLY PROHIBITED, regardless of cuteness, caption or context. (Also, monkeys.)

Additionally, combining the excellent humor found in the works of the comedy group "Monty Python" with such photographs is an affront to good humor and good taste. Emails of this nature, while seemingly harmless, weaken the core of this company and the fabric of our society as a whole.

You are hereby ordered to CEASE AND DESIST the forwarding of all pictures of kittens and/or monkeys. Failure to do so will result in the placement of a permanent reprimand in your personnel file, if such file actually exists, which we sincerely doubt. Repeated instances of non-compliance will be met with harsher consequences, which we cannot reveal at this time, largely because we have not yet thought of them.

In conclusion (finally), it is hoped that you will be more thoughtful and considerate of your fellow employees before sending emails of this nature in the future. Some basic care and consideration can help everyone get through days filled with "the looming evil" a little easier. (Also, monkeys.)

Note: The above is an actual email I sent to a co-worker last week after she sent me a forward. Her response- a reply email with 10 pictures of puppies.

Christopher Maher is the Managing Editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him at 387-4511.