Commentary Funny and/or Strange

A Note on Proofreading…

An attractive young woman approached me in the kitchen early this morning and complained about the seeming lack of proofreading on Old Road Apples, forcefully implying my carelessness (carefree-ness) regarding edits was bringing shame to the entire household.  I couldn’t help but agree.  Things are a real mess.

It’s appalling, really.  I don’t know how any of you manage to put up with it. but I’m grateful that you have.

Junk Chuck
The Writer

The guy who writes this blog, however, is pretty stubborn–and utterly indifferent to the travails he inflicts upon his readers.

He says, “I’m here to write fast and dirty, to get it done and get the hell out–or post some stupid picture or video when I don’t feel like writing.”

Frankly, this guy is a bit of a jerk, this writer fellow, but he’s the best we can get on the budget we have.  Despite that, we’ve fired him straight up, at least a half dozen times, but he just comes back the next morning (or he posts a picture and sleeps in).  What can we do?  He’s too big to move by force–and no none else wants the job.

We also feel bad for the fellow.  He’s not getting any younger, and it seems like the wrong words come out of his fingers–“him” when he meant to say “her,” or “on” when he wanted to write “over.” I’ve seen places where he loses track in the middle of a paragraph and stomps his way out through the underbrush.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, and it’s not like he has some gloriously dramatic drug-addled back story to justify his failings. The guy is just old, like my last truck. Worn out. Rusty wiring. Sloppy valves. Catalytic converter going bad–there’s this odor.  But I  don’t feel right selling him off as salvage–he was good, once, or at least serviceable.  Also, we get a charitable deduction to offset some of the insane profits we make from selling Old Road Apples Official Products, simply for keeping him around.

So, we’ll see what we can do to pay a little more attention to editing, since the ranting stream of semi-consciousness doesn’t seem to be working for everyone, some of whom are all stuck on nit-picked minutiae like posts “being readable” and “making sense”–things the writer finds to be tedious and, I suspect, a little beneath him.  (Did I tell you about his delusions of grandeur?) .  In the meantime, thanks for your patience and understanding.

The Management.


A Note About Typographical Errors

I was just reading down through these posts and noticed a number of typos–wrong words, mostly, wrong tense here and there, dropped words, a few misspellings and grammar sins.  I may take the time, someday, to sort down through this page and edit, but it’s just as likely that I won’t.  Most of what is here is either new or very old.  The new is written off the cuff, first-draft style, and the old is transposed, usually in a hurry. I rarely waste energy in exhaustive proofing, especially with prose, and I’ve found that auto-correct programs generally sow as many problems as they harvest.

Even as I say that, I’m reminded of a time my wife and I once stopped for breakfast at a funky little cafe on Central Avenue in Whitefish, Montana, after a couple of hard, hungry, mosquito-blighted days in the back country, burning up our calf muscles by day and listening to the predatory hum of bugs outside our tent, waiting for the Grizzlies to gnaw our bones each night  We sought coffee and calories, in that order.  As we entered the restaurant, we noticed a little sign on the door that said something cute and quaint along the lines of “we do things at a different pace here in the mountains, so maybe you need to lighten up and relax if it seems like we’re moving too slow.”  Having worked in resorts, I saw the logic.  An hour doesn’t pass without some hurried soul desperate to cram a year’s worth of living into 11 vacation days, or to see “the west” in two weeks.  Others just seemed to function at that pace as a default, and that was before smart phones and wifi.  (If anyone knows the name of this restaurant, and whether or not it’s still there, I’d love to hear it).

Although the cafe was only about half full, it took about ten minutes to be seated, and another ten until the waitress got around to us.  She gave us menus, we asked for coffee, and she disappeared.  About twenty minutes later, over 40 minutes after entering, the coffee arrived and she took out orders.  As you might imagine, we were pretty agitated, not the least of which because we felt cornered by that sign, which was beginning to feel just a little–I don’t know–passive aggressive?  Our waitress disappeared.  Other people who had entered after us were served.  Half an hour after ordering we convinced the another waitress to bring us more coffee.  That took ten minutes.  We were famished, but tempted to leave, yet we lingered because we’d already invested so much time–surely it would take longer to find another place to eat, get seated, order, and get served there.

Forty-five minutes after ordering, one hour and 40 minutes after entering, the original waitress walked to our table with two plates–mine was to be pancakes, potatoes, and sausage links.  My wife got the same sides, with french toast–pretty standard fare.  My wife was served first, and everything was in order, then the waitress looked at me and said, “We’re out of links, so you get patties.” She turned on her heel and walked away.  What could be do but laugh.  The pancakes were dry, the sausage patties greasy and clearly from a box.  It is the only time, since I began paying tabs, that I have ever refused to tip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that woman still remembers the terrible couple who stiffed her a decade ago.  Driving out of town, my wife and I talked about how that sign hushed and flustered us, how brilliant it was to put the onus of bad service on the customer.  Brilliant!  If that happened now, I would never have waited so long, but that damned sign….

And that’s what I didn’t want this post to be–a statement that someone excludes me from building reasonably functional sentences, or implies that because I don’t really prioritize grammar and punctuation in drafts, I’m somehow excused from doing my job–the way the Teabagger Congressmen think that because they don’t like some legislation they’re justified in refusing to  govern.  So, let’s put it this way:  I KNOW that I make mistakes, due to haste and distraction as well as the thrill of the chase, and I’m sorry.  I’ll get ’em fixed as time and energy permits.  I promise.