When I. Fox wrote to the Gazette about their dislike of shorts on men, little did they know the splash it would make.
A photograph of the typewriter note was shared on Twitter and Facebook and became a social media hit, with thousands of people enjoying the amusing letter.
But the identity of the author remained shrouded in mystery – until now.
The Gazette tracked down Ian Fox, a 72-year-old from Rope Walk, Littlehampton, who said he was surprised the paper had shared it.
He said: “I just thought it was humorous. I didn’t think you would publish it.
“I thought it might offend people with short, fat, hairy legs.”
The letter branded the practice of men baring their legs – or ‘short, fat hairies’, – as a ‘fashion faux pas’.
It said: “Years ago, you seldom saw shorts being worn in public, yet today it seems to have become ‘de rigueur’ and legions of stalwart citizens are prepared to show their ‘short fat hairies’ with a gay abandon which is little short of startling.”
The letter went on to say that Ian would never inflict his own ‘short fat hairies on anyone in town’, and that his parrot Bertie would mock him whenever he dared flash the flesh.
But in a twist, Ian admitted he does he not have a parrot.
He said: “It just makes it funnier, doesn’t it?”
The creative licence also extended to the description of his own legs.
“I’ve got long, thin hairies, not short, fat hairies,” he said.
The former Arun District Council employee has been writing letters to the paper for 24 years using a series of second-hand typewriters, his latest being a Remington.
This is the second interview Ian has done – about 20 years ago, the Shoreham Herald featured him in an article about his correspondence.
The bachelor said he was blissfully unaware of his 15 minutes of online fame, as he does not use the internet.
“It is not worth getting involved in it.
“I’ve managed quite well without it,” he said.