Emery frowned and stared at the blank sheet of paper in the typewriter. He was supposed to write a letter of apology. He’d known it as soon as the words had come out of his mouth but the frustration of the governor taking credit for all his hard work had boiled over and he’d spoken out of turn.

Sometimes it was better just to nod and smile he decided. Nodding was perceived as agreement. Smiles were seen as happy expressions. The act of nodding and smiling could hide both frustration and disagreement quite easily. Inside you could be nodding to yourself that, “Yes indeed, this man is even more of a horse’s ass than I previously thought,” and smiling about the irony that they actually thought you liked and respected them.

It was beneficial to Emery that sarcasm, while it came across clearly in verbal language was not so clear in writing. “You Honor,” he wrote. “I very much regret my words and actions on the day of the press conference.” Of course he regretted them. Not because they were wrong, but because now he had to write this stupid letter. “I acknowledge that I was in the wrong and should by no means have used such negative language toward, or indeed regarding, someone as important as you.” Naturally not, important people tended to have big egos and disliked being told how wrong they were.

“If there is anything more I can do to apologize, please feel free to call me in the office at any time and inform me of such. Sincerely, Emery Ballard.” This last was only added because it was a matter of form and not from any actual sentiment.

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