Passive-aggressive notes

Ransom Riggs

The passive-aggressive note is a fine art. Not that I'm the master of it or anything -- I like to think that I tackle my interpersonal conflicts a little more head-on -- but once in a while, it seems like the most appropriate method of engagement. For instance, one of my neighbors has a big, barky dog, and they leave it home all day. It just barks and barks. Lately they've taken to leaving the windows of their apartment open, transforming what were once mere low-frequency booming echo barks into full-spectrum ear-piercers. There are lots of people in my building, and I know it annoys them too. So why should I be the one jerk who goes up to them in person to suggest their dog be donated to the glue factory? (Or the whatever-you-make-dogs-into factory?) No need -- the anonymous, passive-aggressive note is the perfect tool for this kind of situation.

But you can go overboard. You don't want to be too aggressive, and there are situations in which such notes are just inappropriate. Luckily for us, to anyone who's not the leaver or receiver, those notes can be downright hilarious. Which is the topic of today's post. Before we get there, though, let us know -- have you ever left a passive-aggressive note? What did it say? Did it have the desired effect?

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