Parents expressing disappointment in their children is common enough in the annals of human history, but Nick Crews, a retired officer of the British Royal Navy, may take the prize as the most embittered father to have ever walked this miserable earth. In a scathing email that has gone viral across the pond (and which is only now making the rounds in the U.S.), Crews chastises his three adult children for wallowing in utter fecklessness and incompetence, and jeopardizing the future happiness of his grandchildren. Says Crews:
With last evening's crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for which you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit, I feel it is time to come off my perch.
It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us. We are seeing the miserable death throes of the fourth of your collective marriages at the same time we see the advent of a fifth.
We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realize how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us…
I can now tell you that I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children's underachievement and domestic ineptitudes.
Harsh! (Read the entire letter here.) And in case his children didn't get the point, Crews signs off with, "I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed. Dad."
Why has the email gone viral in Britain? "Many parents are apparently delighted that someone finally had the gumption to give at least one set of overprivileged slackers a well-deserved kick in the pants," says David Brooks at The New York Times, making "Crews a hugely popular folk hero." His children reportedly frittered away their first-class educations, and repaid their parents by ceaselessly complaining about their privileged lives. The Crews children's "broken marriages and feckless lack of drive" is a theme that "just happens to be a burning subtext to Europe's monumental blahs," says David Monagan at Forbes.
And it doesn't seem there's much hope of reconciliation for the Crews family, at least in the near term. "Relations have been rather strained ever since Mr. Crews fired off what he now calls his 'Shit-O-Gram,'" says Helen Weathers at Britain's The Daily Mail.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- You're reheating pizza wrong
- 10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2014
Subscribe to the Week