The Duller Points

Call this whatever you want; I'll call it February by default. The sun is getting stronger; I can feel it. It's rather like a dream in which you can't move, but somebody's eating your favorite meal right up on you. (I've never had such a dream, and I hope that I don't now.)

There are some among us (and doubtless among you, though I don't really know anything about the who or whom that ever reads this or these) that think that I am unemployable. (If you are one of them, then perhaps you're right in that I would never in a bazillion effing eons work for you.) I'd say that the problem is that the opposite of that is true.

There are lots of things that I at least know about, and there are lots of those things that I know enough to “do” about. I don’t have direction, because I tend not to get chances. And I’m not talking about the apocryphal stability that is based upon some gesture of nepotism. I am ready to go, but merely waiting to be plugged in somewhere. I am immersed in a perpetual panic about money, and employers don’t give a care, because let’s face it—they “know” somebody, they owe Sir and Madam X a “favor,” or they’re not willing to hire outside of a comfort zone of bellcurve normalcy because of an undisclosed fear of an undisclosed scenario. (If you wish to blame me for my own un[der]employment, though, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to take a number. How very GOP of you.)

I give of my best (which is not saying much, sometimes) in virtually everything that I do. It's important to me to be a person like that—one that encourages people to be themselves, despite any potential negative implications to me or my adultly blargstrife index.

Whoa! Suddenly, four days have elapsed, and by or @ this dull-indeed point, I have revealed myself to be a ranting laissez-faire kook, because I haven't posted in an e-ternity. I like it like that, marginally, but only because I thought that it would be a nice time to say those words.

Anyway, I've tried to be clever about attracting/conscripting clients for the editing work that I do. (Cleverness is subjective, largely because it's illusory.) Here’s a tale of when I go with my family to my favorite restaurant in town (there are a heap of restaurants here in Brunswick). It's called Shere Punjab, and its warmth dictates that I would love it even if the food sucked, which it absolutely doesn't. We haven't been there for some time before now—on account of having emerging youngsters among us, yes, but also on account of our being pauperly. Upon our arrival, I don’t know what compels me to use the latter in order to legitimize the interval since my last visit, but I do.

So, we look at the menu (why don’t people ever call that a “meenoo”?), and I see a bunch of egregious typographical/grammatical errors (you know that sort of thing: “dessert” becomes “desert”; “piece” becomes “peace”). This doesn’t bother me by itself, and it never bothers me when somebody’s on the level, but we live in a xenophobic country, and I am bothered when the grammatical inaccuracies of non-native English speakers serve as fodder for ridicule. This really, really is mean, in my opinion. What’s worse is that the arrogant rednecks so eager to criticize mistakes like this, sometimes even employing them as a fulcrum of justification for blatant racism, are pretty much dumb as onions.

I want to stymie that type of juvenilia, yet I realize that restaurant owners trend away from being independently wealthy; as such, I offer the very-gracious restaurant owner of Shere Punjab a barter in which I I’ll “fix” his menu in exchange for food. I approach him about this, just after paying the server for our meal. It’s a slow evening, so he’s been seeing to all sorts errands, but I catch him and think it opportune to ask.

Immediately, he ices over at my suggestion, exhaling through flared nostrils with a sense of exasperation that squarely surprises me. “Now is not the time. Leave me a contact number.” I am nonplussed and embarrassed at my obvious and unwitting faux-pas, but I maintain composure, of course. As we prepare to leave, though, he hurriedly hands me a bright-yellow, third-generation photocopy of the menu without a word, and bids us farewell with a friendly wave and smile.

It isn’t until later that Molly suggests what the reason might have been for his sudden and fleeting sternness. The more that I think on it, the more sense it makes: he’d thought that we’d eaten without paying, and that I said, “Hey! I’ll fix your menu in exchange for the food that we just ate.” Wow. So now I’ve got a near-illegible yellow copy of a menu to proofread in exchange for food.


I’m gonna do this. Look out.

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