Is there an h in the?

The nice thing about writing for a blog is that you get to tinker with your work after you’ve published it. It was with the aim of tinkering, then, that I read over my most recent post. To my horror, I saw that I had misspelled two words, and I was ashamed. I have always thought of myself as a great speller, but I have always been smug about it, too. Now the chickens have come home to roost, and I find that I’m just like every other clucker. 

I’ve known for some time that my spelling prowess was on the wane, but I can’t help but wonder here about other personal characteristics I thought were inviolate. I used to have shiny, bouncy hair, and now it’s dull. I used to be a good dancer, and now my feet hurt. I used to be a classy dresser, and now I try to see how long I can wear the same black pants without having to wash them. I used to adore animals, and now I have grown hostile towards cats. I have become a watcher of too much TV, an eater of already prepared foods, a fogy about women who use their phones in bathroom stalls, a grumbler about taxes.

It is startling to see that what I thought were solids are vapors.  


Of whales and men

Here’s the narrator of a PBS show about whales:

“A female humpback announces her arrival, and she’s ready to mate. Her fin slaps can be heard a mile away, and almost immediately a gang of suitors is headed her way. She wants to choose the strongest mate, so she challenges them to the ultimate fitness contest. She sets off on a marathon swim with a pack of jostling males….Under water the 40-ton males look deceptively relaxed but the tension is building. These lustful rivals are already sizing each other up. Battle could break out at any minute. The stage is set for a real confrontation….Then suddenly the mood changes. The female has vanished, perhaps having eloped with her chosen mate. Without the object of their chosen desire, the heat has gone out of the battle. Minutes after dueling in the high seas, the males caress each other, perhaps for consolation or to repair injured feelings.”

Here’s my version:

Mary knew time was running out. Soon, her eggs would be old and her hopes of having a baby would be dashed. Jack, Joe, John, and Jeff all wanted to get her into the sack, and she had been putting them off for years.  She knew that if she wanted to beat the clock she’d have to choose one once and for all. But, which one should she pick? Jack was devilishly handsome but an idiot; Joe was smart as all get out but a wimp; John could run a mile in 3:43:13 but was also an idiot; and Jeff was gorgeous, brilliant, a great dancer, musical, kind, a regular visitor at the local retirement home, and a pilot. But, he had slept with every woman north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. There was only one thing for her to do: put on her red dress, go to the local watering hole where the men hung out, and shake a tail feather. Luckily for her she was ovulating. The minute she walked in, all four of them could smell her Chanel No 5, and they began vying for her attention. Jack asked her to dance, and Joe cut in. John challenged her to a game of darts, and Jeff tried to pull her into the alley. Soon, a fight broke out among them, with fists, blood, and broken body parts in the mix. The bouncer threw the lot of them out of the bar. From their places on the curb, they saw Mary leave with Charlie. Her coat was trailing behind her and her dress was pulled down to her waist. “What a slut,” Joe said to Jeff. Soon, they were on their feet and slapping each other on the back. “Sorry, Jack.” “Hey, man, me, too.” “Sorry, John.” “Yeah, me, too, man.”