Fresno Beehive

Donald’s mailbag: Reader miffed that I called her an ogre

A promotional photo for Selma Arts Center’s ‘Shrek the Musical.’
A promotional photo for Selma Arts Center’s ‘Shrek the Musical.’ Special to The Bee

Sometimes a metaphor will trip me up with a reader, even when I slam it toward hyperbole.

In my review of Selma Arts Center’s “Shrek the Musical” in Friday’s 7 section, I wrote: “You’d have to be an ogre living in a swamp with no Internet access to have missed the movie version of “Shrek,” of course, and this 2008 Broadway production is quite faithful to that film experience.”

An anonymous caller left this voicemail:


At that time I was 83 and physically unable to go to any movies and don’t have the equipment needed to get copies of the movie at home. So I think it might be well for you to consider exactly what you’re writing and not call people ogres who are physically disabled. I would dearly love to be able to see “Shrek” in Selma and many other things. Think twice before accusing people of being ogres, because possibly they can’t attend things.


OK, in my defense I want to say a couple of things: The movie “Shrek” came out in 2001. I figured it being around as part of the popular culture for 15 years would make it ripe for a “You’d have to be a (fill in the blank) not to have seen it” comparison. I guess not. But I’m sorry if I offended.

Also: The whole point of “Shrek” is that ogres are pretty cool, too. The movie (and stage musical) is about celebrating differences. So if you’re upset that I called you a fairy-tale monster, be assured that you could also take it as a compliment.

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